Swimming Gunnedah coach John Hickey will accompany a squad of 11 qualifiers to the NSW Country Swimming Championships at Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre  this weekend.

Held over three days, the team members have qualified for more than one event, which with such strict qualifying times is a feat in itself.

Nine-year-old Josh Spinks will compete in the 10-years and under 50m and 100m freestyle, 11-years-and-under 50m butterfly, and the 12-years-and-under 200m freestyle relay. 

Molly Ramien (10) is in for a busy weekend, contesting the 10-years-and-under  50m and 100m  freestyle, 100m butterfly, 100m backstroke, and 12 and under  200m freestyle relay and  200m medley relay. 

Also competing In the 10-years age group, Alexis Whitton will swim in the  10-years-and-under  50m and 100m freestyle, 100m breaststroke, 100m backstroke and 12-years-and-under 200m freestyle medley relays.

A medallist at last year’s Country Champs, 11-year-old Jacob Smith has qualified for 12 individual races and two relays – 11-years 100m freestyle, 100 butterfly, 100m backstroke,100m breaststroke, 11-years-and-under 50m breaststroke, 50m butterfly, 50m backstroke, 11-12-years 50m freestyle, 12-years-and-under individual medley, 200m freestyle, 200m backstroke and 200m butterfly. He is also in the 12-years-and-under 200m freestyle medley relays. 

A big improver is Baxter Knapman (11) who will compete in the 11 and under 50m breaststroke, 11-years 100m breaststroke and 12-years-an-under 200m freestyle and medley relays.

Audrey Hannaford (12)  will contest the 11-12-years 50m freestyle, and join forces with her team mates in the 12-years-and-under 200m freestyle and medley relays.

Rising young star Tahlia Smith (13) will swim in the 13 years 100m backstroke and 100m freestyle, 13-14 years 50m freestyle and open 50m butterfly, with 14-year-old  Alex Thompson (14)  qualifying for the 13-14-years 50m freestyle.

Although just missing the qualifying times for individual events, Cooper Whitton (11), Zach Akinyemi (12), and Danika Jones (12) will be giving it their best shot in the relays.

The 12-years-and-under team of Jacob Smith, Baxter Knapman, Zach Akinyemi and Josh Spinks should be competitive after  breaking the New England and North West area record last week.  

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