Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Shepparton swimmers eye off silverware at state competition

Shepparton swimmers are confident of a strong performance at this weekend's Victorian All Junior Competition.

MATTHEW GALEA March 19, 2014 4:39am

(Back) Marc Carroll, Kiana Crosier, James Hart, (front) Ollie Guthrie, Darcie Guthrie and Connor Hangan are hoping for a good showing at the Country All Junior Competition in Melbourne this weekend.

Nine Shepparton swimmers will travel to Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centres to compete at the Victorian All Junior Competition.

Coach Michelle Swift said Marc Carroll, Kiana Crosier, Connor Hangan, James Hart, Mark Shipston, Emma and Hayley McCulloch, and Ollie and Darcie Guthrie would head to Melbourne for the event with high hopes of bringing back some silverware.

‘‘This is the last major event for the junior swimmers, so it gives them an opportunity to see where they’re ranked in the state,’’ Swift said.

‘‘They had to qualify first, so they’ve all had to perform well just to get here.

‘‘Because it’s close to the end of the season, most of them will be looking to make (personal-best times).’’

The state’s best country swimmers will compete across the 50m butterfly, freestyle, backstroke and breaststroke, depending on which events they have qualified.

Swimmers race in preliminary heats before moving onto finals.

Ollie and Darcie Guthrie, Carroll, Crosier and Hart will be among the busier swimmers, having qualified for all four events in their respective age groups, with Ollie looking a particularly good chance of bringing home some medals with strong seed times.

Ollie goes into the heats with the second-fastest seed time in the butterfly, breaststroke and freestyle, as well as the fastest in the backstroke, which he rates his favourite event.

‘‘We know there are a few medal chances in the squad,’’ Swift said.

‘‘Ollie’s our youngest swimmer and he’s been performing absolutely wonderfully this year and he’s one to look out for.

‘‘Our newest member Kiana will be looking forward to seeing how she goes in one of her first big meets.’’

Crosier is in the top 15 seed times for the butterfly in the 12-year-old girls and said she had loved her first season of competitive swimming.

‘‘I’ve always been a competitive person, and this is really competitive, so I feel like I fit in with it,’’ Crosier said.

‘‘I’ve always liked swimming. The coaching is really good, too.

‘‘I’m really happy with how the first season has gone, so I’m just hoping to get PBs in all the events.’’

Hangan will compete in the boys’ 11-year-old butterfly, backstroke and freestyle events, with Shipston competing in the boys’ 13-year-old butterfly, breaststroke and freestyle events.

Emma will compete across the same three events in the 14-year-old girls’ events, while Hayley will compete in the 14-year-old backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle.

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