GOLD MEDAL: Taylor Wilkes.
GOLD MEDAL: Taylor Wilkes.

Emerging from the deep end


TAYLOR Wilkes and elder sister Kelsey are churning up the pool with top performances. The Grafton Primary School students ?Taylor, 8, and Kelsey, 10 ? recently competed in the State PSSA Swimming Championships in Sydney. Taylor continued her rise to prominence winning the eight years' 50m freestyle event to glean the only gold medal by a Clarence Valley swimmer at the meet. She also competed in the junior relay and North Coast All-Aged relays, the teams respectively finishing 15th out of 40 and seventh from 13 different regions.

This season Taylor has broken four club and pool records at Grafton and pool records at Sawtell and Bellingen and record 50m-freestyle swims at school, district and zone levels. She is coached by Joe Clare. Kelsey, who has also broken freestyle records at school, in every stroke at district and freestyle at zone level, competed in the 10 years' freestyle, breaststroke and junior relay at the State PSSA Championships. Kelsey, coached by Phil Cavanagh, finished 24th in the 50m freestyle and a creditable 10th in breaststroke. The two sisters along with Grafton Primary's Julia King and Ebony Matthews finished 15th in the girls' junior relay. The boys team of Martin Donoghue, Jordan Weller, Matthew Muller and Jack Taylor also finished 15th. Donoghue narrowly missed a place in the 12-years' freestyle finishing 11th, Taylor Chapman finished 23rd in the boys 11 years' backstroke, Jake Pitkin 25th in the boys medally and Samantha Collie 26th in the 12-13 years' backstroke. It was a fine performance by the Grafton Primary students particularly Taylor, the daughter of Liz and Dion Wilkes, who has competed at carnivals for only the past two years.

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