Following a successful meet at the NSW Short Course Country Championships in Sydney last weekend, the Swimming Gunnedah squad of 32 performed strongly in the pool at the club’s annual short-course winter carnival on Sunday.

Ranging in age from four years to 16, the team scored an impressive medal tally of 49 gold, 49 silver and 28 bronze medals. 

Almost 100 swimmers from across the New England, North West and Hunter Valley converged on the Eric Arnold indoor heated pool competing for medals and prizemoney in all events.

Eleven-year-old speedster Jacob Smith won an impressive 12 gold medals in total, while Molly Ramien (10) picked up nine medals, Audrey Hannaford (12) and 13-year-old Tahlia Smith bagged six gold, Cameron Sills (8) and Hannah Akinyemi won four gold.

Other medal winners included Zach Akinyemi, Dana Campbell, Matilda and Rafe Denovan, Eugenie Goddard, Baxter and Josie Knapman, Amelia Lush, Lewis Mainey, Camden Many, Matilda Ramien, Chelsea Rossler, Liam Smith, Josh Spinks, Alex Thompson and Cooper Whitton.

Countless personal best  times were set, including many from the junior swimmers who are steadily moving up the ranks.

Twelve-year-old Zach Akinyemi took more than 34 seconds off his best time in the 100m backstroke, Eugenie Goddard shaved 13.79 seconds off her 100m butterfly time, while Josie Knapman and Charlie Mainey showed huge improvements in the 200m breaststroke. Darcy Mainey improved his 200m individual medley time by close to 30 seconds, while Cameron Sills, Camden Many and brother and sister team Chelsea and Gareth Rossler also had a successful meet recording personal best times. 

After a long hiatus from a shoulder injury, popular senior squad swimmer Amelia Lush, 16, made a return to the pool, picking up three silver medals and a gold. 

It was also a successful carnival for some of the up-and-coming tadpoles, including four-year-old Reggie Stewart, grand-daughter of coach John Hickey, who lined up for her first ever carnival in the 25m freestyle and 25m backstroke. 

Hickey praised the squad during the medal presentation after a huge effort in the pool and will now be preparing the youngsters for the NSW State Age short-course championships at Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre (SOPAC) in September. 

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