Sydney University crowned state’s best Open swimming club

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Sydney University were crowned the top Open swimming club in the state following last weekend’s NSW State Open Championships held at the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre (SOPAC).

Sydney University, led expertly by coaches Grant Stoelwinder, Scott Talbot and Leanne Thompson, secured 12 medals (three of them gold). It was the club’s best ever result at the Championships and easily eclipsed last year’s overall third place finish in NSW. 

“We were very pleased with the overall performance of the group,” explained SUSF & NSWIS Swimming Program of Excellence Senior Coach, Scott Talbot. “To finish the meet as the top club in the state is fantastic achievement for the team.”

All three gold medals were won in relay events – men’s 4x100m medley, men’s 4x200m freestyle and women’s 4x200m freestyle – highlighting the significant depth of talent at Sydney University.  The club picked up a further three silver medals in the relays – women’s 4x100m medley, women’s 4x100m freestyle and men’s 4x100m freestyle.

In the individual events, Nathaniel Romeo finished with silver medals in the men’s 50m butterfly and men’s 100m butterfly. Nicole Mee secured silver in the women’s 200m butterfly, while brothers Matt and Andrew Abood picked up a silver and bronze medal respectively in the men’s 50m freestyle.

Three-time Paralympian Sarah Rose topped it off by winning a bronze medal in the women’s S6 100m butterfly.

Despite winning a total of 12 medals SUSF & NSWIS Swimming Program of Excellence Head Coach, Grant Stoelwinder was adamant that the team’s swimmers had plenty of improvement left in them leading up to next month’s Commonwealth Games trials.

“The results were good, however at this stage of the season (just four weeks before the Commonwealth Games trials) our swimmers are at varying degrees of readiness,” said Stoelwinder. “We are expecting their best swims at the trials more so than at last week’s Championships.”

Also competing strongly at last weekend’s Championships were 14-year old Sydney University Age Program swimmers Sarah Wellfare and Laura La Motta, both coached by SUSF Swim Program Age Group Coach, Leanne Thompson.

Competing in the women’s 100m and 200m freestyle, Wellfare was the outstanding swimmer, achieving two personal best times and qualifying for the Australian Age Nationals for the very first time in the girls 14 years 200m freestyle.

La Motta also performed strongly in the women’s 50m and 100m freestyle. Having recently transferred to Sydney University, La Motta gained personal best times in both races.

“I’m really pleased with the way the girls performed in the open competition as 14 year olds,” exclaimed Thompson.  “Sarah’s 200m swim was particularly outstanding.”

In other news, Sydney University Age Program swimmers Maddy Fairlie and Miles Parhash were selected in the NSW Junior Sharks squad for 12 years and under following some outstanding results at NSW State Age Championships in January. In order to gain selection for this squad, Fairlie and Parhash had to achieve results that were five times better than JX Gold standard for 12 year olds.