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Shepparton swimmers primed for Victorian Open Championships

It may only be slivers of a second, but these will be the improvements four Shepparton Swimming Club swimmers will be chasing at the 2013 Victorian Open Championships beginning tomorrow.

HANNAH DRISCOLL January 10, 2013 4:10am

Brennan Swift, Ashleigh Dunning and Kalen Swift will head to Melbourne to compete in the Victorian Open Championships.


It may only be slivers of a second, but these will be the improvements four Shepparton Swimming Club swimmers will be chasing at the 2013 Victorian Open Championships beginning tomorrow.

Tom Houston, Ashleigh Dunning, Kalen Swift and Brennan Swift will take part in the three-day championships at Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre.

Between them they will contest a dozen events, led by 18-year-old Dunning in the 50m, 100m and 200m breaststroke and 50m and 100m backstroke.

Houston, 20, has qualified for the 50m and 100m breaststroke, Kalen Swift, 17, is in the 100m and 200m breaststroke and his brother Brennan, 15, qualified for the 50m and 100m butterfly and the 200m freestyle.

Unlike the Victorian Age Champions held at MSAC prior to Christmas, the Victorian Open Championships are open to all ages provided they meet strict qualifying times.

Among the competitors will be Olympic gold medallist and Australian Swimmer of the Year Alicia Coutts, gold medallist Melanie Schlanger and other Olympians, as well as international competitors from Japan, Scotland and New Zealand.

Some swimmers will be chasing qualifying times for national events, while others will be racing for personal bests.

Shepparton coach Michelle Swift said the four swimmers were looking to make slight improvements on their PBs by racing in the top Victorian competition.

‘‘There’s very, very small improvements that they want to make — need to make — to get to where they want to go, so we’re hoping this week it’ll be a good opportunity for them,’’ Swift said.

‘‘This is one of their major events. If they make finals, that’s huge because you are in the top 10 in the state.

‘‘These guys are outside chances for finals in some events, some they’re not, but they’ll give it their best shot.’’

Following the championships, Shepparton Swimming Club will turn its focus to the Victorian Country Championships in Sale from January 25-27.

Swift said the quartet was ‘‘primed’’ for this week’s challenge.

‘‘We’re trying to get them ready at the moment for it and again in two weeks’ time we’ve got our major Victoria country event,’’ she said.

‘‘It’s a big ask asking them to be up for this one and then they’re going to go again in a couple of weeks.

‘‘If they can do (PBs) this weekend it puts them in good stead for next couple of weeks.’’

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