Emu Park’s top swimmers qualify for Aussie champs
EMU Park Swim Club had a successful weekend at the Queensland Open Water Championships in Lake Kawana on the Sunshine Coast on Saturday, October 24.
In previous years the club had a few swimmers attend this competition, but this year a team of 13 contested the 2.5km and 5km events.
The conditions weren't ideal, with the weather playing havoc, but the swimmers were not perturbed at all, with everyone putting in strong performances.
So good in fact that six swimmers qualified to represent the club at the Australian Open Water Championships in February.
Emu Park coach Paul Connolly said he was proud of their achievements.
"We decided at the start of our winter prep that we would target the open water this season and all the team have stepped up in training," Connolly said.
"We have done some pretty big sets in the build-up but no one was phased by this, so it was pretty exciting as a coach to see where this would take us.
"Our boys started with strong performances in their 5km event, and the girls rose to the challenge.
"Our experienced open water competitor Caitlyn Emery dropped a massive 25 minutes off her personal best time, which was the biggest improvement in the 14-year age group."
Six swimmers qualified for nationals, with the rest of the team only narrowly missing out.
"Our three 2.5km competitors swam impressive times and with that pace they will almost definitely qualify for the national 5km next year," Connolly added.
"We now go back and get ready for this event, as this will be a selection meet for the Rio Olympics.
"As it will be an ocean swim, we will have to do more train
ing in that environment. I think Fisherman's Beach walkers will be seeing a lot more of our squad in the next few months in the lead-up to February."