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Students’ golden run for NSW

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Sydney Catholic Schools students Hannah Sorojevic and Oliver Facer won gold in respective hurdle events at 2023 Chemist Warehouse Australian All Schools Athletics Championships. Photo: Greg Kane
Sydney Catholic Schools students Hannah Sorojevic and Oliver Facer won gold in respective hurdle events at 2023 Chemist Warehouse Australian All Schools Athletics Championships. Photo: Greg Kane

By Bethany Alvaro

Sydney Catholic Schools students have achieved incredible results at the 2023 Chemist Warehouse Australian All Schools Athletics Championships.

The competition, held in Perth in early December saw over 1200 student athletes across Australia compete for gold in a myriad of athletics competitions.

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Lachlan Wheeler from St John Bosco, Engadine, won second place in the boys under 14’s 1500m final, and placed third in the boys under 14’s 800m final.

Toby Calder, also from St John Bosco, Engadine finished second with a personal best of 1.95m in the under 16 boys high jump.

Kyle Mason from De La Salle, Caringbah also achieved incredible results, placing fifth in the boys under 16’s 3000m final.

However two Sydney Catholic Schools students stood out from the rest, achieving phenomenal results by placing first and winning gold in their respective events.

Hannah Sorojevic from Mount Saint Joseph, Milperra, came first in the girls under 14’s 80m hurdles.

She said that her coaches and parents “tell me there aren’t any shortcuts in life”, a lesson she has adopted with vigour in her training plan.

“During training I would work as hard as I could as if it was my last session,” she said.

Going into her race, she was eager to do the best she could to take the top spot.

“It was more of a craving feeling, I never felt like I could win something this major. I wanted the win to prove to people that I could do it. I knew that winning this race could show everyone I’m just as deserving,” she said.

Winning brought “a sense of relief and a weight lifted off my shoulders,” she said.

“I guess all the hard work has paid off.”

Going into the new year, she wants her sporting career to continue to grow.

“Hopefully one day I might make the Olympics and run for Australia. I will enjoy a small break over Christmas and return to training to defend my title.”

Oliver Facer from Patrician Brothers, Fairfield, came first in the boys under 16’s 100m hurdles.

Knocked back by an injury coming into the event, and a fall in a race on the previous day, Oliver remained determined to succeed.

“Although I had fallen in the 200m hurdles, I realised I had a job to do that day and had to overcome the adversity of yesterday,” he said.

Oliver’s determination never ceased, and he was able to swiftly win and make a record.

“When I crossed the finish line and looked at the time of 12.77s, it was a personal best and an Athletics NSW record” he said.

“The emotions were overwhelming, and I felt so much relief that I was able to achieve so much even in the face of adversity and setbacks.”

The opportunity for success is only growing for Oliver. He has hopes of extending his athletics career in the near future, defeating more records, and striving to beat his personal bests.

“I’m aiming to compete at the World Juniors in 2026 in Los Angeles and the 2032 Olympics in Brisbane. For short-term goals, I want to compete in the 2024 Australian Juniors and Australian All Schools”.

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