GYMPIE swimmer Katie Connolly swam a personal best time in the backstroke to claim bronze at the Queensland State Sprints. Connolly is now hoping to qualify for the nationals in Sydney.
GYMPIE swimmer Katie Connolly swam a personal best time in the backstroke to claim bronze at the Queensland State Sprints. Connolly is now hoping to qualify for the nationals in Sydney. Renee Pilcher

Connolly on fire to claim bronze

WHETHER it is a High School swimming carnival or a state championship meet, Gympie Gold Fins swimmer Katie Connolly is no stranger to making waves in the pool.

Connolly, 15, soon to turn 16 in the next few days, knows her hard work in the pool is paying off after claiming a bronze medal at the Queensland State Sprints.

The event was held in Brisbane earlier this month and Connolly braved a hectic schedule to win bronze in backstroke for her age group.

Earning a spot on the podium required the Gympie swimmer to break her personal best time in the event of 33.70 seconds. Her new personal best is now 32.05 seconds.

Connolly’s path to the final included a quality swim in the preliminary stages of competition where she posted a time of 32.52 seconds.

“I was not expecting to medal,” a surprised Connolly said.

“When I hit the wall, I looked up and it was a big surprise.”

The Gympie swimmer also competed in a number of other events, proving she has the stamina to go the distance in competition.

Swimming coach Liz Manthey said she was impressed with Connolly’s recent success in the pool.

“She did wonderful,” she said. “Katie really deserved the medal because she swam a good race.”

Manthey said Connolly trained hard with each session in the pool and didn’t need to be pushed.

Meanwhile, other Gympie swimmers to take part in the state competition included Scott Gear, Daniel Allan, Drew Timbs and David Lee.

Gear made two open semi-finals, broke three club records and reached three age finals, breaking a personal best for good measure.

Allan continued his improvement with four personal bests and Timbs posted a number of personal bests and made one open event final.

Lee also took part, clinching four silver and smashing three personal best times.

Connolly is now focusing on the Wide Bay Championships in Bundaberg next month where she will attempt to qualify for the nationals in Sydney later this year.

Gympie Times


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