PHOTOS: Gladiators among region's top swimmers at meet

IN A weekend of personal best times and swags of gold, silver and bronze medals for some of the 240 competitors at the 2016 Harbour City Meet, Gladstone Gladiators' Ruby Lawler completed a golden campaign.

Lawler helped the Gladiators take out Gladstone's biggest meet of the year against clubs from Rockhampton, Townsville and local rival Wests and Tannum Bullets.

The 21-year-old won seven gold medals in a range of multi-class disciplines that included breaking the 50mbackstroke record she set two years ago in the same event.

"I'm really happy, but I did not expect to break it (the record)," Lawler said. It's the perfect result as it potentially may pave way to getting selected in the Australian team for the Trans Tasman Special Olympics in Multi-class later this year in November.

"Training has been good and I have trained two or three times a week."

Lawler's club mate Jack Ireland dominated again breaking four Australian records.

GOLD: Ruby Lawler won gold medals in the 50-m backstroke; 200m freestyle; 100m breaststroke; 100m backstroke; 50m breaststroke; 100m freestyle; 50m freestyle at the Harbour City Meet. Photo Mike Richards / The Observer
GOLD: Ruby Lawler won gold medals in the 50-m backstroke; 200m freestyle; 100m breaststroke; 100m backstroke; 50m breaststroke; 100m freestyle; 50m freestyle at the Harbour City Meet. Photo Mike Richards / The Observer Mike Richards GLA240116RUBY

The pair have been working hard under the guidance of Gladiators' head coach Tom Fronek.

"Most of our swimmers have had huge personal best times and they have been attacking the races very well," he said.

Tannum Bullets swimmers also featured prominently in the medal count with Mitchell Haigh having a golden run in the 50m fly.

"I was very happy with how I went personally and our coach Brionee Gibbins trains us hard," Mitchell, 15, said.

"She focuses us to work on our technique and distance swimming as well."

The Bullets mentor added the break from training helped her swimmers enter the event refreshed.

"They have done very well considering they have all come back from holidays and there were personal best times all round," Gibbins said.

Rockhampton's Ty Hartwell made a splash in the sultry conditions and he was a part of a contingent of 35 swimmers from the Rocky City club.

"It's been a big thrill to get about 4min 55sec for the 400m individual medley and it was kind of unexpected and obviously the coach gives me a race plan," the 15-year-old said of his national time record.

"Pacing yourself is important where you control it then bring it back hard."

Rocky City coach Shane Kingston said the club achieved the goals they were targeting ahead of the competition.

"We've had a good meet with a number of state qualifying times," he said.

"I usually judge swimmers on the percentage of how many have got PB times."

Townsville was another club that watched its swimmers shine in the pool. "It's just a fantastic experience and it has been a tough competition," Zara Roberts, 12, said.

"I have made some PB and state times in the 100mbreaststroke, 200mbreaststroke and 100mbackstroke and the 50mbutterfly."

Younger brother Drew said the experience of being in a new region was a highlight along with PB times in 100m freestyle and 50mbreaststroke.

"I have exceeded my expectations," the 10-year-old said.

Gladiators president John Tumbers said almost a fifth of the 240 swimmers represented his club.

"There were around 240 competitors and 50 were from Gladiators," he said.



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