Top country gong for Traralgon

TRARALGON Swimming Club recently took out top country team billing at the state age championships held at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre.

A total of 28 swimmers managed five gold, nine silver and nine bronze medals, along with seven country and 18 out of Gippsland records.

Traralgon finished fourth overall behind three huge metropolitan clubs – Nunawading, Melbourne Vicentre and MLC Aquatic.

“The team set a target of 45 finals, 80 per cent personal bests, fifth in the state and top country club,” head performance coach Dean Gooch said.

“We achieved or bettered each of these benchmarks with some fantastic individual results.

“The team were exceptional in and out of the pool.”

Alex Tsebelis (14) won two gold, three silver and four bronze medals, breaking one country and five out of Gippsland records.

His win in the 100 metre backstroke was the highlight of the meet with some brilliant underwater skills leading to a 57.89 second swim, smashing his own 14/15 years country record by more than a second.

Female captain Mikaela Cornelissen (17) had a tremendous meet with two gold, three silver, three bronze medals, five country and nine out of Gippsland records.

Her best swim came in her pet 100m butterfly, swimming 59.53s in the heat and faster again in the finals with 59.37s – both records.

Male captain Caiden Gill scored four medals, including one gold, with a country record in the 100m freestyle (49.58s).

Other medal winners were Elodie Reid (15) in the 200m freestyle and Fabienne Schoutens (16) in the 100m breaststroke.

Fabienne also broke a long standing out of Gippsland in the 16 years 200m freestyle, clocking 2.04.91 to beat the previous benchmark of 2.05.34 set in 2001 by East Gippsland’s Kate Buckley – a national medallist.

The result marked the 16th successive year Traralgon finished top 10 in the state as best country club at the meet.

Three swimmers – Alex, Mikaela and Caiden – were selected in the Victorian State team for the Australian Team Championships at the end of September at the Australian Institute of Sport.

The other swimmers will compete at the 11/12 years Open State Championships before 35 attend camps at Runaway Bay on the Gold Coast or Lakes Entrance.