SWIMMING: William Wallace experienced the full highs and lows of sport at the School Sport Australia Swimming Championships in Darwin this week.
Representing New South Wales PSSA, the 11-year-old from Junction Hill put in a bravehearted effort to qualify for the final of the 11-year boys 50m breaststroke in 40.63 seconds, smashing his own personal best time in the process.
The mammoth effort in the sapping heat took its toll in the final with the Grafton Public School student swimming almost two seconds slower in the final with a time of 42.55s to finish eighth. In fact all eight finalists swam slower than their heat times, with Queensland's Felix Wilson (36.82s) comfortably winning the gold medal.
William's father Stuart said while his son was disappointed with the result, he shouldn't lose focus on how much he had achieved this year.
"To come home with an eighth in the finals at the national swimming titles is an amazing effort," Mr Wallace said.
"It's a learning curve, and that's sport for you. He came second in his heat, and he was quite pumped. But to go from that high to so low after the final, he is disappointed but that's sport.
"As long as he can get out of the pool and honestly say that he has swum his fastest, that's all he can do and if that's your time on the day then that's it.
"He did his best, and we are so proud of what he has done. At the start of the year our aim was to get to Sydney for the state championships, and he medalled and made it to the nationals and made it in to the national final, which is something to be really proud of."
Mr Wallace said his son will benefit from the experience, and he hopes he will use the result as motivation for the future.
William also claimed a fifth place in his 4x50m medley relay, and will race in the 4x50m freestyle relay today.