The story so far...

My passion for sport first started in the swimming pool at age 6 when I joined a local swimming club. Club swimming gave me my first taste of racing and the desire to win. In the cooler months when I wasn’t swimming I still liked to keep active so played netball. When I was 10 I competed in my first cross country event for my school and surprised myself by making the regional team to compete at the state championships. I really enjoyed running and as I seemed to have a bit of natural talent in this area I joined my local Little Athletics club but soon found that my preference was for the longer distances. The following year when I was 11 I joined a running squad focusing on cross country and within a couple of months had made my first QLD state team to compete at the Australian schools cross country championships where I placed 2nd. For the next few years I continued with swimming, running and netball but by early high school I knew that my true passion was running so decided to solely focus on this. My running saw me achieve a number of national and state championship medals in both cross country and track and field.

In 2004 at the age of 13 I competed in my first triathlon going into the event with no biking experience at all. Unfortunately I didn’t have any idea about changing gears so completed the whole race in the same gear.  Needless to say I found the bike leg extremely difficult and thought this wasn’t a sport for me.  Twelve months later I decided to give it a go again but knew that I had to improve my bike skills so I started training with coach Steve Moss.  After a year of training and learning plenty of new skills I was selected in the Australian team to compete at the 2007 World Junior championships in Hamburg(Germany) where I placed 24th. The following 2 years also saw me selected for the Australian Junior team competing in 2008 at Vancouver (Canada) and 2009 at Gold Coast (Australia) where I placed 5th and 2nd respectively. 2009 was a very successful year for me as I was also named Australian Junior triathlete of the year and won the prestigious Noosa triathlon being the youngest person to do so at the age of 18.

In 2010 despite still being eligible for another year in the junior ranks, I decided to step up from the sprint distance to the Olympic distance and compete in the U23 category. I had my first taste of racing at the Elite level in the Sydney World Championship series event and was able to spend 3 months overseas with the Australian triathlon squad to gain some much needed experience racing at the elite level. I was selected in the Australian team to compete in the 2010 World U23 championships in Budapest, Hungary where I placed 1st. It is the greatest feeling being a world champion and only made me more determined to replicate this success at the elite level.

2011 saw me compete in my first full season at the elite level. It proved to be a milestone season, producing results far exceeding my wildest dreams. At the age of 19, I achieved my first elite World Championship podium finish, completing an Australian ‘Emma’ trifecta in Hamburg. With Emma Moffat finishing first, I defeated Olympic gold medallist and idol Emma Snowsill in a sprint finish for second place. This result gave me a huge confidence boost and my next race in London also proved a success, finishing 4th (another sprint finish with Emma Snowsill) in the high profile event which was billed as a test run for the 2012 Olympics. The next race in Lausanne was a sprint event and coincided with my 20th birthday. Ensuring it was a birthday to remember I achieved 2nd place. I finished the season 4th in the overall World Championship Series rankings, only 23 points short of 3rd place, and the top placing Australian. A truly remarkable and memorable debut.

2012 was all about the London Olympics. The first 5 months of the year were devoted to being selected for one of the remaining 2 spots on the Australian team. The team was to be notified via email and phone call on a particular day and time in June which happened to be when I was on a plane flying to an event.  Even though the flight wasn’t long it was the longest flight of my life. As soon as we landed I turned on the phone and found out that dreams do come true and I was off to the Olympics. 8 weeks later I lined up at Hyde Park to compete at my first Olympics, the second youngest competitor in the field being slightly older than the UK domestique. I finished a creditable 8th, running with the leaders until the final half of the run.

After overcoming some medical issues at the beginning of 2013 I headed overseas in June and had success in my first event achieving 2nd place in the very challenging Kitzbuhel World Triathlon series race. Automatic selection for the Australian Commonwealth Games team was up for grabs at the London Grand final race so this race was the focus for the rest of the season. To gain this automatic selection you needed to finish in the top 8 and be first Australian. Unfortunately while I placed 6th at this event, Emma Moffatt placed 3rd a mere 10 seconds ahead.

For the Commonwealth countries 2014 was about the Commonwealth Games so the first few months of the year I was focused on training and racing well to gain selection for the team. I gained that selection, placing 5th (first Australian) in the individual race. I was disappointed with this result after being in contention for a podium up until the final 2km of the run. Two days later I teamed up with Emma Moffatt, Aaron Royle and Ryan Bailie to race in the inaugural Triathlon team relay event. The race went down to the wire with Ryan securing the bronze medal for the team in the last 200m of the race. While ITU racing was not my primary focus for the year I had a very successful season achieving 2 podiums (3rd London & 2nd Hamburg). Unfortunately I fell ill a couple of days prior to the grand final in Edmonton which dashed my hopes of challenging for a top 3 ranking in the World Triathlon Series. The swim was a huge struggle for me but I was determined to finish the race so that I wouldn’t lose too many spots in the series rankings. I ended up ranked 7th in the series and the first Australian.