Rocky duo to mix it with country's best in Melbourne
SWIMMING: PBs will be the focus for Rocky City's Ty Hartwell and Matthew Richardson when they step on the blocks at the Australian Short Course Championships in Melbourne.
Hartwell will compete in the 100m and 200m backstroke and 200m butterfly, while Richardson will race in the 100m individual medley.
The three-day championships start today and have attracted Aussie big guns such as Mack Horton, Ariarne Titmus, Ellie Cole and Kyle Chalmers.
Rocky City coach Shane Kingston said the championships would be a great experience for his two young talents.
"This week's mainly about experiencing racing as an open level athlete rather than an age athlete,” he said.
"It's a different level of training and a different level of racing.
"There will certainly be a few lessons to be learned, including just what it takes to make a senior team.”
Kingston said the event would also provide a valuable stepping stone for the duo as they eyed key selections next year.
"The pair of them have evolved drastically as athletes,” he said.
"This is Matthew's first ever open qualifying, long course or short course, so this will really open his eyes to the next level.
"Ty has been to a few open nationals now and his 200m backstroke at the Junior Pan Pacs in Fiji show that he's not that far behind the senior representative team.
"As always, when athletes are trying to go to the next level, the primary goal is to execute a great race plan and come out with a PB.
"The secondary goal for these championships is for them to learn about themselves and what they need to do to keep improving.”
Hartwell has an event each day, while Richardson swims on Saturday.