Gunnedah swimmers continue to shine with a squad of 16 contesting the NSW Junior State Championships and putting their club on the map with a silver and three bronze medals, numerous top 10 placings and personal best times.

Eleven-year-old Jacob Smith continued his winning form nailing a coveted silver medal in the 50m backstroke, with bronze in the 50m freestyle and 200m backstroke.

Emerging star Lexie Whitton claimed a bronze medal in the 10 years 100m freestyle in a personal best time of 1:08.04 – no mean feat against some of the state’s best swimmers. 

Jacob faced the starter in 16 events from 50m to 400m nailing  three top-five finishes – fifth  in 400m free with a seven-second improvement,  and fifth  in the 100m backstroke and 50m fly. The speedster also swam into the  top 10 in five events – ninth in the 200m medley and 200m freestyle, sixth place in the 100m freestyle, and a creditable seventh in the 200m breaststroke with a huge improvement of 11 seconds. He also swam into sixth place in the 100m fly.

Lexie Whitton also had a top weekend – along with her bronze medal she won finalist ribbons for fourth place in the fast-and-furious 50m freestyle and slashed an amazing 11.48 seconds from her entry time in the 200m freestyle to just miss a medal in fourth place. Lexie’s time augers well for her next appearance in the 200m freestyle. Lexie also finished in the top 10 in the 200m individual medley.

With strict qualifying times for state events, coach John Hickey was impressed that so many of his squad had qualified for more than one event with Swimming Gunnedah also fielding four relay teams. 

“I was not looking for medals,” he said. Medals are a bonus – if every swimmer does their best time, I am happy.

“Everyone of these swimmers has trained hard for this and we are really happy with the results.”

Ten-year-old Molly Ramien revelled in her first experience at state turning in top 10 finishes in the 200m individual medley and 200m freestyle.

Molly secured a personal victory in the medley, improving her time by 6.25 seconds.

Matilda Denovan clipped 1.30 seconds from her entry time in the 10 years 50m breaststroke and was part of the freestyle and medley relays.

Twelve-year-old Audrey Hannaford  turned in a solid effort in the 50m freestyle and butterfly finishing just outside her best time, while Baxter Knapman contested six events, finishing in the top 10 for 200m breaststroke after stripping 7.58 seconds from his entry time. He also contested the 50m and 100m breaststroke with pleasing results and backed up for the 10-11 years relays, with Gareth Roessler, Jacob Smith and Ollie Lyle.

The 12 years boys medley relay included Cooper Whitton, Angus Hobson, Lachy Davey and Zach Akinyemi who faced tough opposition but gave it their best, with the girl’s event featuring Audrey Hannaford, Chelsea Rossler, Katie Spinks and Tahni Bus. In the junior relay, Molly Ramien, Matilda Denovan, Eugenie Goddard and Alexis Whitton teamed up for a great showing in the 4x50m freestyle relay, with a pleasing performance in the medley relay. 

A very vocal support team of parents and friends cheered every event.

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