14 Gympie swimmers to take on Qld’s best at sprint champs
SWIMMING: The Gympie Gold Fins Swimming Club is gearing up for a big day of racing, with 14 swimmers qualifying to compete against the state’s best sprinters.
To be held today and tomorrow, the Queensland Sprint Championships are open to swimmers who have met set qualifying times at approved meets.
Gold Fins president Dee White said the event would be a great experience for the swimmers.
“For four of them it is their first time representing the club at state level and the rest have been there before but have worked hard to get the times to go again,” she said.
“They have all been training hard and have set themselves goals. There will be the best swimmers from all around the state.
“It is a big deal for them. There is a big scoreboard and their time comes automatically. It is nothing like a normal regional carnival. It is a step up for them, because you cannot swim unless you have the times.”
Vanessa North, 13, started swimming after she almost drowned as a young child and said this would be her first time competing at the championships.
“I have been trying to compete at these championships for a year. I am pretty excited because now I have finally made it,” she said.
“I was pretty proud of myself. I am competing in the 50m freestyle and it is my favourite stroke.
“I took a little break over Christmas and I have been training every afternoon and some mornings. My coach has been preparing my training drills.”
With the top 10 going through to finals, it is expected to be highly contested, but North has a goal set.
“I just want to get a personal best,” she said.
“I am feeling pretty confident and I have been training pretty hard, so hopefully I can achieve my goal.”
This is 13-year-old Dayne Cottee’s second sprint championships and he aims to improve on last year’s results.
“I competed last year and I came 20th and I hope to go higher this year, maybe in the top 10 or 15. I will compete in the 50m freestyle and breaststroke,” he said.
“I have been training every morning and afternoon about 15-17 hours a week.
“I reckon I can give it a good shot.”
The championships will be held at the Sleeman Sports Complex in Chandler.