Tamworth City swimming pool proved a happy hunting ground for a squad of 17 Gunnedah competitors, with records smashed and personal best times adding to the excitement.

Ten-year-old Josh Spinks continued his winning form fleecing the opposition of 12 gold medals with outstanding winning performances in the 50m and 100m freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly, 200m and 400m individual medley and the 200m backstroke and freestyle. 

To round off a perfect day, he won silver in the 12 and under 50m swim-off and added more records to his name breaking a long-standing Gunnedah club record in the 10 years boys 100m breaststroke set by Fred Guest (1:38.43) in 2011, with a time of 1:38.04.  He also smashed the 400m freestyle record of 6:17.81 set by Adam Loveridge in 1991, with a time of 5:42.87 and his own 200m freestyle record.

The youngster’s success comes just a week after the New England North West Championships in Armidale where he shattered the 200m backstroke record (3:21.30) set by David Elliott in 1993 – stopping the clock at 3:07.64 – and eclipsed his own 200m breaststroke record by 11 seconds. 

Alexis Whitton had an excellent day in the pool, taking home 11 gold medals with wins in the 50m and 100m freestyle, backstroke and breaststroke, the 12 and under 50m swim-off,  200m freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and individual medley. Alexis broke the elusive 30-second barrier in the 50m freestyle, with a time of 29.73 seconds to claim the 11 years girls Gunnedah club record set by

Sherene McIntosh in 1999. She also broke her own 200m backstroke record with a personal best time of 2:53.55 and picked up a silver in the 50m butterfly. 

After a strong start to the 2023 season, Baxter Knapman (12) won another seven gold, with excellent performances in the 50m and 100m freestyle and backstroke, 50m breaststroke, 12 and under 50m swim-off and the 200m freestyle. He also won silver in the 50m butterfly and the 800m freestyle, where he took almost 30 seconds off his personal best time.  
Eleven-year-old Molly Ramien won gold in the 50m butterfly, and silver in the 50m freestyle, backstroke and breaststroke, 100m and 200m breaststroke and 200m medley and freestyle. Bronze medals in the 100m backstroke and 12 and under 50m swim-off rounded off a successful day.  

Jule Huhn (16) won silver medals in the 200m freestyle and 100m breaststroke and bronze in the 100m freestyle, while Amelia Lush (16) returned to the pool after a long recovery from injury, picking up gold in the 200m backstroke, silver in the 50m backstroke and bronze in the 200m freestyle, 100m backstroke and 50m freestyle.

Fifteen-year-old Alex Thompson had a great day with three personal best times and gold medals in the 200m and 800m freestyle, along with silvers in the 400m and 100m freestyle and 50m butterfly.

Improver Cooper Whitton (13) won four gold with strong performances in the 50m breaststroke, butterfly, freestyle and 200m backstroke. He also snatched silver medals in the 200m freestyle, 50m backstroke and 400m medley, where he improved by an incredible 32 seconds.   

Thirteen-year-old Katie Spinks shot up the pool in an amazing 100m butterfly race and despite slashing 30 seconds from her personal best time she was just edged out of medal contention.

Katie grabbed silver in the 50m backstroke, 200m breaststroke and 100m breaststroke, clipping 2.40 seconds from her best time. She also won bronze in the 50m breaststroke.

Thirteen-year-old Tahnee Steele gave away size to win bronze medals  in the 50m and 200m backstroke and swam a great 200m medley improving her entry time by 6.30 seconds.

Danika Jones (13) won silver in the 200m medley with a two-second improvement, while clubmate Shiloh Moore, also 13, put in a great effort to score personal best times in the 50m breaststroke and 50m butterfly. 

William Jansen (13) swam well to claim bronze medals in the 50m and 100m breaststroke, 50m backstroke and 200m breaststroke. 

In the juniors, Cameron Sills (9) won four gold medals,  winning the 50m freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly, and silver in the 100m freestyle, backstroke, butterfly and the 200m medley.  

Five-year-old Reggie Stewart, grandaughter of coach John Hickey, took home a silver medal in the 25m freestyle with a personal best time and showed a huge improvement of eight seconds in her 25m breaststroke, while Madelyn Whitton (6) won the 25m freestyle and collected bronze in the 25m breaststroke and butterfly. Jock Knapman (6) won silver in the 25m breaststroke with a nine-second improvement and bronze in the 25m freestyle and backstroke. 

NSW COUNTRY: Members of the training squad are now preparing to head to Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre (SOPAC) this weekend to compete at the 2023 NSW Country Championships in Sydney where they have met qualifying times.

Individual events: Molly Ramien (13 races), Alexis Whitton (11), Baxter Knapman (9), Josh Spinks (8), Audrey Hannaford (3), and Liam Smith, Hannah Akinyemi and Matilda Denovan are each racing in one individual race. 

Relays: 9-12 years girls freestyle and medley relays: Molly Ramien, Hannah Akinyemi, Matilda Denovan and Alexis Whitton. 
9-12 years boys freestyle and medley relays: Josh Spinks, Liam Smith, Camden Many and Baxter Knapman.

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