Swimming Gunnedah fielded a squad of 26 swimmers at the recent Scully Park carnival with strong performances across all age groups, state qualifying times achieved, and personal best times broken.

Newcomer Cameron Sills had a great day winning gold in six of his seven events – gold in the 50m backstroke, freestyle, butterfly and breaststroke with a 9.26 second improvement. The rapidly emerging youngster also bagged first place in the 100m backstroke and breaststroke, rounding off a perfect day.

Seven-year-old Rafe Denovan continued his good form winning the eight and under 25m backstroke and fly and 7-8 years 100m freestyle, with an improvement of 5.16 seconds. He also picked up a bronze in the 50m freestyle.

Tahlia Smith (13) excelled in the 200 individual medley stripping an incredible 3.14 seconds from her entry time as she left the opposition in her wake. The teenager went on to win gold in the 50m freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and fly and 100m backstroke, with silver in the 100m and 200m freestyle and bronze in the 200m backstroke.

Twelve-year-old Zach Akinyemi has come ahead in leaps and bounds over the past year and the results are showing in the pool, with a gold-medal performances in the 800m freestyle, in his first attempt over the distance after a long and tiring day of racing. He also won silver in the 12 years 50m fly and breaststroke and bronze in the 50m freestyle and backstroke. 

Shiloh Moore (12) came away with a bronze in the 200m free, while club mate Katie Spinks also competed in this age group, winning gold in the 200m breaststroke, silver in the 50m and 100m breaststroke and 100m fly. Katie swam hard into third place in the 200m medley, 50m backstroke and 50m fly, with a huge improvement of 15.54 seconds in 100m backstroke finishing a close fourth. Tahnee Steele, also 12, won silver in the 200m backstroke.

Speedster Jacob Smith (11) dominated his age group winning nine events – 50m, 100m, 200m and 400m freestyle, 50m and 100 backstroke, 50m and 100m fly and the 200 individual medley. 
Jacob’s medal haul for the carnival included silver in the 50m, 100m, and 200m breaststroke, where he was touched out by training mate Baxter Knapman who won the breaststroke races over the three distances. The pair fought it out in the pool all day, with Baxter claiming silver in the 400m freestyle and 200m medley, 50m, 100m and 200m freestyle and 100m backstroke with bronze in the 50m backstroke and fly. 

Darcy Mainey (10) won silver in the 10 and under 200m freestyle and 100m backstroke and bronze in the 50m breaststroke. 

Swimming Gunnedah was well represented in the 10 years girls’ division with a big contingent of talented youngsters cleaning up across all strokes.  

Alexia Whitton flew to the wall for first place in the 200m medley, clipping 3.30 seconds from her entry time. She also won the 50m and 100m freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, 200m breaststroke and backstroke and finished second in the 200m freestyle, 50m and 100m fly, where Molly Ramien claimed the gold. Molly turned in an amazing performance taking on the gruelling 400m medley for the first time, winning the 10 and under event. She also picked up silver in 200m medley after stripping 7.86 seconds from her personal best time and finished a close second in the 50m freestyle and backstroke, 100m freestyle and breaststroke and 200m backstroke, with bronze in the 50m breaststroke.  

Matilda Denovan (10) finished third in the 50m backstroke, freestyle and fly, 100m freestyle and breaststroke, while Eugenie Goddard clinched the trifecta for Gunnedah grabbing silver in the 50m breaststroke and bronze in 200m medley and 100m fly. 

It was a big day of personal best times for 10-year-old Sienna Swain improving in seven events and picking up a bronze in the 200m freestyle and 100m backstroke, with her biggest improvement an impressive 4.50 seconds in the 100m freestyle. 

Josie Knapman won silver in the 200m breaststroke with an improvement of two seconds in the 100m freestyle. 

It has been a stellar season so far for nine-year-old Hannah Akinyemi who added four gold medals to her growing collection – 50m backstroke, freestyle, fly and breaststroke, and silver in the 100m backstroke.

Charlie Mainey (9) bagged silver in the 200m breaststroke and bronze in 100m backstroke, with Liam Smith (9) slashing 13.84 seconds from his personal best time to grab line honours in the 200 medley. He also won the 50m breaststroke and 200m freestyle, with silver in the 50m freestyle, backstroke, fly and 100m freestyle and bronze in the 100m 

Also competing in the nine years races, Nicholas Swain turned in a strong showing on the day, with his best race the 50m free where he recorded a personal best time.

The club’s tadpoles also performed well, with Lewis Mainey (7) stepping up to win the 200m freestyle and 50m backstroke with an improvement of 4.16 seconds. He also finished a fighting second in the seven years 50m freestyle and 50m breaststroke and 100m backstroke, claiming bronze in the 50m fly, 100m breaststroke and freestyle. 

Max Smith, also 7, snatched bronze in the 50m backstroke, while the club’s youngest star six-year-old Jimmy Loveridge was excited to win gold in the six and under 50m and 100m freestyle and silver in the eight and under 25m free, backstroke, fly and breaststroke. Gunnedah swimmers have also performed well at recent school and regional school events, with teams selected for higher representative levels.

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