Front left, Natalie Koehler, Brae Whatmore, Karleigh Banks, Caitlyn Hiron. Back, Rylee Olsson, Monica Borg, Daniel Lynch.
Front left, Natalie Koehler, Brae Whatmore, Karleigh Banks, Caitlyn Hiron. Back, Rylee Olsson, Monica Borg, Daniel Lynch. Allan Reinikka Rokswim-A

Efforts paying off for swim stars

IT might be the festive season, but for a number of Rockhampton’s emerging swim stars there’s no time to sit around.

Caribaea Swimming Academy competitors have been hard at it through the year in preparation for the 2011 Australian Age Championships.

While most people around the region are trying to avoid the water, the club’s keen competitors have been spending as much time as they can in it.

The team is in the Rockhampton Grammar School pool eight times per week and swim up to 5km per session, and the results are beginning to show.

Seven of the club’s swimmers competed in the State Age Swimming Championships at Chandler, Brisbane, early in December, with a number tasting success.

Natalie Koehler, Brae Whatmore, Caitlyn Hiron, Rylee Olsson, Monica Borg, Daniel Lynch and Karleigh Banks represented the club at the meet. While all of the club’s swimmers recorded personal best times, in terms of medals 13-year-old Banks was the most successful.

Banks picked up a gold, silver and a bronze, and missed out by 0.05 seconds on a bronze in another.

She won the 200m butterfly, finished second in the 800m freestyle, and rounded out her medal haul with a bronze in the 400m individual medley.

The Glenmore High student’s win in the 200m butterfly was even more satisfying for coach Jodie Shanks, after Banks was disqualified in the same event last year after incorrectly touching the wall at the finish line.

“She finished really strong. She swam a two-second personal best,” Shanks said.

Banks’ performance at the meet has earned her a place in all four of her events at the national championships on April 18-23.

At the nationals she will be joined by fellow club swimmer Caitlyn Hiron, who also swam an Australian qualifying time at the state championships. Hiron, 14, qualified in the 100m butterfly.



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