Local MP Kate Washington praises champion Port Stephens athletics trio on Australian team selection

Member for Port Stephens Kate Washington with Medowie’s Dixie Conlon, Jack Deguara and Fingal Bay’s Shari Hurdman. Dixie and Shari will represent Australia at the Oceania Track and Field Championships in Fiji while Jack will wear the green and gold at the World Junior Athletics Championships in Peru.

ELITE Port Stephens athletes Dixie Conlon, Jack Deguara and Shari Hurdman will soon be running and jumping for Australia at prestigious international athletics events.

The talented trio will don the green and gold when they travel to Fiji and South America to compete against world-class athletes at upcoming championship meets.

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All three underlined their potential and impressed national selectors with superb performances this year in major track and field events across the country.

Medowie schoolgirl Dixie Conlon will represent Australia at the Oceania Athletics Championships in Suva, Fiji this month in the Under 18s Triple Jump event.

The Catherine McAuley Catholic College student is the current NSW Under 17s Long Jump and Triple Jump champion and has developed into one of the country’s best young prospects.

She started her athletics career at Medowie Little Athletics and now competes for Raymond Terrace Athletics Club.

Under the expert guidance of her mentors Glenn Carroll, sprint coach Ramona Casey and hurdles coach Katie Turrell, the gifted Conlon has grown in stature with stellar performances in her age group.

Dixie will be joined at the Oceania Championships by Fingal Bay sprint sensation Shari Hurdman, the newly crowned national Under 18s 400m champion.

Outstanding prospect Shari is a student at St Philip’s College Salamander Bay and competes for the Macquarie Hunter Athletics Club.

The emerging Hurdman collected four medals at the recent Australian Track and Field Athletics Championships in Adelaide – securing gold medals in the Under 18s 400m sprint and 4 x 400m Relay, silver in the 200m final and bronze in the 100m sprint.

All eyes will be on sharp runner Shari in Suva when she contests the 200m and 400m events in the Under 18s division.

The rising Deguara is headed to the World Athletics Junior Championships in Peru in August where he’ll be running in the 400m event.

Jack, who started his career at Medowie Little Athletics, is the current NSW 400m sprint champion and achieved a bronze medal in the 400m and silver in the 4x400m relay at the National Track and Field Championships.

He moved to Maitland Senior Athletics Club at the age of seventeen.

Jack will participate in training camps on the Gold Coast with the Australian team to prepare, as well as spending two weeks in Peru to acclimatise.

Member for Port Stephens Kate Washington told News Of The Area that the trio were “outstanding ambassadors for their region”.

“The talent and dedication of Dixie, Shari and Jack is so impressive and it’s wonderful to see that their years of persistence and training have paid off,” she quipped.

“Having gained their love of athletics in Port Stephens, these young athletes are no doubt inspiring the next generation of aspiring athletes.

“Their amazing results are testament to their own efforts, together with the commitment of local athletics club volunteers who give young people the opportunity to make dreams come true,” Ms Washington said.

“I know I speak for everyone in Port Stephens in congratulating Dixie, Shari and Jack on their success so far – we’ll all be cheering them on as they run and jump in the green and gold.”

By Chris KARAS

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