Scroll through this page for stories of outstanding achievements by TAS students and alumni.
← JPC-Alumni going for Gold
JPC Alumni Going for gold
Mitch Larkin (2010)
It was going to be the swim of his life for 18 year old John Paul College alumnus Mitch Larkin (2010). Mitch stepped up to the blocks at the Australian Aquatic and Leisure Centre to compete in the 200m Backstroke final at the Australian Swimming Championships which doubled as the Olympic Selection trials. 1 minute 57 seconds later, Mitch had won the final and qualified for his first ever Olympic Games – the second only John Paul College Olympian after fellow swimmer, Lara Hooiveld (1989), who competed at the Seoul Olympics
In 2010, while still a Senior at John Paul College, Mitch was selected for the Junior Pan Pacific Swimming Team and was fortunate to race in Hawaii striking first, second and third place in the 400m Medley, 200m Medley and 200m Backstroke respectively. A year later, the Olympics were still a distant goal as he won the 200m Medley and came second in the 400m Medley and 200m Backstroke, qualifying for the World Championships in Shanghai. Today, Mitch visits a nutritionist every three months to ensure he is consuming enough calories for his arduous training regime. He also visits a sports psychologist every two weeks to overcome the nerves and to help deal with the pressure “to race fearlessly” as Mitch aptly explains.
His extreme focus and pursuit of excellence mark a natural progression from his years at John Paul College. He believes that “excellence is never an accident”
going on to say. “I think JPC taught me many important morals and values both in my sport and outside of the pool.” Mitch thrives on hard work; he’s determined, he’s committed, and he’s a fighter. Following his Olympic qualifying swim, his Facebook read “All I can say is thank you to anyone and everyone who supported me. Especially those who didn't... makes it even better.”
Genevieve LaCaze (2007)
Genevieve LaCaze (2007) knows only too well that a place on the Australian Olympic team can come down to seconds. In Genevieve’s case, it was not seconds, but a matter of hours that almost derailed her Olympic dreams.
Genevieve’s selection on the Australian team followed an arduous 48 hour wait after Athletics Australia initially denied her a place on the team after missing the qualifying date by little more than 24 hours.
Genevieve entered the 3000m steeplechase event at the American Milers Invitational in Indianapolis fresh and well-rested after missing the qualifying time at the National Collegiate Championships five days prior. Her first place result of 9min 41sec bettered the qualifying standard by almost two seconds, the only Australian athlete to achieve the A-standard.
Genevieve explained that as a student at the University of Florida, where she hasheld a scholarship for the past four years, she was required to run whatever events her coaches wanted - and the University’s goals often conflicted with her chasing an A-qualifying time.
Buoyed by support from the Australian public through extensive media and social media coverage, and publicly backed by Australian Olympic Committee President, John Coates, Genevieve remained hopeful of inclusion in the team.
One of the first messages Genevieve saw on her phone when she woke on Saturday 16 June was one from her dad saying: “Gen, you’re in”.
“It’s all paid off. All the support has been absolutely amazing,” she said. Athletics Australia, in talks with the AOC, agreed to extend the qualifying period,
allowing Genevieve’s selection.
Headmaster, Peter Foster, who together with alumni, staff and students, joined Genevieve’s family and friends at John Paul College in a show of support for her inclusion in the team, said Genevieve’s grace and composure throughout the process was inspiring.
“Both Mitch and Genevieve are exemplary role models to our students and we all wish them well for their Olympic campaigns,” he said.
David Ki (2004)
David (Sung Yeung) Ki has become JPC's third representative at the London Games. David will represent his native South Korea in Football.
David came to John Paul College in 2004 (he left after Year 10 to take up a professional contract) as part of the then BSP program under Jeff Hopkins. He went on to sign with Scottish Premier League team, Celtic in 2009 and has represented South Korea in many internationals.