Tumut swimmer Ashley Van Rijswijk had a memorable NSW Country Swimming Championships, claiming gold in the multi-class 50m breaststroke and defeating a paralympian in the process.
Ashley was one of four Tumut swimmers to attend the championships at the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre (SOPAC) at Homebush from February 24-26. The state-wide swim meet brings the best country swimmers together to race in their respective age groups.
Ashley, who is 16-years-of age, competed in the women’s 10 years and over multi-class events for the 50m freestyle, 50m backstroke, 50m butterfly and 50m breaststroke. Along with her gold medal performance, she also raced personal best times in the 50m freestyle and 50m backstroke events.
Charlie Dodds (16) competed in the men’s 15-16yrs 50m freestyle, 100m butterfly, 200m individual medley, 100m backstroke, 200m butterfly and the men’s open 50m backstroke and 50m butterfly. Charlie achieved a commendable 10th placing in the men’s 15-16yrs 50m freestyle and recorded personal best times in the 100m butterfly, 50m freestyle, 200m IM, 50m backstroke and 50m butterfly.
Eddie Dodds (11) competed in the men’s 11-12 years 50m freestyle, 11yrs 100m backstroke and 100m freestyle, men’s 11 and under 50m backstroke and 50m butterfly.
Eddie had an outstanding meet in which he recorded personal best times in all five events in which he competed and was placed in the top 10 in four of those events. His highest placing was fourth in the men’s 11 and Under 50m backstroke.
Lilly Holtorf (12) competed in the women’s 11-12 years 50m freestyle, women’s 12 and under 200m freestyle, and women’s 12yrs 100m backstroke, 100m butterfly and 100m freestyle events.
Lilly’s best placing was 15th in the women’s 11-12yrs 50m freestyle out of a field of 102 competitors and she also recorded personal best times in the women’s 12yrs 100m butterfly, 200m free and 100m backstroke.
Tumut Swimming Club head coach Leanne Turnbull noted that all swimmers had prepared well in the short time available this year due to the relatively late start to the summer training season at the Tumut pool.
Assistant coach Max Hargreaves added that the Tumut swimmers were effectively six weeks behind in their summer training due to the late opening of the pool, but had made good progress in the available time. Coach Turnbull remarked that: “At such a competitive meet, any swimmers placing in the mid field or above could be said to have done well, with a top 10 placing considered an exceptional achievement”.
Both coaches acknowledged the effort and hard work that each swimmer had put into training and competing at these Championships and congratulated all swimmers on their achievements.
TSC president Kevin Dodds congratulated the coaches and swimmers on their success at the NSW Country Swimming Championships and remarked that it was “testament to the quality of the coaching and commitment shown by the swimmers.
“We’ve had a great record in the last five-six years of getting swimmers to the NSW Country Swimming Championships which really shows that we’ve got the right mix of good Coaching and commitment from the swimmers and their parents,” Mr Dodds said.
“ On behalf of all members of the TSC I’d like to congratulate these swimmers on their achievements.”