The NSW Age Championships saw the largest contingent of swimmers from Sydney University for many years over the weekend. Led by Nicole Libardo, Taylor Aiken and Sam McConnell, the trio competed in the 13 to 18 year old age group.
Sam, who underwent throat surgery at the end of 2008, swam powerfully to finish in ninth place in the boys 17 to 18 years 50m Freestyle. He will be hoping to get back to his best times when he competes in the NSW Open Championships to be held in February.
The junior ranks saw the debut of Jayce Carrano, Eleni Knapp, Inez Osland, Coby Smith-Carr, Lewis Blackburn and Thomas Stirk at the championships after being nurtured and developed by SUSC coach, Vanessa Smith. They will gain invaluable experience after competing amongst the best age group swimmers in NSW. “It is now up to these swimmers to put in the hard work to fulfil their potential,” coach Smith explained. “It is exciting to see the improvement”.
“Historically, SUSC has always performed strongly in the 50m Freestyle events with Olympian Brett Hawke and Australian representative Jonno Newton” Smith said.
Lewis Blackburn, at eight years of age, has become the youngest club member ever, to qualify for the NSW Age Championships. Swimming enthusiastically in a personal best time of 35.67, he needed to compete against boys much older in the 10 years 50m Freestyle event to get his first state age race under his belt.