Hancock named in High Performance Squad
AFTER another week of outstanding performances, gun Sawtell Surf Lifesaver Courtney Hancock has taken a further step towards representing Australia in the not too distant future.
The 18 year-old again turned heads last week at Perth's Scarborough Beach when she competed at the 2007 Australian Surf Life Saving Championships.
Her reward has been selection in the 2007-08 Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA) High Performance squad.
This is the first time that Hancock has been selected in the squad making the arduous hours of hard training she has put in over the winter months worthwhile.
The 46-person squad was announced at the conclusion of the hugely successful championships which wound up at Scarborough Beach on Sunday afternoon.
The selection is a small consolation for Hancock after she narrowly missed out on her main goal in Scarborough of winning the under 19 Ironwoman gold medal.
She led for almost the entire race only to see North Burleigh's Emma Wynne catch up to her in the final stages of the ski paddle and then lose out in a desperate sprint to the finish line.
Hancock's main motivation behind chasing an Ironwoman gold medal on Sunday was that victory would've booked her an automatic place on the start line for next year's Kellogg's Nutri-Grain series.
SLSA High Performance Head Coach, Brett Dowker said the main goal of the squad would be to prepare and select a national team to defend their world ranking as the number one lifesaving nation in the world at next year's 2008 World Championships, which will be held in Germany from July 22 to August 8.
"Before that, however, there will be three other national teams to be selected for an International Pool Challenge (provisionally set down for late September or October), the German Cup in November and an International Surf Challenge to be held at the end of November in Sydney," he said.
"Congratulations to Courtney Hancock on being selected for the first time."
Fellow Sawtell Surf Lifesavers Kayla Russell and Bonnie Hancock also handled the pressure that competing in the nationals brings with aplomb.
The Sawtell trio combined to take a silver medal in the under 19 board relay.
Individually, Bonnie and Kayle made it a one-two finish as they crossed the line in the under 17 board race while the Hancock sisters combined to win silver medals in both the open and under 19 board rescues.