Kenmore Stars Bronte Campbell, Jack Cartwright, and Jaclyn Barclay Shine at 2024 Australian Swimming Trials

An indomitable veteran mounting an Olympic comeback. A world champion realising his long-awaited debut. Plus a teen prodigy bursting onto the scene. This talented trio of swimmers from Kenmore made a great showing at the 2024 Australian Swimming Trials and are now looking forward to making a splash at the Olympics.

Read: Kenmore Swim Star Cate Campbell Ends Olympic Bid with Emotional Farewell

Bronte Campbell: in pursuit of a fourth Olympic Games

Kenmore State High School alumna Bronte Campbell, 30, defies the odds as she secures her spot on the Australian Olympic team for a fourth time. After taking an 18-month break from the sport following the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, the seasoned swimmer returns to the pool, driven by a burning curiosity to see what she can achieve once more.

Campbell’s hiatus allowed her to experience life beyond the pool, working a 9–5 job in business consulting and exploring other ventures, including television appearances and launching her own swim gear range. However, the lure of competition proved too strong — she found herself drawn back to the familiar thrill of standing on the blocks, ready to test her limits once again.

Bronte Campbell
Photo Credit: Instagram/Bronte Campbell

Her journey has not been without challenges, as injuries plagued her during the break. Nevertheless, Campbell’s determination shines through, as she secures her place in Paris as a relay swimmer by finishing fourth in the 100m freestyle final at the Olympic trials in Brisbane.

Jack Cartwright: long awaited Olympic debut

For Kenmore’s Jack Cartwright, 25, his path to the Olympic stage is a testament to the sacrifices made by his family and the unwavering pursuit of his dreams. His rise began at the Junior Pan Pacific Championships in 2016, where he captured six medals, including four golds.

His international breakthrough came a year later at the 2017 World Championships, where he made the final in the 100m freestyle at just 18 years old. Since then, Cartwright has continued to accumulate hardware, including silvers at the 2018 Pan Pacific Championships and relay golds at the 2022 and 2023 World Championships.

Jack Cartwright
Cartwright signed with FINIS Swimming back in 2019. Photo Credit: Facebook/FINIS Swimming Malaysia

At the 2024 Australian Swimming Trials, Cartwright secured his place on the Paris team, finishing fourth in the 100m freestyle to claim the final relay spot, marking his long-awaited Olympic debut.

Jaclyn Barclay: rising star secures debut at 17

Fig Tree Pocket’s Jaclyn Barclay, 17, secured an early Olympic debut in the women’s 200m backstroke at the Trials. Competing against seasoned athletes like Emily Seebohm, who fell short in her bid for a fifth Olympic appearance, Barclay’s second-place finish left her in disbelief and elation.

“To be able to race these girls is incredible, and to achieve any athlete’s dream to make the Olympics, I’m still in a bit of shock, to be honest,” Barclay expressed. “It was incredible to touch the wall and see I was second. I couldn’t believe it. I was really happy with my time, as well.”

Jaclyn Barclay
Photo Credit: Instagram/Jaclyn Barclay

Barclay’s journey to the Olympic stage at such a tender age foreshadows an exciting future for the young athlete on the international stage.

Read: Sayers Dance Centre in Kenmore Nurtures Young Stars Shining on World Stages

As Paris draws near, Kenmore takes pride in the accomplishments of these local heroes, whose dedication, perseverance, and unwavering pursuit of excellence have earned them a place among the best swimmers in the country.

Published 18-June-2024

Kenmore Swim Star Cate Campbell Ends Olympic Bid with Emotional Farewell

Kenmore pays tribute to hometown swimming legend and Kenmore State High School alumna Cate Campbell as she makes a graceful exit after narrowly missing out on qualifying for her fifth Olympic Games. The talented swimmer has collected eight Olympic medals across four previous Olympics.

