Five Riverina sportspeople to watch in 2018

The Daily Advertiser sports editor Matt Malone takes a look at five Riverina sportspeople to follow in 2018.

Alicia Quirk. Picture: Les Smith

Alicia Quirk. Picture: Les Smith

Alicia Quirk

Already Wagga’s golden girl, Alicia Quirk has the chance to do the double in 2018.

With an Olympic gold medal already in her possession, Quirk and her Australian rugby sevens teammates will be out to add Commonwealth Gold to their collection in April.

Quirk is on the comeback from an ankle injury but is a near certainty to be included in the Australian women’s rugby sevens squad, which is named in February.

The Australian women hit form with a World Series win in December, but largely have struggled for the same consistency after winning gold in Rio.

They will face some stiff competition, particularly from New Zealand, but expect the Aussies to again rise another level come the business end, especially in front of a home crowd on the Gold Coast.

Max Housden

Max Housden

Max Housden

The Wagga cyclist is another hoping to be right in the thick of the action at the Commonwealth Games at the Gold Coast.

Now based in Sydney, Housden finished 2017 with a bang by defending his sprint title at the NSW Elite and Under 19 Track Championships.

His Commonwealth Games hopes took a slight hit, when he finished seventh in the Keirin at the Austral Wheelrace but expect him to fight tooth and nail for a place in the Australian team.

Regardless of whether he wins a spot or not, expect Housden to continue his rise to fame in the cycling world this year.

Matt Kennedy

Matt Kennedy

Matt Kennedy

Already an established star, expect Collingullie footballer Matt Kennedy to soar to new heights in 2018.

Kennedy has a new AFL home at Carlton after being traded from the Giants at the end of last season.

Kennedy managed 16 games with the Giants last year, but expect him to cement his place as a future star of the AFL at Carlton.

The 20-year-old will get more opportunities in the midfield at Carlton and expect him to grab it with both hands.

Bart Carroll

Bart Carroll

Bart Carroll

This is no secret to those out at the Wagga Country Club, but young Bart Carroll is going places in golf.

At 14 years of age, Carroll became the youngest ever player to win the club championships at the Country Club in November.

A modest young lad, Carroll has been on the right path for a few years now.

While golf is one of the most competitive sports in the world to make it in, Carroll has the talent and the right attitude to make it.

Godfrey Okerenyang

Godfrey Okerenyang

Godfrey Okerenyang

Godfrey’s record speaks for itself.

The 15-year-old won a swag of gold medals in 2017, the highlight being the 100m boys under 16 sprint title at the Australian All Schools athletics championships.

Already boasting a personal best of 10.91 seconds, Okerenyang has his sights set on the Youth Olympics.

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