Gladstone Gladiators’ superfish shine at State Titles
THREE Gladstone Gladiators superfish have returned from the State Shortcourse Titles with a swag of medals, personal best times and numerous records – proving COVID couldn’t crush their dedication and determination.
When Dallas Plunkett, Kane Martin and Shianne Plunkett hit the water at Brisbane’s Chandler Aquatic Centre from September 26 to 28, they left the best swimmers in their age division in their wake.
The global pandemic didn’t erode their commitment to the cause, tackling a modified training program under former New Zealand Olympic coach Tom Fronek.
Due to COVID, swimmers had from September 2019 to set a qualifying time in a 25-metre pool.
Competing in this fifth state titles, Kane Martin qualified in a massive eight events.
They were the 50, 100 and 200 metre backstroke, the 200, 400 and 800 freestyle and the 100 and 400 metre individual medley.
The 14-year-old took gold in the 50 metre backstroke, silver in the 400 metre individual medley, and bronze in the 200 metre backstroke and 100 metre individual medley.
“I don’t think COVID affected me because we were still training,” he said.
“I placed top 10 in every event and swum a PB every swim.”
The up-and-coming potential Olympian also broke CQ records in the 50, 100 and 200 metre backstroke, eclipsing fellow Gladstone gun Jake Cartwright’s time.
Shianne Plunkett competed in her fourth state titles in the 50 metre butterfly and freestyle, 100 metre butterfly and freestyle, 200 metre butterfly and freestyle and the 200 metre individual medley.
She netted a bronze in the 100 metre butterfly, fourth in the 200 metre butterfly and top 10 in 50 metre butterfly.
“At our presentation in September I got the 200 butterfly award and the award for the best performed athlete at the State Titles,” she said.
Both Kane and Shianne set a number of personal best times
Qualifying for his first state titles, 12-year-old Dallas had some misfortune just a week out from the event.
“I tore two ligaments in my ankle playing touch footy at school the week before,” he said.
Despite his injury, Dallas participated and gained valuable experience for the future.
“I hope to do better next year.”
Gladstone Gladiators president Corrine Wright said the trio had to cope with a changed preparation due to COVID, but they represented the club admirably.
“We were really proud of them as a club to go away and represent us,” she said.
“Swimming is a pretty difficult sport and requires a lot of hard work at training.
“It was great for them to go away and get these results, they are all pretty hard trainers.”