The shortlist for the 2018 WAIS Junior Athlete of the
Year has been revealed with a high quality list of athletes from a wide range
of sports attracting the attention of selectors.
Rowing leads the way with three nominations whilst Sailing
is the only other program with multiple nominees. The list includes a Commonwealth
Games representative, whilst there a numerous athletes who have worn the green
and gold in World Championship competition across the nomination period.
In all, 10 WAIS nominations have made the shortlist and you
can find out how they made the list via the award bios below.
and Ben Gerrard – Rowing
Hamish and Ben were members of the Australian U19 men’s
coxed four crew that claimed a bronze medal at this year’s Junior World
Championships in the Czech Republic. The crew coached by Jamie Hewlett were
camp based in their preparation allowing Hamish – just 17 years of age – to
complete his year 12 high school. Hamish was also a prominent member of the
Hale boat that broke an 18 year duck in the Head of the River race, whilst Ben
– only 18 himself – showed significant promise in winning a national U21 medal
in addition to his world championships success.
Ashton Brinkworth –
A gold medal returned in the men’s 50m freestyle final at
the Junior Pan Pacs in Fiji was further embossed by a series of strong swims in
the green and gold as a member of the Australian team at the 2018 Youth Olympic
Games in Buenos Aires. The 18 year-old also registered a number of personal
best times at the Commonwealth Games Trials in his first appearance at a national
Nikita Hains –
Nikita continues to justify her standing as one of the
nation’s best emerging platform diving talents. At the 2018 Junior World
Championships in Ukraine, Hains finished fifth in both the 10m individual and
synchro finals, whilst a fourth place effort at senior meet in Rostock, Germany
added further evidence of her progress in the sport.
Tyler Lindorff –
A successful campaign at the Australian Road
Championships underpinned a season that culminated in a debut at the UCI Junior
Road World Championships for Tyler Lindorff. Tyler won the U19 men’s road race
in Ballarat and also claimed silver in the time trial, before confirming
selection with a bronze medal in the time trial at the Oceania Road
Championships in April.
Jake Harvie –
Jake Harvie has enjoyed a dream ascent into life as a
Kookaburra in 2018 with the country WA hockey product winning gold medals at
the Commonwealth Games and Champions Trophy. After debuting at the
International Festival of Hockey in late 2017, he also featured in the
Kookaburras’ World League victory in India last December. His talent was singled
out for reward at June’s Champions Trophy, where the 20 year-old was named as the
tournament’s Rising Star.
Giorgia Patten and
Bronwyn Cox – Rowing
An international A-Final appearance confirmed Giorgia and
Bronwyn’s status as elite age rowers in 2018 with the dynamic duo teaming for
fifth place in the final of the women’s pair at the U23 World Titles in Poland.
With Patten just 19 and Cox only 21, both athletes are highly regarded within
Rowing Australia’s pathway, with Giorgia and Bronwyn recently offered positions
at the National Training Centre in Penrith.
Annabelle McIntyre – Rowing
Having won the WAIS Junior Athlete of the Year title in
2017 with Bronwyn Cox, Annabelle McIntyre will again be in contention for the
prize after a stellar 2018 campaign. Annabelle earned graduation to the
National Training Centre in Penrith where she earned a seat in the women’s
eight crew for the senior World Championships in Bulgaria. At 22, she won a bronze
medal as the Australian crew returned a podium performance in the Olympic class
event for the first time in 12 years. McIntyre also claimed two national senior
titles and added a further gold medal in the U23 women’s quad scull.
Zac Littlewood –
Laser Radial sailor Zac Littlewood won an open class
World Championship title in Germany last June, topping a fleet of over 90 boats
for victory and earning history in the process as the youngest ever winner at
17 years of age. Zac continued his purple patch into July where he won a bronze
medal at the Youth World Championships in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Jamie Oberman –
Jamie Oberman overcame a bout of Glandular Fever in late
2017 to return to full form and fitness and secure a berth in the Australian
women’s junior team that competed at the Junior World Titles in Serbia. Having
turned 17 during the year, Oberman gave up age and experience on many of her
peers and opponents, yet still performed impressively in the crucial role of
centre back as Australia finished in a highly commendable position of fourth
Rome Featherstone –
Rome Featherstone sailed in Australia’s 420 class entry
at the 2018 Youth World Championships in Corpus Christi, Texas delivering a
silver medal effort in tandem with skipper Otto Henry. The duo maintained their
podium status, having won the 420 Youth World Title in December 2017 in Sanya,
The winner of the 2018 WAIS Junior Athlete of the Year title will be announced at the WAIS Awards on Thursday, November 15 at the Pan Pacific Hotel.