By Alesha Capone
Track and field athlete Amy Cashin is hopeful that she will represent Australia in the Tokyo Olympics.
Cashin, 26, grew up in Werribee and competed with Western Athletics.
She moved to the United States to study at West Virginia University, where she now coaches and is working towards her Ph.D. in coaching and teaching studies.
“It sounds cliche as I feel almost every athlete will say it, however one of the reasons I moved to America to attend college and remain there as a professional was the goal of making the Olympics,” she said.
“My coach back in Australia, Burkie (Peter Burke), has always encouraged me and he and my parents helped me find the right college that would set me up to hopefully one day make an Olympics team, while also getting an education.”
It looks promising that Cashin – whose signature event is the three-kilometre women’s steeplechase – will achieve her Olympic dream this year.
Cashin competed in Portland, Oregon earlier this month, where she shaved 15 seconds off her personal best to achieve a finishing time of 9:28.60 minutes, making her the fifth-fastest Australian ever in the event.
The Olympic qualifying standard time for the three-kilometre women’s steeplechase is 9:30 minutes.
Cashin said that while the Portland result puts her in “a good position” to be selected to represent Australia at the Olympics, it remains to be seen how the other Aussie hopefuls fare ahead of July.
“Until I know for sure I will continue to train hard and get in a few races/time trials in hopes I will be selected,” Cashin said.
Cashin said that when the COVID-19 pandemic first broke out, she did not do a lot of racing or travelling, due to her anxiety surrounding the virus and wanting to play her part to stop it spreading.
“After I got the vaccination I felt more comfortable to get to a few races while still taking precautions,” she said.
The young athlete said that if she is picked for the Olympics, her goals are to make it out of the semi-finals and run a strong solid race that she can be proud of.
“If I am selected I am looking forward to having the opportunity to race against the world’s best and represent all those that have supported and believed in me,” she said.
Cashin said that while she lives in the US, Werribee was always in her thoughts.
“Werribee is always home for me and where I first fell in love with the sport,” she said.
“I want to say thank you to everyone who had always been supportive of me and believed in me.
“I’m very lucky and fortunate and hope that if I am selected for the games I can represent my home well.”