Medal a first for Dungowan school

FOUR Dungowan Public School swimmers have set a record after grabbing a bronze medal in a relay event at the recent State PSSA Swimming Championships in the Sydney Olympic Aquatic Centre (SOPAC).

Samantha O’Neill, 10, her older sister Claire O’Neill, 11, Alana Williams, 11, and Mia Newman, 12, all excelled at the State PSSA Carnival, finishing third in a restricted relay for small schools.

The four girls are also members of the Kootingal Moonbi Swimming Club and train  there every week with club coaches Graham Johnston and Greg Poetschka.

The girls admitted the final month of training was gruelling with some tears shed.

 Johnston agreed.

“We had them training nearly every day,” Johnston admitted.

“They were coming in three quarters of an hour earlier than the rest of the club swimmers. 

“They went from 3km a week to five km and were feeling the pressure a bit,” he smiled. “But it was well worth it.

“The girls went down with a 3min something best time and improved it by 23seconds. It shows they all knuckled down and worked hard.

“We were very impressed by the way the girls trained. Very happy with the way it all went.

“We think they might be be the first team from Dungowan Public School to have represented at the State and the first to have won a medal.”

As it was, the young team was just a body length or so from the gold in a blanket and blinding finish.

It capped a big season for them as well as the Kootingal Moonbi club.

“We had 10 kids coming in from Dungowan to train and swim with us,” Johnston said.

“We were getting 50 swimmers to each club night and have around 140 members all up.”

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