Caleb O'Mealley with his medal alongside coach Adam Eiseman.
Caleb O'Mealley with his medal alongside coach Adam Eiseman. Contributed GLA180219CALEB

See what Gladstone swimmer Caleb O'Mealley had to say

SWIMMING: History has been made for Gladstone at the Ronald McDonald House Charities' Queensland Sprint Championships in Brisbane.

Caleb O'Mealley is all smiles.
Caleb O'Mealley is all smiles. Sharon Burge GLA180219CALEB

Gladstone Souths Swimming Club super-fish Caleb O'Mealley is now the fastest under-14 50m backstroke swimmer in Queensland.

The Tannum Sands State High School student completed the distance in 28.50sec ahead of William Salmond of Toowoomba Grammar and Sunshine Coast Grammar's Samuel Newham.

New Zealander Tarquin Magner was actually first in 28.37sec and did win a medal, but while international-class swimmers can compete in these competitions, the event caters only for Queensland-based swimmers.

Souths' president Ryan Chinner said it was a thrilling race.

"He was very impressive and it was a very close race where Caleb won by 0.01sec," Chinner said.

"We were hoping for a podium finish.

"Queensland is a very competitive swimming state and for Caleb to be the fastest U14 male 50m backstroke swimmer in the state is just great."

Caleb was a part of a 15-strong Souths team, all of whom brought back something from Brisbane.

Caleb O'Mealley won and it was down to the wire
Caleb O'Mealley won and it was down to the wire Sharon Burge GLA180219CALEB

"It's the biggest team that we had for an event such as this one and they all did personal-best times," Chinner said.

Of the others who had stand-out campaigns were Kayden Gibson and Caleb's older brother Jacob.

"Kayden was fifth in the 10-year boy's 50m butterfly out of 140 kids and he made the final of the 50m backstroke," Chinner said.

"Jacob was 17th in the 15-year boy's 50m backstroke final and Kai Chinner was 15th in the 12-year boy's 50m breaststroke final."

Meanwhile six Western Waves swimmers acquitted themselves well against the best athletes in Queensland.

"No medals but lots of personal-bests and a lot of fun had by all with their team-mates," club spokesperson Siddi Furness said.

"This is the Queensland State Champs and it's pretty tough competition."

Six swimmers showed improvement with Michaela Green, who had four PB times in the women's open 50m butterfly and backstroke, girl's 15-year 50m backstroke and 50m butterfly.

Thomas Staines also bettered his previous times in four events while Charlotte Spearing got PB times in the 12-year girl's 50m backstroke and freestyle. Georgina Staines improved her time in the women's open and15-year girl's 50m backstroke.

Boyne-Tannum Bullets also had a successful meet with its nine swimmers.

For Mollie Skerman, it was her first time competing at a state event.

She set some new PB times.

All other swimmers continued to improve in their swimming journey and all set new PB times.

These swimmers were Courtney Fitzsimmons, Jessica Buck, Isaac Watters, Ella Davis, Grace Bosci, Tyler Cammon and Tom Vagg.
 
Sally Vagg had another successful meet and won three individual events - the 12-year girl's 50m freestyle, 50m backstroke and 50m butterfly.

Sally also competed in the Open 50m butterfly event which included Australian representative and Olympian Emily Seebohm in her heat swim.

Sally finished 12th overall in this event which made her a reserve for the open final and Sally was in lane seven while Seebohm was in lane four.
 
"Overall it was a very strong performance from all the CQ clubs represented at the meet," a Bullets spokesperson said.

"The Bullets swimmers had great fun not only cheering home their own team mates, but also the other local swimmers."

All the Gladstone-based swimmers will now turn their attention to the Central Queensland Championship in Rockhampton on the weekend of March 2-3.

Q and A with Caleb

Nick- "Caleb, Congratulations, is something you expected?"

Caleb- "No, it was quite a surprise. Going to the meet, I was hoping I would be amongst the medal contenders."

Nick- "To be the quickest in Queensland over 50m in your age group must be an amazing feeling and what did it feel like once you found out?"

Caleb- "When I looked up at the board, I could not believe it that I had won and it was such a close finish. It felt great."

Nick- "Is this discipline your strength or are there others?"

Caleb- "Yes backstroke is one of my disciplines and freestyle in which I just missed a medal in the final by 0.01 of a second."

Nick- "What sort of training have you done under coach Adam?"

Caleb- "Adam has been working hard with us in training and working on all the small things as it is so important to get everything right at a state and national level."

Nick- "Your brother Jacob being a fellow gun swimmer, how has he helped you?"

Caleb- "Jacob's a great swimmer and he's the one at training that pushes me along in the pool."

Nick- " What's next for you competition-wise?"

Caleb- " Next we have Central Queensland Championships and then then the Age Championships in April."



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