Gunnedah swimmers kept busy over the school holidays with training at the indoor pool and a carnival at Port Macquarie after a trip to Sydney Olympic Park for the Senior Age Area Representative squad (SAARS) and  Junior Age Area Representative squad (JAARS) events.

Hosted by Swimming NSW, 360 swimmers from across the state including Sydney clubs competed in the Swim League Gala Day, where nine Gunnedah swimmers qualified to make the New England and North West representative teams.

The swimmers competed in both relay and individual events and were part of a program which aims to develop skills with grass roots swimmers and encourage them to continue on the swimming pathway. 

A free qualifying time meet was held the following day to allow swimmers to secure times for the long-course season. Swimmers nominated 
for three events each, with Molly Ramien breaking the long course club record for the 10 years  100m backstroke.

This was a remarkable achievement for Molly, considering the record had been held by Tabitha Andriunas since 1979. Molly shattered Tabitha’s time of 1:20.83, stopping the clock at 1:19.92.

Tabitha Andriunas was one of Gunnedah’s most successful swimmers back in Eric Arnold’s coaching days, when she set 11 state records between the ages of nine and 11 and new Australian PSSA records in 1980. 

Molly also registered personal best times in the 50m freestyle and 200m individual medley. 

Jacob Smith (12) broke his own club record of 1:11.06 for 100m backstroke, set in August this year, after registering a time of 1:10.94.

Twelve-year-old Audrey Hannaford recorded  personal best times in the 100m freestyle and butterfly and also swam in the 50m freestyle.

Baxter Knapman (12) swam in the 200m breaststroke and 50m freestyle, with Liam Smith (10) registering improved times in the 50m and 100m freestyle, while Tahlia Smith (13) swam in the 50m and 100m freestyle and 100m backstroke.

Personal best times were registered by Josh Spinks (10) in the 50m and 100m freestyle and 200m medley and Katie Spinks (12) for the 100m and 200m breaststroke, with  Alexis Whitton (11) swimming in the 50m and 100m freestyle and 100m backstroke.

Four Gunnedah swimmers attended their first long-course carnival of the season over two days at Port Macquarie, with rain making for trying conditions on the first day. Swimmers came from all over including the North Coast, the Hunter and New England North West.

After only joining the club earlier this year, eight-year-old Cameron Sills has made amazing progress and had a fantastic meet. 

The youngster recorded huge personal best times in almost every race, including a 32-second improvement in the 50m fly, and 27 seconds in the 100m freestyle.

He also slashed 17 seconds from his entry time in the 100m breaststroke, and close to 10 seconds in the 50m breaststroke and backstroke.

The rapidly improving youngster also took on the gruelling 100m butterfly to just miss a medal and finish fourth in the 8-10 years boys’ event.

Ten-year-old Josh Spinks was off to a flying start for the long course season and a great meet, snatching six gold medals and two silver, recording  seven personal best times along the way, including a 19-second improvement in the 100m fly.

To add to his success, he scored a massive 57-second improvement in the 200m freestyle to stop the clock at 2:44.02 and break the 10 years boys Gunnedah club record set by speedster Jacob Smith last year (2:46.14). 

Josh also broke a club record in the 200m breaststroke held by Brent Hartley since 2003 (3:50.79), with a time of 3:47.56.

It was a great start to the season for 10-year-old Molly Ramien as well, winning gold medals in the 50m freestyle, and 50m and 100 backstroke, along with three silver and four bronze. Molly registered five personal best times including a 5.72 second improvement in the 100m butterfly.

Katie Spinks (12) continued her strong performance in breaststroke picking up silver in the 12 years girls 50m breaststroke and putting in a strong effort in her other five races. Training continues at the pool, with the 50m pool now open to the public for the summer season.

To order photos from this page click here