St Xavier’s senior girls relay swim team has returned home state champions and two swimmers have made it through to Nationals following huge success at the NSWPSSA swimming championships in Sydney last week.
Molly Ramien won gold and claimed the NSW state title in the 11 years girls 50m backstroke, while Alexis Whitton won two silvers, snatching medals in the open 100m freestyle and 12 years 50m freestyle. They will both go on to represent NSW in August at the Australian All-Schools championships with only the top three in individual events selected.
Eugenie Goddard, Matilda Denovan, Alexis and Molly Ramien were the second fastest qualifiers going into the 11-13 years relay finals on Thursday afternoon, after swimming the heats in the morning.
Molly swam the first leg, followed by Matilda and Eugenie who kept up the pace, before Alexis Whitton stood on the blocks to bring it home. With the crowd on its feet and loud cheering from the stands,
St Xavier’s was trailing in the final leg in fourth position before Alexis Whitton swam an unbelievable 50 metres in a blistering time of 27.97 seconds to win by a fingernail and help clinch the gold in a thrilling race.
The girls finished first with a time of 2:06.06 ahead of Ravenswood (2:06.67) and Pymble (2:10.55). It was a huge achievement for a small country school, with St Xavier’s staff and students cheering from the classrooms while watching the livestream back home.
In the individual events for St Xavier’s, Alexis Whitton took home silver in the open 100m freestyle in a nail-biting finish that was won by only a whisker. Alexis touched the wall at 1:03.27 just behind Singleton’s Quin Neyland (1:03.21).
It was also a tight finish in the 12 years girls 50m freestyle where she swam into second place to win her second silver medal. Alexis was also a finalist in the 50m backstroke finishing seventh, with a creditable eighth place in the gruelling 200m individual medley and another finalist ribbon with 10th place in the 50m breaststroke.
Molly Ramien went into the 11 years girls 50m backstroke as the fastest qualifier in the heats, before repeating her winning performance to take home the gold medal and state championship title in a cracking time of 34.58 seconds. She also made the finals in the 50m freestyle and 50m butterfly where she finished a credible eighth overall; and swam into ninth place in the breaststroke finals.
Molly was 11th in the state in the 200m individual medley.
Josh Spinks made the top 10 finals in three of his four races, delivering promising performances in the 11 years boys 50m butterfly and 50m breaststroke where he swam into eighth overall in the state. He also placed 10th in the 50m freestyle final and 16th overall in the 50m backstroke.
In his first ever state swim meet, Lewis Mainey made the finals in the eight years boys 50m freestyle where he finished in ninth place overall, while Wyatt Shorter swam a personal best time in the nine years boys 50m freestyle to finish 16th in the state.
North West also had a strong contingent of swimmers at the meet who gained valuable experience at Homebush with many personal best times.
Boggabri’s Sacred Heart Primary School relay team also made the final in the Peter Dobson Small Schools Relay event after gaining a berth with a brilliant swim in the heats and placing second.
In the exciting final less than an hour later, the team of Evie Watt, Xanthia Watson, Coen Gough and Oscar Thomson stormed home but just missed the medals in a nail-biting finish for fourth in the state.
Carroll Public School relay team was also in the spotlight as the first ever swimmers to represent the small but historic school at the NSWPSSA swimming championships. The team of Paddy Dowe, Cooper Galton, Emily Hobden and Elvy Pratten placed 21st overall and slashed an amazing 13+ seconds off their entry time.