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Shepparton swimmers primed for open championships

Four Shepparton swimmers will be striving for national qualifying times when they compete at the Swimming Victoria Open Championships this weekend.

HANNAH DRISCOLL January 17, 2014 4:15am

Brothers Kalen, Brennan and Carter Swift are all headed to the Victorian Open Championships today.


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Four Shepparton Swimming Club members will be testing their mettle against the best in the country from today at the Swimming Victoria Open Championships.

Swimming Victoria was expecting 700 athletes from 94 swimming clubs to converge on Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre for the three-day event, which finishes on Sunday.

As well as Victorians and interstate competitors, swimmers from Japan, Canada, New Zealand, France, Hong Kong and Korea will also compete.

Kalen Swift, 18, has qualified for the 50m freestyle and breaststroke, brother Carter, 15, will be in the 200m individual medley and 50m freestyle and Tom Houston, 21, is in the 50m and 100m breaststroke events.

Brennan Swift is entered in the 100m freestyle and 50m butterfly and freestyle.

Shepparton swimmer Hayley Hogan, who is with Nunawading Swimming Club, is competing in the 50m butterfly and freestyle, and the 50m, 100m and 200m backstroke.

Shepparton coach Willy O’Callaghan said the four boys would be aiming for qualifying times for national events coming up in April.

Houston has qualified in both breaststroke events for the Australian Swimming Championships in Brisbane in April, as has Brennan Swift in the 100m butterfly.

Brennan has also qualified for the Australian Age and MC Age Championships in Sydney for the 200m and 100m butterfly.

‘‘They’ve been working pretty hard and they’re all hoping to make some of these times, because Carter’s never been to nationals, but he’s very very close, so is Kalen,’’ O’Callaghan said.

‘‘He (Brennan) should be adding one or two of those, and Tom is just going up to see how his times go because he’s got definite open nationals and he’ll be looking to go well in that.’’

O’Callaghan was hoping for personal best times from the swimmers as well as some qualifying times, which Kalen and Brennan in particular are close to.

‘‘They work reasonably hard and it’d be great to see another one make the nationals, if not two,’’ O’Callaghan said.

‘‘It would be nice to see all the boys make it. It’s a great adventure, the nationals. It’s a good way to cap off a swimming career and go to nationals and experience it once or twice.’’

Houston said because he had already qualified, at this event he was chasing results over times.

‘‘I came top 20 in the country in the short course nationals (in August), so pretty much since then I’ve just finished off exercise science, my course at uni, and then now I’m in a pretty heavy block (of training),’’ Houston said.

‘‘This is week 10 of my training block.

‘‘States is good, it’s a pretty big focus. The main focus is Commonwealth Games trials in March though ... so training won’t change much it’s still pretty hard.’’

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