AFTER a short break from the training lanes over Christmas, a squad of Gunnedah swimmers performed well at the two-day Tamworth City carnival.
A swag of medals and improved times reflected the dedication of swimmers and their coach John Hickey, who is gearing up for a big summer season after the opening of the new 50m outdoor pool.
A highlight of the carnival was the chance to rub shoulders with Australian representative swimmer Kurt Herzog, a bronze medalist from the 2015 FINA world champs (4 x 100m relay). Kurt has an important message for up-and-coming swimmers that it is never too late - he was 23 years of age when he debuted on the Australian team.
Meanwhile, Andre Steel (14) had a great carnival winning the 100m freestyle in a personal best time of 1:02.27. He was just edged out of the gold in the 50m event, however, while registering a pleasing best of 27.95 seconds. Andre also won the 50m butterfly in an improved time and finished a close fourth over both backstroke events.
Maddie Coombs (16) continued her good form with a strong win and improved time in the 50m butterfly and another gold in the 50m freestyle. The talented teen also finished second in the 100m freestyle and 50m backstroke. Although unplaced at the meet, younger brother Brodie (12) recorded some very impressive PBs, with his best in the 100m breaststroke where he slashed 7.96 seconds from his entry time.
Club tadpoles Tahnee Steele and Danika Jones (both 9), gave their best in every event, with personal best times and a few medals for their trophy cabinets. Tahnee clipped an amazing 14.75 seconds from her best in butterfly while Danika shaved 6.49 seconds from her entry time to finish fourth. Danika ended the day with bronze medals in freestyle and backstroke
Gunnedah was represented by Scout Newbery, Amelia Lush and Jedd Rennick in the 11-12 years division, with Amelia cracking a NSW Country qualifying time in the 100m backstroke, where she improved by 6.46 seconds to claim third place. Although just missing medals in her other events, Amelia finished the weekend on a high with improved times.
Scout Newbery (11) jagged a hard-fought silver in the 50m freestyle and claimed a huge personal victory in the 100m freestyle, where she “powered all the way” registering an improvement of 5.23 seconds.
Siblings Jedd (12) and Brooke Rennick (14) continue to improve at every carnival, but finished just out of medal contention at Tamworth.
The second half of the summer carnival circuit continues with the NSW Regional Country Championships at Armidale on January 26-27 and the first carnival in Gunnedah’s new FINA approved pool on February 2, followed by the Speedo Sprint Series at Manilla on February 9.