Fourteen Gunnedah swimmers competed at Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre recently as part of the New England North West Speedo Sprint team. 

The 50 metre sprint heats were held earlier this year in Armidale where the top placed four competitors made it through to the finals, competing against swimmers from across the state including Sydney. 

Eleven-year-old Alexis Whitton was the only swimmer to medal in the fast and furious competition where many competitors were separated by just hundredths of a second.

Alexis won gold in the 50m freestyle and silver in the 50m backstroke (34.66) where she broke the 11 years girls Gunnedah club record of 34.79 seconds set by Martha Beattie on April 4, 2001.

Alexis was also part of the 13 and under 200m freestyle relay team that finished in a creditable eighth place.

In the 10 years boys, Josh Spinks finished in the top 10 with seventh place in the 50m freestyle and 10th in the 50m butterfly. He was also part of the 8-10 years boys freestyle and medley relays which both finished in eighth position.

Also 10, Hannah Akinyemi put in a solid effort in four of the 50m sprint races to nail three personal best times and grab a finalist ribbon with 10th place in the 8-10 years medley and freestyle relays.

Eugenie Goddard showed improvement in all three of her 50m sprint races, dropping below the 40-second mark for her 50m butterfly, improved her 50m freestyle time by more than two seconds, and clipped almost three seconds from her breaststroke time. 

Also in the 11 years events, Matilda Denovan improved her 50m freestyle time to touch the wall at 33.72 seconds.

Zach Akinyemi (13) showed improvement in all four sprints, including a 1.77 second improvement in the 50m breaststroke and finished 10th in the 13 and under boys’ relay.  

In the nine years boys sprints, Camden Many continued his success in the pool with four personal best times and an impressive ninth place  in the 50m fly and eighth in the 8-10 years boys relay team. 

Clubmate Cameron Sills also shaved time off his four races, including 3.52 seconds from his 50m backstroke, while 10 year old Liam Smith stripped 3.24 seconds from his 50m freestyle time. The youngster was part of the 8-10 years boys freestyle and medley relay teams that finished eighth.

In the eight years division, Max Smith took more than four seconds off his 50m butterfly time, while Wyatt Shorter improved his freestyle by 3.36 seconds and Rafe Denovan eclipsed his personal time for 50m backstroke by 5.88 seconds.  

Lewis Mainey showed great form in all four races, including an improvement of 5.57 personal best time in the 50m butterfly while brother Darcy gained valuable experience at this high level. 

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