Gunnedah swimmers starred at the recent Swimming New England North West awards night at the Gunnedah Services and Bowling Club where the district’s area champions were crowned.

Six age group championships in both short-course and long-course were won by Gunnedah swimmers, along with four runners-up titles. 

The long-course championships were held in Gunnedah on February 6, with the short-course titles in Armidale on the weekend of June 4-5.

Swimming in both the 11 years age group and the open division, Jacob Smith claimed both titles in short-course and long-course, with Gunnedah’s Alexander Thompson runner-up in the open division.

This caps off a stellar year for the speedster after winning medals at state, country and school level during the season.

The youngster is in full training for the national PSSA championships from August 19-23 in seven events. Competing for the NSW PSSA representative team, Jacob will contest the 50m freestyle and backstroke and 100m backstroke and freestyle as well as the 200m individual medley and two relays. Jacob has held the PSSA state champion title for 50m backstroke for the past two years.

Alexis Whitton and Molly Ramien took out the quinella in the 10 years division, with Alexis claiming the title in the long course event, just ahead 
of her team-mate, who turned the tables at the short-course championships. The training partners have also performed with distinction at state and country events during the season.

Josh Spinks picked up both titles in the nine years division after exceeding his own expectations during the season, with Hannah Akinyemi the long-course area runner-up. Hannah improved to snatch the title at the short-course meet, while her older brother Zach was runner-up in the tough 12 years division at long course.

National qualifier Tahlia Smith was named 13 years long-course NENW  area champion, while Max Smith was short-course area runner-up to club mate Cameron Sills in the eight years division.

Rounding off an excellent line-up of area champions for Swimming Gunnedah was Audrey Hannaford  who was the 12 years runner-up at the short-course championships. 

Squad members have been soaking up Australian glory in the pool at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games, with many holding dreams of one day achieving this level. 

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