Cashin makes first Aussie team

Liam Cashin (mtsportsphotography)

Tara Murray

Western Athletics’ Liam Cashin is hoping to use the Oceania Championships as a springboard for his international career.

Cashin was selected in the Australian team for the championships in the 3000 metre steeplechase, the first time he’s been selected in a national team.

Cashin said he was excited by the opportunity.

“It was good and a nice little bit of nice recognition for some good running that I’d been doing,” he said.

“I knew there was a chance once I raced well at nationals, but it was kind of up to the selectors and there was a chance they wouldn’t select me.

“This is my first one. A nice little building block to make some other ones in the future.”

Cashin burst onto the selectors radar at the national championships earlier this year when he finished third in the steeplechase in a big personal best time.

For the 24-year-old he said having made the decision to focus on the steeplechase had paid off.

“I guess it’s kind of a new event for me so my progression [time] is going to go down quickly.

“I sort of didn’t have a great lead up to nationals, I got injured but I had a really good 2021 winter build up. I knew I had a good base and that I could race well over steeplechase

“On the day I committed to racing with those two other guys and it worked out.”

Cashin has raced several different distances in recent years after starting to focus on running in his late teens, after like most kids playing football and cricket growing up.

He said the decision to focus on the steeplechase was as he thought it would be his best chance of making an Australian team.

Cashin said for now that was what he was focusing on, but might return to flat racing down the track.

“It has been a bit of a slow burn,” he said. “I’m going to try and use the steeplechase to gain experience at the international level and hopefully I can progress to the five kilometre or the 10 kilometre.

“I enjoy racing them all, but those [five and 10 kilometre events] qualifying times are a bit out of sight at the moment.

“They’re pretty quick, where as the steeple, I can see myself getting the time.”

The Cashin name isn’t new to steeplechase, with Cashin’s sister Amy Cashin having made last year’s Olympics in the event.

She has also been named in the Oceania Championships team. The two raced after each other at the nationals in a special day for the family.

“She obviously inspired me to do it a little bit by making the Olympics last year,” Cashin said about his sister.

“I guess I have to prove that I’m better than her. It [nationals] was really nice. I don’t think it’s really happened that often.

“I was more nervous watching her race.”

While making his first Australian team, Cashin said he was realistic about his chances of making the Commonwealth Games team later this year.

He said he was more focused on the world championships in 2023.

The Cashins’ are two of five Western Athletics athletes to make the Australian team for the Oceania Championships.

Abigail Thomas had made the under-20 team and Xander Byrne and Frankleen Newah-Jarfoi made the under-18 team.