DIVING IN: Rocky City Swimming members Liam Richardson, 13, Sam Tollasepp, 15, Lily Cottam, 11, and Jack Roberts, 11, will contest the Queensland Open Water Championships at the Sunshine Coast.
DIVING IN: Rocky City Swimming members Liam Richardson, 13, Sam Tollasepp, 15, Lily Cottam, 11, and Jack Roberts, 11, will contest the Queensland Open Water Championships at the Sunshine Coast. Chris Ison Rokcswim

Rocky swimmers taking the plunge

FOUR members of Rocky City Swimming will be looking to make a splash at the Queensland Open Water Swimming Championships this weekend.

Sam Tollasepp, Liam Richardson, Jack Roberts and Lily Cottam will hit the water at Lake Kawana on the Sunshine Coast tomorrow.

Tollasepp, 15, and Richardson, 13, will tackle the 5km event in their respective age divisions, while Roberts and Cottam, both aged 11, will swim the 2.5km.

Competitors will aim to register qualifying times to nominate for the Australian championships.

Coach Shane Kingston said while Tollasepp had competed at the event before, it was the first open water meet for the three younger swimmers.

"Sam's got some experience under his belt now. He's done it all before so he knows he's got to attack the start and get in a position to be there at the end," Kingston said.

"The national championships are definitely on Sam's radar.

"For the three younger ones, it is their first go so it is an opportunity for them to dip their toes in and see if they like it."

Kingston said open water swimming was growing in popularity, but it presented some very different challenges.

"Open water is a completely different ball game to swimming in your own lane in the pool," he explained.

"Obviously, because the distances are so much longer than anything in the pool, the swimmers have to deal with the physical demands.

"But they also have the mental challenges of dealing with the pack swimming scenario, having your arms hit by other swimmers, an occasional kick in the nose, that sort of thing.

"It's all about getting in the zone, getting the start right and getting into the routine we've trained for and going from there."

Kingston said the quartet's preparation had involved distance work in the pool and open water sessions at Yeppoon.



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