In a night filled with high emotions, Cate’s storied career came to a close without the fairytale ending she had hoped for. Despite a world-class performance, timing in at 24.76 seconds and finishing in 7th place in the 50-m freestyle, she acknowledged the significant achievement of her competitors, who paused their celebrations to share a poignant moment with her.

Sister’s Success

Meanwhile, Cate’s sister, Bronte, also a Kenmore State High School alumna, secured her place in the 4x100m freestyle relay, marking her fourth Olympic appearance.

The Australian Olympic Swimming Trials concluded with the announcement of a 41-person swimming team for the Paris Olympics. The team features a mix of seasoned athletes and 22 debutants, including Olympic veterans such as Kyle Chalmers and Emma McKeon.

Emotional Farewell

Reflecting on her career, Cate expressed deep gratitude for the journey and the people she’s encountered along the way. From her beginnings as a 9-year-old budding talent in the Brisbane Aquatic Centre to her final race, she feels privileged to conclude her career meaningfully, surrounded by friends, family, and fans.

Shayna Jack and Meg Harris, who secured their individual Olympic spots during the trials, honoured Cate by delaying their victory celebrations. Their tribute highlighted Cate’s influence and legacy in Australian swimming. Shayna, having won the 50m freestyle final, and Meg, making her first individual Olympic berth, exemplified the rising generation of Australian sprinters.

On the support from competitors: “The fact there were two girls who qualified for an Olympic Games, which is no mean feat, one of them for her first individual spot in Meg Harris — that they put their celebrations on hold and came over is one of the most incredible moments and something I’ll cherish for the rest of my life.”

Cate Campbell: Legacy of a Champion

Cate’s impact on the sport extends beyond her own achievements. As a former world record holder and a multiple Olympic medalist, her career has inspired a new generation of swimmers. Her presence at the trials was a momentous occasion for both fans and fellow competitors, who expressed their admiration and respect for her contributions to Australian swimming.

On her career and the farewell: “Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be. I would have loved to have that fairytale ending more than anything else. But I can now sit back and reflect on a wonderful career. I can leave the sport with my head held really high.”

Reflecting on her emotional journey: “It’s bitter-sweet. I had hoped for the fairytale ending and it’s what I had worked for and what I felt I was capable of, and unfortunately my body just said ‘no’.”

On her final moments in the pool: “This is the end, and it’s a perfect way to exit the pool. My first major competition was in this swimming pool, maybe over 20 years ago. I warmed up in this pool just behind us for the first time as a nine-year-old and tonight I warmed up in it as a 32-year-old, and I got to walk out and swim in a swimming pool that I’ve competed in so many times, that I’ve qualified for teams in, that I’ve broken world records in.”

A Look Ahead

As the Paris 2024 Olympics approach, the Australian swimming team looks robust with a blend of experience and fresh talent. The trials have not only marked the end of an era with the retirement of Cate Campbell but also the beginning of promising careers for Australia’s future swimming stars.

Here’s the Australian Olympic swimming team for Paris:  

  • Sprinters and Relay Specialists: Kyle Chalmers, Emma McKeon, Bronte Campbell, Shayna Jack, Meg Harris
  • IM Swimmers: Brendon Smith, Will Petric, Jenna Forrester, Ella Ramsay
  • Distance Freestyle: Lani Pallister, Moesha Johnson
  • Others: Iona Anderson, Ben Armbruster, Jaclyn Barclay, Jack Cartwright, Abbey Connor, Isaac Cooper, Lizzie Dekkers, Max Giuliani, Zac Incerti, Se-Bom Lee, Cameron McEvoy, Kaylee McKeown, Thomas Neill, Mollie O’Callaghan, Alex Perkins, Jamie Perkins, Sam Short, Flynn Southam, Jenna Strauch, Zac Stubblety-Cook, Kai Taylor, Matt Temple, Brianna Throssell, Ariarne Titmus, Sam Williamson, Brad Woodward, Olivia Wunsch, Elijah Winnington, William Yang, Joshua Yong

Published 17-June-2024