Club has high hopes for swimmers

Tim EdmundsAlbany Advertiser
Albany swim star Tom Gawned has produced a number of strong performances at the Australian Age Swimming Championships in Sydney recently.
Camera IconAlbany swim star Tom Gawned has produced a number of strong performances at the Australian Age Swimming Championships in Sydney recently. Credit: Laurie Benson/Picture: Laurie Benson, Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

Albany Swim Club hopes to produce more swimmers to represent the State after the success of emerging teenager Tom Gawned at the Australian State Team Championships earlier this month.

Tom became the first Albany Swim Club member to represent WA at the championships at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra from October 3-5, qualifying as the youngest male in the team.

The 14-year-old swam in six events and produced four personal bests and two country records in the 50m butterfly and 50m backstroke.

His best finish was third as part of the 14-15 years 4x100m freestyle relay but WA finished last in the standings of the points championships, with Queensland winning a 10th straight title ahead of Victoria and New South Wales.

Albany Swim Club coach Marshall McAleese said Tom being the first Albany club member selected was a big achievement.

“Just to qualify for the team is a tough process and there is a big difference from a 14 to 15-year-old,” he said. “It’s the premier event on the national swimming calendar.

“It was a really good experience for him, being part of a team.

“Hopefully he keeps qualifying and we get a couple of more kids in the future from the club qualify.”

McAleese said the club’s 2017-18 had wrapped up with impressive results, including youngsters Itsuki Tomita and Coco Smargiassi winning the Swimming WA Rising Star Award, awarded to regional swimmers between nine and 12 years old. He said the club’s swimmers also set 87 new country records in 2017-18.

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