Karleigh Banks trains hard in preparation for this weekend’s Central Queensland Sprint Meet at Rockhampton Grammar.
Karleigh Banks trains hard in preparation for this weekend’s Central Queensland Sprint Meet at Rockhampton Grammar. ALLAN REINIKKA AR

Banks ready to set standard

It’s the first meet for 2010 and Karleigh Banks is ready to dive into the deep waters and set the swimming standard.

The 12-year-old is determined to break through in this year’s swimming events and it all starts with today’s Central Queensland Sprint Meet at Rockhampton Grammar School.

Hosted by Caribeae Swimming Club, the annual meet is the first competition for many of the local swimmers and will act as a strong indication of who will be the top of the list for the rest of the season.

Caribeae’s David Milburn said with more than 174 swimmers to make the trip for the meet it will also be a chance to qualify for nationals and the Queensland Sprint Meet.

“There will be about 24 clubs competing, with swimmers coming from Mackay, Bowen, Surfers Paradise, Roma, Brisbane and Gladstone,” he said.

“It’s normally a very good meet with kids at this time of year trying to qualify for the Queensland Sprint Meet in February and then after that sprint meet most of the swimmers are vying for selection in the school events.

“But for many it is a lead in and to get times for the Queensland sprint – to try and get better lanes, seating and to produce more PBs.”

Despite Banks’s success at the last month’s state titles in Brisbane, where she qualified in her 100 metre butterfly for nationals, she now hopes to pick up her speed in the next six weeks to get into the “big time” swimming titles of both short and long course.

“She is very motivated – one of the several swimmers who are equally motivated to try to get into nationals this year,” Milburn said.

“And her next meet, the harbour city meet in Gladstone, will give her the opportunity to try and qualify for some events she missed out on in the state titles.”

Milburn said the swimmers would also compete to be a part of the Junior Excellence program.

“It is going to be a competition within a competition, with almost 60 of the Junior Excellence kids splitting up and competing with girls versus boys,” he said.

“There are about eight to nine kids with a chance to get into the big things this year and they are all working hard to get that.”



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