Taking on the state’s best swimmers has brought out the best in the North West Swimming squad at the NSW PSSA Swimming Championships last week.
The squad came home with a mountain of personal best times and a couple of medals, too.
On day one of the two-day meet, the North West team had three finalists.
Tamworth Public School’s Will Walsh qualified for state in the nine years boys 50m freestyle in a time of 36.53 and shaved an impressive 2.2 seconds off his time in Sydney. Then, Angus Ciesiolka from Narrabri Public School, in the 11 years 50m breaststroke, also took off more than two seconds from his qualifying time to make the final.
After lunch, it was time for the finals.
Will produced a time of 33.77 to claim the bronze medal while Angus finished eighth in his race in a time of 40.98.
In the diving pool, North West was represented by Alira Bleasdale in the open platform. She came out with a total score of 83 points to finish fourth which will see her compete at nationals in Perth.
Day two mainly consisted of relay races. In the Earl Magee Trophy Relay – which is for schools with less than 26 children – Rowena (Eve Hallman, Lucy Smith, Ignatius Hallman and Harry Coleman), Bourke Walgett Distance Education (Denzel Browning, Alice Finalyson, Mac Finalyson and Ava Browning) and Carinda (Robert Burke, Solphie Lane, Millie McKinnon and Myles McLellan) all made the finals as each team lowered their entry times with support from the North West stand.
Bourke Walgett Distance Education blasted through the water and took gold with a time of 2.39.27 and Rowena came in with a bronze in a time of 2.47.34 followed by Carinda, 2.53.69, in fourth.
The Peter Dobson Trophy Relay – for schools between 26 and 53 students – also produced some exciting results for North West. Burren Junction (Sarah Smith, Charlie Smith, Strath Sendall and Declan Carolan) and Mullaley (Charlotte Craig, Thomas Makim, Jack Haire and Amelia Lush) both made their mark in the pool progressing to the finals for this event. Another hotly contested event followed with North West schools missing out on podium finishes.
Angus was back in the school after that, this time in the 50m backstroke. He made the final and produced the race of his life to come away with a bronze medal.
Angus will now compete in the School Sport Australia Championahips in Hobart later this year.
He also made the finals of the 50m butterfly but was unlucky to miss a top three finish.
The North West Managers were all proud of the North West squad and were impressed by how many personal best times were swam.
“It was an added bonus taking home medals from the meet,” the managers said.
“The North West swimmers do really well considering most of them only have a limited amount of time in the pool compared to some areas of the state of whom swim all year round. We were very excited with the results this year.”