SWIMMING: A squad of 37 local swimmers faced the starter at the annual Gunnedah long course carnival last weekend smashing pool and club records as they blitzed the pool in a major medal haul.

More than 150 swimmers converged on the pool from visiting clubs for a day of great sportsmanship in perfect weather conditions.

The Ian Bartlett Memorial Relay Trophy was also back in play for the  6x50m freestyle, with Gunnedah keeping the trophy for another year – the fastest boys and girls from each age group took part, with Alexis Whitton, Tahlia Smith, Jule Huhn, Alex Thompson, Jacob Smith and Baxter Knapman relishing the fast and furious competition.

A much-loved member of the club for many years, Ian Bartlett, went on to university and became a doctor but sadly lost his life to cancer.

Coach John Hickey chose Josh Spinks (10) and Jule Huhn (on exchange from Germany) to receive the Josh Strachan encouragement awards.

Records continued to fall as 12-year-old Jacob Smith broke his own 50m butterfly club record and set new pool records in the 50m and 100m freestyle and backstroke, winning 12 gold medals from 14 races, a silver and a bronze. 

Rising young star Molly Ramien continued her winning form, smashing her own 10 years girls 200m backstroke club record and setting three new pool records. In a marathon performance, Molly collected 11 gold medals, winning the 50m and 100m freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, 200m individual medley, 200m freestyle and 12 and under girls relay.  

Josh Spinks (10) broke his own club record for the 200m freestyle and entered the history books with six new pool records – the youngster won nine gold medals, flying to the wall in the 50m and 100m freestyle, backstroke and butterfly, 200m freestyle and individual medley and the 12 and under boys relay, with silver in the 50m and 100m breaststroke. 

Alexis Whitton (11) claimed an impressive record, shattering the club record for the 11 years girls 200m backstroke set in 1995 by Christine Boehm. Alexis also set two new pool records and won 10 gold medals on the day with strong performances in the  50m and 100m freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, 50m fly, 200m free, 12 and under and 300m freestyle relay, with silver in the 200m medley and 200m backstroke. 

Newcomer Jule Huhn (16), a German exchange student, showed her strength in the distance events, with silver in the 200m fly, freestyle and relay, and bronze in the 50m fly, 400m freestyle, 400m medley and 50m freestyle. 

The gruelling 800m freestyle event was won by 15-year-old Alex Thompson, who also picked up a silver in the 400m freestyle and three bronze.
Tahlia Smith was dominant in the 13 years division, winning six events, three silver and one bronze, while training partner Dana Campbell (13) scored gold in the 50m freestyle, and four silver, while

Danika Jones, also 13, won silver in the 100m fly and 800m freestyle, with a bronze in the 200m medley.

Speedster Audrey Hannaford (12) showed the opposition a clean pair of heels in five events, winning the 50m and 100m butterfly, 50m breaststroke and backstroke and 200m medley, along with four silver and a bronze. Shiloh Moore (12) won five bronze medals, while Tahnee Steele (12) won gold in the 100m fly and 12 and under relay, two silver and a bronze. 

Baxter Knapman (12)  won gold in the two relay events, six silver and four bronze, while William Jansen (12) turned in a strong showing to take time off his 100m breaststroke and 200m freestyle times.

Also in this age group,  Zach Akinyemi picked up gold in the boys relay, five silver and three bronze placings, while his sister Hannah (10) collected silver in the 50m fly, backstroke, freestyle, 200m medley and 100m fly, where she slashed an amazing 20 seconds from her best – and added four bronze to her swag, while Emily Hobden (10) collected bronze in the girls 200m relay.
Cooper Whitton (12) won silver in the 200m fly and boys relay and bronze in the 100m and 200m freestyle. 

The Mainey brothers performed well with eldest Darcy (11) winning gold in the 50m fly, and silvers in the 50m freestyle, breaststroke and backstroke, while nine-year-old Charlie improved his 50m fly time  by 14 seconds to just miss the medals, with the youngest Lewis (7) taking 32 seconds off his personal best time in the 100m breaststroke and 15 seconds off his 100m backstroke time. 

Thirteen-year-old Chelsea Rossler won bronze in the 50m breaststroke, while brother Gareth (12) finished the 50m breaststroke with a 10 second improved time.

Eugenie Goddard (11) braved the gruelling 200m butterfly and kept her strong form until the end to win bronze, along with silver in the 50m and 100 fly and bronze in the 12 and under girls relay.

Also competing  in the 11 years races, Matilda Denovan shared gold in the girls relay A  team, winning silver in the 50m breaststroke and three bronze, while brother Rafe (8) took 21 seconds off his 50m butterfly and the youngest Campbell (6) came third in the 25m breaststroke.  

In the junior ranks, eight-year-old Cameron Sills won two silvers and a bronze, Camden Many (9)  won gold in the 50m backstroke and fly where he recorded a 14-second personal best time, and also  picked up two silvers. Wyatt Shorter (8) performed well in his debut carnival, with Liam Smith (9) winning a silver and a bronze, while brother Max won gold in the 25m fly and broke the eight and under pool record.

In the tadpoles’ events, Jimmy Loveridge (7) won silver in the 25m breaststroke, while Madelyn Whitton (6) collected two silver and two bronze in her first ever carnival. 

Fletcher Many (7) won a silver and a bronze while Reggie Stewart (5) and Jock Knapman (6) put in a strong effort for their 25m races. 

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