Revealed: Queensland’s top swim rookies push for Games
A new generation of elite Queensland swimmers were stroking their way toward Australian Dolphins' selection at either the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games or the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
The state's hottest swim prospects will ramp up preparation at the state titles starting on Sunday at Chandler.
Today we present a list of Queensland's best Rookies on the Rise.
1. TOM NEILL (Rackley Centenary)
The St Joseph's Gregory Terrace old boy is the leader of the pack when it comes to Queensland swimming's Rookies on the Rise. A natural born leader, Neill is mature beyond his years and is honing in on a 1500m and 4x200m freestyle relay berth with the Dolphins.
2. LANI PALLISTER (Cotton Tree)
The Sunshine Coast middle distance freestyle exponent joined Neill in starring at last year's world junior swimming championships, with an 800m gold medal effort the highlight. Pallister, soon to join Michael Bohl's Griffith University swim squad, also comes from good stock - her month is Janelle Elford, the 1988 Olympic 400 and 800m freestyle finalist.
3.MOLLIE O'CALLAGHAN (St Peters Western)
From the powerhouse St Peters Western Swim Club, O'Callaghan is a thrilling schoolgirl talent who shone at the world junior championships last year. She will be in year 12 at St Peters Lutheran College when she pushes hard for Olympic Games selection as a 100m and 200m freestyle sprinter, and a 100m and 200m backstroke exponent.
4. ELIZABETH DEKKERS (Newmarket Racers)
Elizabeth who? Write this name down. An All Hallows' School student, Dekkers is a stunning 100m and 200m butterfly swimmer who, under the Miller family's Newmarket Racers Swim Club program, is tracking toward either Olympic Games or Commonwealth Games (2022) selection.
5. TOM HAUCK (All Saints)
Watch this space when it comes to Tom Hauck. From the All Saints on the Gold Coast, Hauck is a swimming rookie powerhouse who excels in the 200-400m freestyle space, plus the gruelling 200/400 IM and 200m backstroke spaces.
6. MEG HARRIS (St Peters Western)
Another under Dean Boxall's wing at St Peters Western, the quietly spoken Harris is somewhat understated out of the pool, but in it she glides through the water with the best of them. Harris' competes in the ultra-competitive 50m and 100m freestyle space, but is right up there when it comes to top tier talent.
BEST OF THE REST
SAMUEL SHORT (Rackley Centenary)
Short is a sleeping giant of men's middle distance swimming who was seriously considered for a top six ranking. Dedication should be his middle name as he shadows the age group records of Aussie greats like Mack Horton, Ian Thorpe and Grant Hackett. Short learnt his craft at Albany Creek Swim Club before moving to Rackley Centenary when he shares the water with Tom Neill. He is a keeper, for sure.
JENNA FORRESTER (St Peters Western)
Tough as teak, Forrester is slowly, but surely moving into senior Dolphins contention as she chips away and chips away at PBs the gruelling 200m and 400m freestyle and IM disciplines.
ELLA RAMSAY (St Peters Western)
The Tokyo Olympics will come too soon for Ramsay, but what about the 2022 Commonwealth Games? If she makes it, she will still be a schoolgirl at St Peters Lutheran College Springfield. Regardless, mark her down in your little black book as one of our best Rookies on the Rise in the 200m-400m IM events.
BRONTE JOB (Rackley Centenary)
The broad smiling Job is a tremendous asset to the morale around the Rackley Centenary Club. In the water she is also an outstanding backstroke prospect who had the distinction of swimming a gold medal at last year's world junior championships.
TAHLIA THORNTON (Brisbane Grammar)
Thornton made the Australian world junior championships swimming team after moving from Perth to train under David Lush. In the hotly contested backstroke field, the St Margaret's Anglican Girls' School alumni is progressing nicely.
SOPHIE MARTIN (Brisbane Grammar)
The baby of the rookie list, Martin is a young but exciting junior prospect who attends St Margaret's Anglican Girls' School. Another hard worker in her age group is Claveria Johnson-Tiamalu from St Peters Lutheran College Springfield, who is a stable mate of Ella Ramsay.
HARRY TURNER (Nudgee Swimming Club)
Turner is progressing nicely under David Proud at the Nudgee Swimming Club. Watch for his butterfly exploits in his age group at the state titles.
FLYNN SOUTHAM (Bond)
Southam is a real mover and shaker in the 15-16 years age group where he is an eye-catching performer in the 100m-200m freestyle and the 100m-200m backstroke.
ISAAC COOPER (Toowoomba Grammar School)
Sixteen-year-old Isaac Cooper is making waves on the darling in the 100m backstroke.
CHELSEA HODGES (Southport Olympic)
Hodges deservedly sneaks into the Rookies on the Rise swim list following her eye-catching junior performances while Rebecca Jacobson (Albany Creek) learned plenty from last year's world juniors appearance. Watch this space.
Originally published as Revealed: Queensland's top swim rookies push for Games