Following eight days of exceptional racing at the Georgina Hope Foundation Australian Age Championships, where we saw PBs set, records broken, and three youth teams selected.
The event culminated in 47 swimmers selected to represent Australia across the Junior Pan Pacific Championships, Youth Olympic Games and Oceania Championships.
Swimming Australia High Performance Pathways Manager, Jamie Salter, said he was excited about the new generation of clubs and swimmers coming through.
“The quality of the racing was excellent. It’s great the see the emergence of new clubs and programs with athletes who are performing against the more established clubs”, Salter said.
“We’ve really encouraged the messages about improving the skill level of our swimmers, not just a focus on fast times, and it’s great the see these really improving”.
It wasn’t just the able-bodied athletes impressing during the meet with Swimming Australia Chief Strategist Alex Baumann highly impressed by the para athletes.
“The breadth of clubs who attended Age Nationals has grown”, Baumann said.
“The standard of performances has again increased and we’re seeing this improve year on year”.
Thirty athletes were named as a part of the Junior Pan Pacific team who will head to Suva, Fiji at the end of August. Eight members of the 2017 Junior World Championship team have successfully transitioned on to this year’s Junior Pan Pacs team, including Southport Olympics, Chelsea Hodges.
“I haven’t been selected on a Pan Pac team before, so it’s pretty exciting to wear the green and gold again”, said Hodges.
The success of the talent identification and scouting programs was highlighted throughout the event with 35 athletes from the Pathway program in 2017, progressing on to the next stage (youth).
In a nod to her growing versatility, Queenslander Chloe Gubecka made the team. This is in addition to already being selected for the Open Water World Cup tour this year.
“A big congratulations needs to go to Chloe, and it really goes to show how the Pathway (program) extends across the pool and Open Water events”, Salter said
USC Spartan Kaylee McKeown will headline the Youth Olympic Games team, following her performance at the Commonwealth Games. Kaylee will be joined in Buenos Aires by seven athletes, who will be backing up from the Pan Pacific Championships.
After setting a new Boys 15yrs 200m Backstroke Australian Record on the first night of competition, Josh-Edward Smith will be a member of the sixteen-strong team, heading to the Oceania Championships in Papua New Guinea.
The Oceania Championships team will enter staging camp in Port Moresby on June 20 before competition on the 24th while the Junior Pan Pacific Championships and Youth Olympic Games Team, will participate in a Youth Camp in Canberra from 8-14th July.
Australian team for the Junior Pan Pacific Championships (Suva, Fiji 23-27 August)
Lewis Blackburn (NSW), Ashton Brinkworth (WA), Shaun Champion (NSW), Kayla Costa (VIC), Jack Edie (NSW), Jacinta Essam (NSW), Jenna Forrester (QLD), Chloe Gubecka (QLD), Silas Harris (VIC), Ty Hartwell (QLD), Thomas Hauck (QLD), Chelsea Hodges (QLD), Joseph Jackson (QLD), Tara Kinder (VIC), Eliza King (QLD), Se-Bom Lee (NSW), Angus McDonald (NSW), Thomas Neill (QLD), Max Osborn (QLD), Lani Pallister (QLD), Thomas Pearson (VIC), Georgia Powell (QLD), Natasha Ramsden (NSW), Michaela Ryan (QLD), Emma Siddle (QLD), Brendon Smith (VIC), Kara Svenson (QLD), Stuart Swinburn (NSW), Tahlia Thornton (WA), Abbey Webb (QLD).
Team Leader: Jamie Salter
Head Coach: Glenn Beringen
Team Coaches: Janelle Pallister (QLD), Scott Talbot (VIC), Justin Bell (QLD), Sean Eels (QLD), Mitch Falvey (NSW), Bruce Vyvyan (NSW).
Australian team for the Youth Olympic Games (Buenos Aires, Argentina 6-8 October)
Lewis Blackburn (NSW), Ashton Brinkworth (WA), Joseph Jackson (QLD), Stuart Swinburn (NSW), Chelsea Hodges (QLD), Kaylee McKeown (QLD), Michaela Ryan (QLD), Abbey Webb (NSW).
Team Leader & Team Coach: Tracey Menzies
Team Coach: Jim Fowlie (NSW)
Australian team for Oceania Championships (Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea 24-29 June)
Josh Edward-Smith (WA), Aaron Mansfield (QLD), Oliver Nash (VIC), Finn O’Connor (NSW), Alex Quach (NSW), Marco Soesanta (VIC), Lachlan Colquhoun (QLD), Ethan Owens (SA), Kara Broadbridge (WA), Lauren Gastevich (WA), Rebecca Jacobson (QLD), Sharni Robinson (QLD), Phoebe Walker (QLD), Emily White (SA), Ebony Blackstone (QLD), Phoebe Hines (QLD).
Head Coach: Glenn Beringen
Team Coaches: Richard Sleight (QLD), Kenrick Monk (VIC), Michael Shaw (WA), Rob Van der Zant (QLD)