​Four St Luke’s Students are Australia’s Top 10 Athletes


Not one but four St Luke’s students represented Queensland this month at the 2018 Australian Junior Athletics Championships. Not one but four of them finished their events within the top 10 in Australia. And all four athletes achieved new personal best results - some by a substantial margin.

Marianna Konopka came 8th in the under 16 girls 400m race. “The atmosphere at the event was amazing, and I loved being there. For a long time it had been my goal to make it to nationals,” she said. “I couldn't believe that all my hard work had paid off. It was also great meeting a whole new group of fantastic competitors; they were all amazing.”

Nicholas Newton came an incredible 4th in the under 15 Boys Javelin competition.

Hendré Kirchner earned a place on the podium coming 3rd in the under 16 Boys Javelin, while his brother Jano Kirchner achieved an outstanding 2nd in the under 14 Boys Javelin.

Marianna and Hendré also competed in the 800m and 1500m respectively, running excellent times.

The four athletes participate in St Luke’s High-Performance Program which supports students in their academic and sporting ambitions. The program includes attendance at the University of Sunshine Coast Sports Clinic, screening, pre-injury identification, as well as muscle weakness and strength identification by physio therapists.

Marianna is a member of the St Luke’s afterschool Run Factory while the three Javelin athletes are coached afterschool at St Luke’s and with Les Kuorikoski at Bundaberg Athletics Club.

If these talented and high achieving students don’t have their plates full enough, all four participate in the school’s music and performing arts program. Len Kirchner,
Director of Co-Curricular Sport Activities at St Luke’s says that it’s a conscious choice of the school to develop all students holistically.

With their sights set on representing Australia in their bright athletics future, Marianna, Nicholas, Hendre and Jano look forward to competing at the Queensland State Championships this October in Brisbane. Good luck!