St Xavier’s School hosted the Armidale Diocesan Primary Swimming Championships at the Gunnedah War Memorial Pool last Friday, with 290 children from Catholic primary schools around the area competing at the carnival.  

St Xavier’s swimmers  had great success on the day, with three age champions, two runners-up and three individual records and a relay record broken. 

Swimmers came from as far north as Tenterfield and Walcha and as far west as Walgett, with a diocesan team to be selected for the Polding championships at Homebush in March.

St Xavier’s senior girls relay team of Molly Ramien, Matilda Denovan, Eugenie Goddard and Alexis Whitton, eclipsed the previous record of 2:21.73 by 8.34 seconds stopping the clock at 2:13.39. 

Alexis Whitton broke the 12 years 50m freestyle record (31.03) with a time of 30.54 seconds and also claimed the 12 years girls 50m backstroke record, covering the distance in a time of 36.74. The previous time was 37.47 seconds.

Rising young star Josh Spinks continued his good form shattering the 11 years 50m butterfly record (35.97) registering a time of 35.04.

Age champions from St Xavier’s include Josh Spinks (11 years), Molly Ramien (11 years), Alexis Whitton (senior girl), Matilda Denovan (runner-up) and Ollie Lyle (senior boy runner-up).

Armidale Diocese sport co-ordinator Heidi Hardaker thanked St Xavier’s Gunnedah for hosting the carnival, especially the support from Katie Goddard and Leanne Herden.

“Carnivals like this don’t just happen without a village of helpers,” she said.

“A special mention to Gunnedah swimming club members for their organisation and support with the timekeeping and setting up for the day – as well as Tamworth and Narrabri swim clubs for their assistance with timing. 

“Thanks also go to St Mary’s College Gunnedah and Bean about Coffee for keeping us all fed and hydrated and to all primary school sport coordinators for running theirs school carnivals so efficiently and nominating the students to participate today.” 

Ms Hardaker also expressed gratitude to officials Alban Brunnemeyer, Brian Coombes, Lisa Steele, Louise Whitten and Fiona Knapman.

Students who placed first, second and third in each individual event and first or second in the relay event will now head to Sydney Aquatic Centre in Homebush to compete in the NSWCPS Swimming Championships later this term. 

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