Six Gunnedah swimmers ventured out west to Nyngan for a taste of competition in another district turning in impressive performances in wet and trying conditions.

Coach John Hickey was more than happy with the mini squad’s performances: “Congratulations go to Josh Spinks breaking a pool record for breaststroke at Nyngan and to Molly Ramien for breaking the Gunnedah nine years club record again in the 200m freestyle also at Nyngan – well done to Katie, Rafe, and Matilda for their swimming as well.”

Siblings Josh and Katie Spinks, Matilda and Molly Ramien, and Rafe and Matilda Denovan held the flag high for Swimming Gunnedah, with nine-year-old Josh Spinks having a   cracker of a carnival, winning 10 gold from 10 races and registering three personal best times.

The talented pocket rocket also set a Nyngan pool record for the nine years boys 50m breaststroke and won every event he contested – the 10 and under boys 50m freestyle Dash for Cash in a personal best time, nine years 50m backstroke, fly, breaststroke and freestyle, 10 and under 200 individual medley, 100m breaststroke, freestyle, butterfly and backstroke.   

Sister Katie Spinks performed well in the 11 years 50m fly to shave 5.55 seconds off her entry time. Although turning in a strong performance in the 50m breaststroke, Katie just missed a medal. 

Matilda Denovan claimed a bronze in the 10 years girls 50m fly with an improvement of 2.85 seconds and  flew into fourth place in the 10 years 50m freestyle and 50m backstroke, just missing medals.

She recorded another personal best time in the 50m breaststroke. 

Brother Rafe Denovan competed in five races, with improvement in each event, adding two medals to his growing collection  – gold in the seven and under 25m breaststroke and silver in the 25m freestyle.  
Molly Ramien won six medals, nailing gold in the nine years girls 50m freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke and fly, and 10 and under 100m backstroke. She also picked up bronze in the 10 and under 100m breaststroke and  smashed her own newly set Gunnedah club record for the nine years 200m freestyle, eclipsing her personal best time by 5.5 seconds.

Little sister Matilda, at the age of six, made her carnival debut in Nyngan and was excited to win silver medals in the  seven and under 25m backstroke and freestyle. 

There was great excitement at the pool recently when former Gunnedah swimming champion George Venardos turned up at training to chat with the squad and churn out a few laps.

“George Vernardos was one of Gunnedah’s best ever swimmers,” coach John Hickey told his squad.

“He still holds the record of 1:15 for 100m fly as a 10-year-old recorded 54 years ago – Jacob Smith couldn’t get this mark during the year but after meeting George he is determined to chase 1:09 as an 11-year-old for George, so Jacob definitely has a challenge in front of himself.”

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