Traralgon takes on nationals


THE Traralgon Swimming Club has achieved its best result at the Australian Age Group Championships in Sydney with four individual swimmers winning three silver and three bronze medals.

Two Victorian, nine country and 20 out-of-Gippsland records were also broken by the club at the meet.

After finishing 18th in Australia and fourth of the Victorian clubs, senior head coach Brian Ford was full of praise for the team.

“Over the eight days of competing against the best swimmers in Australia our 17-strong contingent again highlighted that whilst we don’t have the resources and access to 50 metre pools like most of our competing clubs, a strong group of swimmers, parents and coaches working towards one cause can produce fantastic results,” Ford said.

“We are proud to have represented the region, district and of course the Traralgon club to the highest level.”

Fifteen year-old Caiden Gill had an outstanding meet, winning silver in the 50 metre freestyle in a Victorian record time in his heat (23.47 seconds) and again in the final (23.25).

This time was also the fastest ever recorded by a Gippsland swimmer, breaking his coach, Ben Geard’s old mark from 2009.

Caiden also broke Victorian Country and Gippsland records in the 100m freestyle (52.27) and 100m backstroke (59.82).

Ellodie Reid continued her success at national level by winning sliver in the 14 years 200m backstroke (2.21.90), a new Gippsland record, bronze in the 800m freestyle (9.07.20), also a Gippsland record, and posting a Victorian Country record in the 400m freestyle (4.26.53).

Melina De Cort, 13, won bronze in the 100m backstroke (1.05.83) and again in the 200m backstroke (2.21.38); the latter was a new Gippsland record breaking Ellodie’s mark from earlier in the meet.

Melina also broke the Victorian Country record in the 100m backstroke by posting the time of 1.05.51 in the first leg of a relay on day one.

The final medallist for the club was 15 year-old Mikaela Cornelissen who won silver in the 100m butterfly (1.00.73), a new Victorian Country and Gippsland record.

Mikaela also became the fastest female sprinter from Gippsland when she broke team mate Georgia Tsebelis’ 50m freestyle record by 0.01, recording 26.50 for the swim.

Alex Tsebelis had another successful meet making seven finals and breaking a Victorian Country record in the 100m backstroke (1.03.36).

Fellow age team member Locke DeGaris, swimming at his first nationals, made three finals, while 14 year-old Connor O’Neill equalled the Gippsland record in the 200m backstroke (2.18.42).

The remaining finalist for the club was 17 year-old Brayden Haney who finished 10th in the 200m breaststroke in the combined age group of 17-18 years.

He was the fourth fastest 17 year-old in the event.

The final record fell to the girls’ 4x200m freestyle relay team of Ellodie, Mikaela, Lauren Akers and Melina who established a new Gippsland time of 8.52.51.

Following the six day championships, Traralgon was represented by Emily Beecroft at the Australian Multi Class Age Championships over two days in Sydney.

The club’s lone entrant came away with six gold medals in the 11-14 year age group, breaking five Australian records in the process.

Emily’s coach Dean Gooch was proud, but not surprised by her performance.

“Emily has really lifted her training level in the past two months both in the gym and in the pool,” he said.

“Great training usually means great performance and Emily has certainly performed to the standards we have set for ourselves leading in to this meet.

“A worthy result for the time and effort put in by everyone involved – Emily, her parents and coaches.”

The Traralgon Swimming Club will host its presentation night on 3 May.