Swimmers hitting the pool full of confidence

TRARALGON Swimming Club will head into the Victorian Open Championships tomorrow full of confidence after bagging a swag of medals and records at the recent Victorian Age Championships at Melbourne Sports and Aquatics Centre.

Traralgon finished as the top Country Club with its 54-strong contingent winning four gold, eight silver and eight bronze medals, breaking three country and 17 out of Gippsland records in the process.

It also finished seventh overall amongst all Victorian teams, the 14th year in a row it has finished in the top 10.

Traralgon’s point score of 865 was well ahead of Geelong in second with 354 and Wodonga third in 333.

To complete a terrific week of team and individual swimming, 12 year old Alex Tsebelis won his boys age group championship thanks to three silver and three bronze medals.

Alex broke the country record in 100 metre backstroke (1.08.18) and Gippsland records in the 100m butterfly (1.07.60), 200m fly (2.36.48) and 200m individual medley (2.29.50).

His backstroke time also qualified him to compete at the Australian Age Group Championships in the 13 and under event to be held in Adelaide in April 2013.

Twelve year-old Ellodie Reid had a successful week, winning a medal of every colour and breaking Gippsland records in 200m freestyle (2.14.05) and 400m freestyle (4.41.23); both times qualified her with Alex to compete at the Australian Championships.

Seventeen year-old Lily Collins was the premier girls breaststroker at the meet and won the 200m event by over five seconds to go with her silver in the 100m.

She also broke the Gippsland record in the 50m freestyle, recording 27.15.

Mikaela Cornelissen (14) won her first state gold medal in the 100m butterfly and broke the country and Gippsland record by 0.01 held previously by butterfly champion Stephanie Morgan in a time of 1.02.86.

The remaining individual medal winner and record breaker of the meet was 14 year-old Caiden Gill, who won bronze in the 100m freestyle and broke the Gippsland record in the 50m free with 25.52 in the heat and 25.05 in the final.

The final record breaker was 12 year-old Connor O’Neill who overcame a long standing record in the 200m backstroke recording 2.35.64 and 2.31.61 in the heat and final respectively to eclipse a 1975 record held by Traralgon champion Charles Ford.

Other individual medal winners for the club were Annie Pepper, Brayden Haney, Georgia Tsebelis, Fabienne Schoutens and Bridget Cain.

Traralgon’s relays were again outstanding in winning one gold and one silver.

The boys 12 years freestyle relay of Locke De Garis, Alex Tsebelis, Connor O’Neill and Mitchell O’Neill smashed the country and Gippsland record by nearly seven seconds with a time of 1.53.10, beating all comers to claim gold.

The girls 14 years freestyle relay of Mikaela Cornelissen, Erin Roberts, Annie Pepper and Taylah Da Ros swam an almighty race to win silver.

Following the Victorian Open Championships, the club will compete over the Australia Day weekend at the Victorian Country Championships in Sale, where it will endeavour to win its 13th title since 2000.