Mum’s the word at Summer Universiade for Will Stockwell

If there is such thing as swimming pedigree Will Stockwell definitely has it with two Olympians as parents and his mother one of the best ever to dive into a pool.

The 21-year-old who studies a Bachelor of Business management majoring in business economics at the University of Queensland is currently preparing for the Summer Universiade held in Taipei this August.

His mother, Tracy Caulkins, was born in Minnesota (USA) and was a powerhouse of world swimming in the 1980s and won three Olympic gold medals for the USA at the 1984 Games in Los Angeles.

Amazingly, if the United States did not boycott the 1980 Games in Moscow, Caulkins, who had been selected for five individual events, likely would have won a few more Olympic medals.

At every level she was dominant and while swimming for the University of Florida, won the Broderick Cup, a prestigious award given to the best American female collegiate athlete in any sport.

Caulkins met fellow Olympian and now husband Mark Stockwell at the 1984 Games where the Australian won two silver medals in the 100m and 4x100m freestyle, and a bronze in the 4x100m medley relay.

Mark also attended the University of Florida in the United States and then studied commerce and engineering at the University of Queensland, and later economics coursework at the Australian National University.

Over the course of her career Tracey was a five-time world champion, broke five world records and equalled one, set 63 American records and racked up 48 national titles.

If that resume is not enough of a target for Stockwell then he only has to look at aunty Amy’s performance at the World University Games of three gold medals in swimming at the 1979 competition in Mexico City.

“Yeah mum and dad have been a huge support through my swimming endeavours,” Stockwell explained.

“It wasn’t until I was about to finish school when I wanted to become more serious with my training and mum and dad were obviously excited of my decision.”

Stockwell competes for local club Commercial and often liaises with his course coordinators to organise his classes around recovery days to prevent wearing out.

“They both help me in different ways,” he said of his parents.

“Mum is very chilled out and likes to keep things simple while Dad is extremely knowledgeable in the 50 and 100m freestyle especially, so we are always talking about strategy, and having the right mindset to be in a positive mental state.

“My aunty on my mother’s side Amy won three gold medals and I know dad also went to a World University Games.

“Three gold medals would be a challenge to say the least.”

His coach Simon Cusack, who mentors Cate and Bronte Campbell, has helped Stockwell reach a higher level of professionalism in his sport and his recent form has been promising overseas.

“I’ve been training well and have just come back from racing in the Mare Nostrum series in Europe,” Stockwell said.

“It was a great opportunity to gain racing experience and improve my ability to back up race after race.

“My form in training is going well and I’ve been largely focusing on my technique and not obsessing about times.

“My goal at Uni Games is to get everything out of myself and post some personal best times. 

“I’m swimming in the 50m and 100m freestyle and I believe I will also be in some relay teams, which I’m really looking forward to.”

Competing at an Olympic Games as his parents did is something that Stockwell junior has planned to accomplish as his development at the elite level continues over the next three years.

A good result at these World University Games and a spot on the national team at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games next year, in his home state, will hopefully be big steps towards that dream.

“Mum and dad are always good sounding boards for ideas or decisions I have to make, they know me better then anyone,” he said.

“The Commonwealth Games are definitely on the radar for me, I would love to participate and swim well for my country and team. 

“Olympics are a long way away but we have started on the journey of a four-year plan.

“So if my body is willing I would love to compete in Tokyo 2020.”


  • AIS
  • AUS
  • Kukri