Locals clean up at QLD swim meet
SEVERAL Gladstone swimmers were showered upon at the weekend, not by water but by medals.
Joseph Richards and Alex Williams grabbed six medals between them at the Queensland Short Course Championships in Brisbane.
Richards was stoked to win his first state medal, a bronze in the 16-year 50-metre backstroke, but was unaware of his achievement.
“I didn't know I'd finished third. I got out and went to talk to my coach and then I heard they were about to do the medal presentation,” he said.
Richards set a personal best for the event of 28.36 seconds, which shaved 1.5 seconds off his previous best time.
“I was pretty confident I'd swim well in the final after finishing second in the heat,” he said.
The bronze ranks him third in the state and a step closer to reaching the top 10 in the country.
“There's no greater feeling of having accomplished something great. It just gives you the incentive to keep going,” he said.
Williams was in outstanding form, collecting two gold medals and three bronze at the meet.
Gladstone Gladiator Andrew McLean recorded personal bests in all six swims and finished in the top 10 in most of his events.
McLean swam under 26 seconds for the first time in the 50-metre freestyle, clocking 25.82.
Hayley Quartermaine finished in the top 10 in most of her swims and set several personal bests.
Former Gladstone Gladiator club member Chris Hansen was also among the medals at the meet, winning gold in the 100 and 200m butterfly, silver in the 50m butterfly and 100m freestyle and bronze in the 50m freestyle and 100m individual medley.
Hansen moved to St Peters Lutheran College and St Peters Western Swimming Club several months ago and is already benefiting from the program.