A different crop of Shepparton swimmers will chase medals in the Country All-Junior Competition at Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre this weekend.By Marc McGowan
A different crop of Shepparton swimmers will chase medals in the Country All-Junior Competition at Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre this weekend.
Swimmers aged younger than 15 can contest the meet, but can only compete in events they have not won medals in at national, state or Victorian Country level.
They had to finish in the top five in at least one race in their district’s All-Junior elimination meet to make it this far and need to score a top-10 placing on Saturday to progress to Sunday’s finals.
Shepparton junior coach Michelle Swift said the Country All-Junior Competition was the last major meet of the season for most of the club’s swimmers.
‘‘They love it, because you take out the top three at state level or countrys and it gives the second tier an opportunity to try and outperform themselves and get rewarded for their times,’’ Swift said.
‘‘It’s a great way to finish the season for these kids and it goes right down to eight-year-olds and these younger ones have never had exposure to this sort of competition.
‘‘There’s nothing better than swimming in an Olympic pool with touch pads and the big screen and they all look up straight away to see their name and time.’’
Swift said the goal was for Shepparton to have at least six finalists and a dozen was realistic.
‘‘We would be happy to get six or seven finalists, but I’m aiming for double that,’’ she said.
‘‘We should have a dozen if everybody does what they should do, which would be ideal, but we’ve got six or seven pegged as (certain) finalists and we could get three or four medals.’’
Swift said Jorja Bourke, particularly proficient in freestyle and breaststroke, was a genuine medal chance and was excited about eight-year-old Ollie Guthrie’s 50
‘‘It’s Ollie’s first season with us and he’s got a pretty sharp time for the eight-year-olds in the 50
‘‘We’re really hoping he’ll do something special, as long as the nerves don’t kick in.’’
Swift said most of Shepparton’s swimmers finished training for the season this week, except for those who had state swimming finals or qualified for next month’s Australian Age Championships.
‘‘Hopefully, they get the reward at the end of the season for all the hard work they put in,’’ she said.
‘‘Definitely personal bests is the expectation and if we can get medals and finals out of it they are a bonus.’’
Fellow Shepparton junior coach Monica Hurley, whose children Hume and Emma are competing at the meet, will be in charge of the squad on Saturday.
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