Swimmers showing the way in Brisbane
SWIMMING: Swimmers from Gladstone's three clubs stepped up to the challenge at the Ronald McDonald House Charities Australia Queensland Sprint Championships.
Boyne-Tannum Bullets' Sally Vagg was one of the stand-outs, according to coach Kate Bell.
"She got a silver medal in the 50m butterfly and was fifth in Queensland in the 50m freestyle,” Bell said.
Nine Bullets swimmers made their state debuts at the weekend's competition, with all races across 50m.
"The first-timers were Luella Devir, Sally Vagg, Jess Buck and Courtney Fitzsimmons, and I think that this experience will bring about a lot of growth,” Bell said.
Elliah Hamono was another who shone after making the open final in breaststroke and butterfly, finishing 10th in both races.
"It has just reinforced their self belief and was a real eye-opener for them,” Bell said.
The competition was also fruitful for the Wests club.
Caleb O'Mealley made the finals in the boys 12-and-under butterfly and backstroke.
"He finished seventh in the backstroke and 10th in the butterfly and Stephanie Elliott got three top-20 places in freestyle, backstroke and butterfly,” Wests coach Adam Eiseman said.
"The kids swam very good times overall and most were personal best times and some close to that.”
It was also a case of no first-time nerves for several Gladstone Gladiators swimmers.
Highly-respected Gladiators coach Tom Fronek said it came as no surprise to him that his 12 swimmers performed so well.
"Three of our young nine-year-olds attended this meet for the first time, but that did not hold them back,” Fronek said.
"Leading was Brooke Copsey who finished in the top 10 in Queensland.
"The rest of our nine-year-olds swum amazing races and finished with some fantastic times.”
The other two were Lucas Green in the freestyle, where he finished 39th in freestyle and 25th in the butterfly.
Lachlan Krueger was the last of the nine-year-olds. He finished 32nd in freestyle, 41st in backstroke and 25th in breaststroke.
"Our older swimmers also performed well and swum some great times,” Fronek said.
A stand-out was Jarrod Lee, who took bronze in the Open Multi-class final. "He swam a great race in his 50m backstroke,” Fronek said.
The coach said the Brisbane success was the perfect way to have his swimmers prepared for another major event, as the season draws to a close.
"This meet is a good introduction to state level racing for all ages and our swimmers really stepped up in this environment,” Fronek said. "The main event for our team is coming up in two weeks.
"We are sending a strong team of Gladiators who will be racing at the Central Queensland Championships in Rockhampton.”
The event is being held from March 3-5.