Will Walsh makes a splash at Speedo Sprint Finals

Plenty of reasons to smile: Will Walsh shows off his haul from last weekend's NSW Speedo Sprint Finals, which included gold in the 50m freestyle. Photo: Peter Hardin 150317PHF028

Plenty of reasons to smile: Will Walsh shows off his haul from last weekend's NSW Speedo Sprint Finals, which included gold in the 50m freestyle. Photo: Peter Hardin 150317PHF028

Kootingal-Moonbi Swimming Club superfish Will Walsh has his sights set on more success after shining at last weekend’s NSW Speedo Sprint Finals.

The recently-turned eight-year old returned from Sydney with a full complement of medals after winning his 7yrs 50m freestyle, finishing second in the butterfly and third in the backstroke.

He was one of two New England and North West swimmers to medal with Scully Park’s Tilani Smith collecting bronze in the 8yrs girls 50m butterfly, and surpassed what he’d hoped to achieve.

“My goal in the freestyle was to do a 39 (seconds) again but I did a 38,” he said.

He came home with a big spurt to win the gold, following coaches Graham Johnstone and Greg Poetschka’s advice to try not to breath from the flags.

“My goal was to get under 50 in the backstroke and I did that,” Walsh said.

“In the butterfly I was hoping to get under 45 again.”

He just swam over that.

Butterfly is his favourite of the four strokes.

“I like the challenge that it gives me,” Walsh said.

He’ll be back in the water this weekend for the Club Championships, in which he will compete in the 50m freestyle, backstroke, butterfly and breaststroke, as well as the 100m freestyle and individual medley.

Then he’s got the State PSSA Championships where he’ll swim for North West in the 50m freestyle and butterfly, after winning the freestyle and touching third in the junior butterfly, where he was competing against swimmers in some instances two years older than him, at the zone carnival.

Johnstone and Poetschka rate him probably the best prospect they’ve seen in their time at the club as a seven-year old.

“He loves training, which is great,” Johnstone said.

And is determined, as he showed in the way he fought to the wall in the butterfly.

The club was well represented at the finals, with Walsh’s siblings Hannah and Charlie, Abbey Trewern and Kallie Mitchell also qualifying for the NE&NW team. 

All either swum personal bests or close to it. Hannah slashed three seconds off her pb in her 50m butterfly while Trewern broke 38 seconds in the 50m freestyle for the first time and Mitchell continued to her rapid improvement in the 50m butterfly.