Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Shepparton swimmers shine in sprints

Scores of personal best times were bettered by Shepparton swimmers at the weekend's Victorian Sprint Championships.

HANNAH DRISCOLL February 11, 2014 4:21am

Shepparton Swimming Club's Brennan Swift qualified for four finals at the 2014 Victorian Sprint Championships at the weekend, and finished second in the 16-year-old boys' butterfly final.

Shepparton swimmers have had a fruitful Victorian Sprint Championships, with multiple finals and scores of personal best times in the 50m events.

Shepparton Swimming Club’s Brennan Swift, Nunawading Swimming Club’s Hayley Hogan and MLC Aquatic’s Connie McClelland topped the results with second places in their respective finals, while Swift made finals in two other classes.

Shepparton Swimming Club’s youngest competitor, nine-year-old Oliver Guthrie swimming in the 11-and-under boys, also set a new Goulburn Valley record in the 10-and-under 50m backstroke.

Guthrie’s time of 39.76sec beat the previous record which had stood for more than 20 years.

Brennan swam the 16-year-old boys’ butterfly final in 25.52 to finish second, 0.22sec off the winner, and also finished fourth in the freestyle final and ninth in the backstroke.

Brennan made the age national qualifying time for the 50m freestyle, and the open national qualifying time for the 50m butterfly.

Hogan finished second in the 15-year-old girls’ backstroke in 30.29sec, while McClelland finished second in the 14-year-old girls’ backstroke in 32.35sec and ninth in the butterfly.

Shepparton Swimming Club members qualified for finals in 11 events , but Ashleigh Dunning was unable to swim the final of the women’s 19-and-over backstroke due to family and work commitments on Sunday.

Carter Swift came fourth in the 15-year-old boys’ freestyle, eighth in the backstroke and ninth in the butterfly, while Tom Houston came sixth in the final of 19-and-over breaststroke.

Hayley McCulloch (14-year-old girls’ breaststroke), Jorja Bourke (15-year-old girls’ breaststroke) and Kalen Swift (17 to 18-year-old men’s breaststroke) also made finals, a huge feat in particular for Bourke, who had only trained for a week after being overseas for two months.

It was also the first state event for McCulloch and she swam personal best times in both her heat (38.05sec) and final (37.55sec) to finish 10th.

Although none of the junior swimmers, 13 years old or younger, made finals, Shepparton Swimming Club coach Michelle Swift said they had a 75 per cent personal-best rate among the events, and a 60 per cent rate for the seniors.

Nicholas Marwood, another first-time state sprints swimmer for Shepparton, just missed qualification for the final of the 15-year-old boys’ 50m backstroke, finishing 11th in a personal best time 30.42sec.

‘‘The results were outstanding,’’ Michelle Swift said. ‘‘We were very, very pleased with the results and the kids have had a pretty full program up to now going into state sprints.

‘‘But in saying that all the kids love sprints, they love 50m races so it’s a good change for them to get out there and just do sprint races. They all tend to do better than normal.’’

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