Our local Olympians

The sporting talent who are on track to the Paris Olympics

ROSE DAVIES

St Pius X High School Adamstown and St Francis Xavier’s College Hamilton alumni, Rose Davies, has laid the groundwork for the Paris Olympics.

In February, Rose made history, becoming just the fourth Australian woman to complete a five-kilometre race in under 15 minutes.

In April, she was crowned national champion.

Shortly after, she ran a qualifying time for the 2024 Olympics and then went on to break the Australian record for the 5,000 metres.

Making it to Paris would be a dream come true for the 24-year-old, who first debuted at the Tokyo Olympics where she placed 18th in her heat for the 5,000 metres.

Reflecting on Tokyo, Rose said, “it was such a surreal experience. It was amazing, but also different to what I had always dreamt of the Olympics being. It was COVID, and the stadium was completely quiet – you could hear a pin drop in there.”

Since then, Rose has been hitting the competition circuit and working hard to get herself primed for Paris.

Working with her long-term coach, Scott Westcott, Rose achieved personal bests over 3,000 metres, 5,000 metres and 10,000 metres in 2022, also establishing her ranking of number four in Australian history.

In 2023, Rose continued to smash her own personal best performances, competing across the globe from Australia to Japan to Norway to Budapest.

Despite her constant rounds on the international circuits, Rose said that her time back home in Newcastle is always grounding for her.

“I love being in Newcastle because it helps me to reset. I train twice a day, averaging around 140 kilometres a week. Other than that, I’ll head to the beach, or catch up with friends for coffee or spend time with my family. It really is just normal life when I’m home,” she said.

“I can’t think of a better place to come back to.”

Rose stumbled upon her destiny as a professional runner quite unexpectedly. At 12-years-old, she clinched a spot on the NSW team for the National Cross Country Championships. This pivotal moment ignited her transformation from a novice runner to an Olympic competitor.

She said the Olympics felt like a pipe dream, even in 2016.

“I remember watching Rio and thinking how amazing it would be to qualify, but it’s not something I seriously thought was going to happen.”

Less than a decade later, she is shaping up for her second Olympics.

“I think it shows how much things can change, and how far hard work, but also enjoying your life can take you.

“Paris would be everything and is obviously the goal; but I’m conscious of not letting that take away from each experience I have in the lead up,” she said.

“I’m an athlete, but I’m also a daughter, a friend, a student… I never want to forget to enjoy all the parts of the journey.”

SAM FRICKER

Former Holy Family Primary School Merewether Beach student, Sam Fricker, debuted at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games where he represented Australia in the Men’s Diving 10 metre platform.

At just 12 years old, Sam became a triple-gold medallist in the boys 12-13 years age category at the 2015 National Age Diving Championships, winning the 1 metre Springboard, 10 metre Platform and 3 metre Synchronised Springboard dive, seeing him crowned Diver of the Year.

Sam completed at the 2022 Commonwealth Games where he won a bronze medal in the men’s 3 metre springboard event.

Later that year, he was awarded the Australian Sports Medal by the Governor of New South Wales.

TORRIE LEWIS

Former St Paul’s Catholic College Gateshead student, Torrie Lewis, has already qualified for the Paris Olympics.

In January, Torrie broke the national record in the women’s 100 metres at the ACT Championships in Canberra.

In April, Torrie made her Diamond League debut in the 200 metres in Xiamen, China, with an outstanding triumph against her competitors.

In May, the Australian relay squad anchored by Torrie smashed the national 4x100 metres record to claim an automatic spot at the Paris Olympics.

CHRISTIE DAWES

Former St Francis Xavier’s College Hamilton student, Christie Dawes, has earned herself a reputation as one of the fiercest wheelchair racing athletes in the game.

Christie has competed in seven Paralympic Games, and some of her greatest sporting moments include winning a silver medal in the women’s 4x100m T53/54 at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games and placing third at the 2008 New York City Marathon.

 

ONES TO WATCH

There’s an abundance of up-and-coming talent in the Diocese. Keep your eyes peeled for the below students at the 2028 Olympics.

SEBASTIAN STACE

St Joseph’s Primary School East Maitland student Sebastian Stace made an impression at the School Sport Australia Athletics Championships last year.

He qualified in the 8-10 years multiclass 800 metre, resulting in him being crowned the second fastest 10-year-old in this race in Australia.

HOPE WHITE

All Saints’ College Maitland student Hope White has been named in the 2024 Under 19’s Australian National Netball Squad.

SIENNA COMPTON

St Aloysius Catholic Primary School Chisholm student, Sienna Compton, is a multi-class athlete who qualified for nationals in swimming, cross country and athletics in 2023.

EVA POTTS

St Mary’s Catholic College Gateshead student Eva Potts recently swam at Nationals where she finished in the top 10 in Australia.

Eva broke the record in the 16-years 100 metres freestyle. In the 50 metres freestyle, she broke a 2011 record and in the 50 metres butterfly she swam an incredible time of 29.56. She also broke a 2010 record in the 200 metres freestyle.

DIXIE CONLON

Catherine McAuley Catholic College Medowie Year 11 student, Dixie Conlon, is fast approaching the Olympic circuit.

Last month, Dixie made the Under 18’s Oceania Athletics Championships.

She is an athletics all-rounder, competing in long jump, triple jump, hurdles, 100 metres and 60 metres.

ISLA BOWER

St Pius X High School Adamstown’s Isla Bower began skating when she was 11-years-old after finding a skateboard at the top of a wardrobe and deciding she wanted to test it out.

Isla is currently ranked the number one skater in Under 16 Girls in Australia and has started competing in the international arena. She will go to Prague this month for the Mystic Cup and to America in October for Exposure.

Her goal is to one day compete at X Games and the Olympics.

CAOIMHE BRAY

St Pius X High School Adamstown multisport talent, Caoimhe Bray, is already making waves in soccer and cricket.

At 14-years-old, Caoimhe was named in the Junior Matilda’s squad bound for the Under 17’s Asian Cup.

She was named Goalkeeper of the Tournament during last year’s National Youth Championships for Girls and she also led the Greater Hunter Central Coast cricket team to its maiden title in the New South Wales Women’s Brewer Shield Cricket Competition.

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