SOME of Echuca’s brightest up-and-coming swimmers took to the 2018 Swimming Victoria Sprint Championships held in Melbourne over the weekend.
The Sprint Championships are 50m events in each of the four strokes.
The heats were held on the Saturday, with the top 10 swimmers from each event in each age group advancing to the finals on Sunday.
Eight Echuca Swimming Club members and their families attended, with four swimmers competing in the 11-and-under and 13-year-old age groups during the morning session, with four in the 14-year-old and 15-year-old age groups in the afternoon.
Perfect swimming conditions at the outside pool met the competitors, but thunderstorms and lightning arrived halfway through the afternoon session, which meant a delay and a transfer inside.
Emma Judd, Brandan Batey and Nash Ramage each competed in the 50m events for the 11-and-under age group.
Emma was the first of the Echuca swimmers in the 50m freestyle, cutting 0.21 seconds off her personal best, finishing 50th overall in a time of 34.21.
Although no personal best times were achieved in the backstroke, breaststroke or butterfly events, Emma swam consistently and competitively.
Brandan swam strongly and consistently over the weekend, achieving a 0.28-second personal best in the backstroke to finish in a respectable 63rd place.
Nash was the first of the club’s swimmers to make a final after placing seventh in his freestyle heat.
Swimming personal best times in both the backstroke and breaststroke events, Nash qualified in third and eighth positions in the respective finals.
Nash completed his day with a respectable 12th place in the butterfly.
In her only event for the weekend, 13-year-old Tahlia O’Neill executed the perfect 50m breaststroke swim, putting into place everything she has been working on tirelessly in training, to finish in 66th position in a time of 42.95, a 1.09-second personal best.
Ashleigh O’Neill competed in the 14-year-old age section and started with a blistering 50m freestyle event, taking 0.72 seconds off her entry time to finish in 55th place in a time of 30.74.
She was very consistent and competitive in her breaststroke, finishing in 43rd place.
Lara Judd and Kynan Batey both competed in the four events in the 15-year-old age groups.
Lara opened her meet with a personal best in the 50m freestyle, finishing in 16th position in a time of 28.80.
Although not hitting personal best times in the backstroke and breaststroke, Lara finished in 13th and 17th positions respectively.
Her final swim for the heats saw her qualify in second place for Sunday’s final in the butterfly after a 0.75-second personal best, finishing with a time of 29.51.
Kynan had a very successful weekend achieving three personal best times. He achieved the difficult feat of taking more than a second off his 50m freestyle entry time.
He went on to achieve 37th position in the backstroke in a personal best time of 33.41, as well as 43rd in the breaststroke and 47th in the butterfly, with a personal best time of 31.82.
Logan Batey, in his only event for the weekend, achieved a personal best time and 45th position in the backstroke.
Nash and Lara both represented the club extremely well in the finals.
Although not achieving a personal best time in the freestyle, Nash finished a respectable eighth place.
He then backed this up with a 0.10-second personal best in the backstroke to take out third place and a bronze medal, an incredible achievement for a member of a country swimming club.
Swimming another personal best in the breaststroke final, Nash finished eighth in a time of 41.25.
Although she was unable to maintain her second placing going into the final, Lara swam a strong 50m butterfly in a very competitive event to finish fourth in a personal best time of 29.40.
The club is looking forward to hosting swimmers from Bendigo, Swan Hill, Gisborne, Ballarat, Melbourne and other clubs from around country Victoria at its meet on Sunday, November 26 at EWMAC.
This will be followed by a few of the club’s swimmers competing at the State Age Championships at MSAC beginning on December 10.