Best of CQ meet for Harbour City Swim
SWIMMING: It's that time of the year where swimmers from various Central Queensland clubs hope to qualify for the 2017 Queensland McDonalds Sprint Championships, Queensland Championships and the 2017 Australian Age Swimming Championships.
The Harbour City Swim Meet starts from 6pm on Friday and continues on Saturday and Sunday at the Gladstone Gladiators Swimming Club.
It will attract 258 young swimmers from Rocky City, Caribeae, Emu Park, Biloela and Gladstone-based clubs Gladiators, Wests and Boyne-Tannum Bullets.
The annual meet is one of the biggest on the Central Queensland swimming calendar and is in its 37th year, attracting an influx of swimmers travelling from Mackay through to Bundaberg.
Gladiators Swimming Club's Paris Richardson, at 15 years of age, is one of the 'veterans' and will enter her eighth event which is sprint-based and covers disciplines such as individual medley, relay, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly - to name a few.
"I'm hoping to get some personal best times and have some fun,” Paris said.
"My pet events are the 200m backstroke and 200m breaststroke.”
Paris said that coaches Terry Fellows and Tom Fronek have been working with her on several aspects.
"They have been working with me on maximum rate over a short distance, under water work and break-outs which means that it is the first full stroke once you get out from under the water,” Paris said.
She is one of 60 swimmers from the Gladiator club who will feature.
One of the youngest athletes is Max Williams, 8 and he hopes to make an immediate impact in his first-ever competition.
"I'm going to race in the 100m freestyle and 25m backstroke and am hoping to get a record and a PB,” Max said.
The youngster trains three times a week under the watchful eyes of Fellows and Fronek.
Fellows has high expectations.
"We did shut down for two weeks, but am expecting fast swims of course and lots of PB's,” Fellows said.
"It's the biggest lead-up to the Central Queensland Championships in Rockhampton.
"There are a lot of new swimmers in their first competition and also the Harbour City.”
Wests Swimming Club spokesperson Siddi Furness said there are several swimmers to keep an eye on.
"Impressive young 10 year old Wade Harris, especially in the breaststroke, will be worth watching,” Furness said.
"Twelve-year-old Caleb O'Mealley should back up well from some great recent meets, especially watch for him in the 100m backstroke where he is fastest qualifier.”
Others who are expected to do well are Clara Furness, 13, in the 800m and 400m freestyle and Hannah Ryan in her per 50m and 100m freestyle events.
Bullets coach Kate Bell will bring 16 swimmers to the meet with an international flavour.
"Oda Berdal is an exchange student from Norway and will compete and she is one of the older ones at 17 with Madison Hamono who's 15,” Bell said.
She also said it's the swimmers' last chance to qualify for the state titles.
"I'm just looking forward to them representing our club and to kick start the second half of the summer season.”
Darcy Hines and Brooke Holloway are the youngest of the Bullets at seven years of age.
The Gladiators have one of the highest nominations with 60 competitors vying for good times and placings.
The weekend's events commence with distance races, 800m and 1500m freestyle, followed by a full day of racing on Saturday with relay events being held on Sunday to finish the meet.
Every event is on offer, from the U9 25m races to the 11-year-and-over distance events, including 50m and 100m multi-class races.
Lane 4 Aquatics is sponsoring the male and female sprint champions which are awarded to the highest points from overall results of the four 50m events.
HARBOUR CITY SWIM MEET
Friday session 1
Gates open from 5pm and first event starts at 6pm
Saturday session 2
Gates open at 7am and first event starts at 8.30am
Sunday session 3
Gates open at 7am and first event starts at 8.30am.