Excerpt from The Weekly Times, Wednesday 31 July 2019
Talented Ryde athlete Sophie Gocher continues to stamp her mark int he world of steeplechase obstacle racing.
With a bag of medals at national and international level, the schoolgirl sensation has burst onto the scene with an impressive list of achievements.
18 year old Sophie is following in the footsteps of Ryde’s elite steeplechasers Kate Spencer and Georgia Winkcup, both previous Ryde Sports Foundation Sports Stars of the Year Award finalists.
As with Kate and Georgia, young Sophie is not only an outstanding steeplechaser who has competed at international meets but she has also performed strongly at national level in cross country.
Over the past few seasons Sophie has cemented her place in steeplechase at the Australian Junior Championships—placing sixth in 2017, fourth in 2018 and third in 2019 while competing in the U/20 3000m Steeplechase.
Sophie’s bronze medal at the Australian Championships was good enough to clinch her a spot on the Australian team for the Oceania Area Track and Field Championships held in June where she finished second in the U/20 3000m Steeplechase final.
This was Sophie’s second time to don the green and gold having competed for Australia the previous year at the Oceania Championships where she finished just out of the medals in fourth spot in the U/18 2000m Steeplechase.
As well as her depth as a steeplechaser Sophie is also a strong middle-distance runner and cross country runner.
In June 2019, Sophie won the NSW Combined Catholic Colleges 18 years Cross Country championship to underline her potential.
Recently she placed sixth in the NSW All Schools Cross Country Championships 18 years 6 km event and was named in the Athletics NSW team to compete at the Australian Cross Country Championships in late August 2019.
Sophie has featured in many of Ryde’s middle-distance relay teams.
In November 2018 her strong leg in the U/20 4 x 800m moved the Ryde team up from third to first and gave them a good enough lead to collect the gold medal and state title.
The previous season Sophie had been part of the gold medal winning 4 x 400m U/20 4 x 1500m.
At state carnivals over the past season, Sophie has also shown her fine credentials.
She was named the 17 years age champion after winning both the 800m and 1500m at the NSW Combined Catholic Colleges Carnival last September and at the 2018 NSW All Schools Sophie brought home bronze in the 17 years 2000m steeplechase.
At the NSW Junior Championships in March 2019 Sophie was crowned the State U/20 champion in the 3000m steeplechase—another tremendous feat.
As she goes from strength to strength, we are sure Sophie will continue to carve out an illustrious career on the track and in cross country.