Nationals beckon Albany foursome
Albany Swim Club has wrapped up a highly successful Swimming WA Country Championships, held at HBF Stadium from January 11-13.
A group of 27 Albany competitors took part in the event, which attracted 319 swimmers from 38 regional clubs.
Albany created history at the championships, with the relay team of Jacques Swarts, Jake Shepherd, Luke Wallinger and Tom Gawned earning national qualification.
In the 15-and-under 4x50m medley relay, the foursome became the first Albany relay team to qualify for the nationals, breaking the 15-and-under WA Country all-time and residential records in the process.
The same four boys also competed in the 15-and-under 4x50m freestyle relay, setting new marks in the 14-and-under and 15-and-under WA Country all-time and residential marks.
Albany finished as the third-ranked club be-hind Bunbury and Peel over the 21/2 days of competition.
Gawned enjoyed a wonderful championships, winning 11 gold medals in 11 swims.
He was awarded the inaugural country championships swimmer of the meet award and set new all-time and country residential records in the 14 and 15 years 50m butterfly.
In total, Albany won 78 medals to complete an outstanding championships, thrilling head coach Marshall McAleese.
In relays, Albany won four gold, eight silver and three bronze, and individually, Albany finished with 19 gold, 20 silvers and 24 bronze.
McAleese was delighted to have a relay team qualify for nationals at the meet, rewarding the lengthy preparation in the lead-up.
Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.
Sign up for our emails