Academy Wise move
By STEVE SPINKS
IN every sportsperson's career there is usually an opportunity or a moment that defines their future success.
It could be breaking through to a representative team or winning a first medal.
For Alstonville swimmer Lucas Wise his moment could have come earlier this year.
The 18-year-old has accepted an offer by the Queensland Academy of Sport squad to train full-time in Brisbane while he studies at the Queensland University of Technology.
Each day he will be working out with the likes of Olympic medallists Leisal Jones and Libby Lenton under the watchful eye of head coach Stefan Widmar.
The squad is held in high regard because only 12 swimmers are invited to train each year.
"It's a special achievement," his former Alstonville coach John Harley said.
"The selection is not just on swimming but also on attitude.
"It's amazing considering he only started swimming competitively at 14."
Wise accepted the QAS offer only after turning down Sydney University.
"They (Sydney Uni) wanted him really bad," Harley said.
"They invited him down for a session with Elke Graham and Geoff Huegill, but his first preference was civil engineering at QUT."
Wise had a good outing a the NSW Age Championships that only highlighted his potential.
"All his focus last year had been on his school studies," Harley said.
"But he still went down and swam a personal best time in the 50 metres freestyle (24.12s).
"He also did a PB in the 100 metres freestyle (52.4s).
"They're not a bad couple of times for a guy on minimal preparation who hadn't gone to the gym for a couple of months.
"He could do anything."