Swimmers in fast lane at zone titles
SCHOOL SWIMMING: An unprecedented number of swimmers from Grafton Swim Academy will compete at various school state swimming championships in the next month.
No fewer than 22 squad members qualified for events at their respective regional carnivals.
"We had 21 a few years ago, but as far as I can remember 22 is the highest," Grafton Swim Academy swim coordinator and assistant coach Jo Clare said. "Some have been to state before and I'm sure we will have some finalists and even place getters.
"The 'A Squad' is a great bunch of kids and under head coach Al Patterson have a great work ethic."
One of the leaders of the pack is Charlie Steele, who won NSW All Schools bronze and competed at nationals in Under-15 boys butterfly events in 2015.
The Year 11 Grafton High School student steps up to the highly competitive open age division this year.
"Charlie, as the senior swimmer among the group, is a great model and absolutely an inspiration to the others," Clare said.
Steele is one of a strong contingent from Grafton High. According to sports coordinator Aaron Hartmann, all nine who represented the school at the CHS North Coast Zone titles at Kempsey placed and qualified for the NSW CHS Championships.
Seven of those - Steele, Jordan Gallagher, Myles Hartmann, Isaac Huxley, Jake Martin, Josh Goodwin and Hamish Moar are part of the 22-strong Grafton Swim Academy squad, while multi-class swimmer Mae Riley and relay swimmer Luke Scott add to the list heading to Sydney.
Year 7 student Jordan Gallagher made a particular splash as 13-year boys age champion, qualifying for all individual events except breaststroke.
The other state-bound Grafton Swim Academy members are Shanae Crispin, Beau Hartmann, Jenson Haynes, Jimmy Ford, Jack Leeson, Jamie Plunkett, Will Wallace, Will Pattison, Morgen Parkin, Yasmin Bruggy, Layla Bruggy, Andrew Thompson, Shannon Robinson, Matilda Sheehan and Jordan Nash.
All will be hoping to qualify for NSW All Schools which is on May 6.
NSW CSSA: March 21
NSW CHS: April 3-5
NSW PSSA: April 6-7
NSW CCC: April 29
NSW All Schools: May 6
SSA Nationals: Sept 15