By GREGOR MACTAGGARTmactaggartg@gladstoneobserver.com.au
GLADSTONE Gladiators team member Xavier Player produced the first major performance by a local swimmer when he finished fourth in the men's open multi-disability freestyle final at the Queensland Open and Age Swimming Championships in Brisbane.
The 16-year-old responded to the atmosphere at the Chandler Pool to swim a time of 1min13.34 sec.
His performance motivated his Gladiators team-mates who performed strongly on day two of competition yesterday.
Thirteen-year-old Corey Brown was clearly the standout performer producing a 2:53.45 swim to qualify for last night's 200-metre breaststroke final.
Head coach Caroline Hayes could not have been more pleased with Player and Browns' performances.
"Both Xavier and Corey swam very well, I was very proud of both of them. They should be very happy with their efforts,'' Hayes said.
Fellow Gladiators Jarryd Brown and Antoniette Hayes also enjoyed their first day of competition swimming personal best times in their respective events, while Thomas Hayes and Daniel Brown had tough swims and posted times outside their personal best.
The Gladiators also had a team involved in the Open relay, but were unable to make a serious impression, finishing last.
In more good news from a local perspective, 16-year-old Boyne/Tannum swimmer Andrew Cowan showed why he is rated highly with a strong swim in the 100-metre freestyle.
Cowan swam a personal best time of 57.11sec to finish 20th overall, delighting his coach Paul Rigney.
"We were hoping Andrew would do well, but this exceeded all our expectations ? it was an excellent performance,'' Rigney said.
Rigney added that Cowan is expected to perform well again in today's Open 50 metre backstroke heat and is looking for a national ranked time.
"Backstroke is Andrew's best event, so hopefully he can do well.''
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