THE SWIMMING North Coast Area Long Course Championships at Coffs Harbour in proved to be a successful meet for the Macksville Marlins.
The team of 15 comprising of Toby Batten, Brayden Clark, Courtney Clark, Corey Gleeson, Feja Lane, Saule Lane, Leah Pickvance, Asha Searle, Gemma Summerville, Jade Summerville, Declan Sutton, Jazmin Sutton, Keeley Sutton, Cohen Welsh and Darcy Welsh, performed consistently while competing against 365 athletes from 31 swimming clubs spanning Forster in the south to Twin Towns in the north.
New to this level of competition were Marlin members Asha Searle and Keeley Sutton who first had to achieve qualifying times to gain entry into the championship. It was a fantastic experience for the swimmers with a massive number of personal best times achieved over the weekend plus the opportunity to gain selection in the SNC Development Squads for 2017.
Entries to the championships totalled 2894, with the Trinity Lismore team narrowly snatching the crown from long time title holders Port Macquarie.
Marlins swimmers had plenty of time in the spotlight during the championships with an impressive combined medal haul of 26 as well as two championship records.
For his outstanding efforts in the pool Declan Sutton was awarded the Age Champion Trophy for the 14 years age group.
The Macksville Marlins showed fantastic team spirit over the weekend, supporting each other in their individual events and bringing their best in the relays for their club.
The Macksville swimmers were well supported by coaches Tony Kokegei and Renee Pickvance who were on hand to offer their expertise and also calm any pre-race nerves.
Gratitude is also extended to coach Gretchen Tsujimoto who although unable to attend the championships, had been vital in the preparation of the swimmers.
Individual medals: Leah Pickvance – 9 years and under, gold – 50m freestyle (new 9 years record), gold – 100m freestyle (new 9 years record), silver- 50m backstroke, silver – 100m backstroke, bronze – 50m breaststroke, bronze – 100m breaststroke, silver – 50m butterfly.
Toby Batten – 9 years and under, silver – 50m freestyle, silver – 50m butterfly, gold – 100m butterfly.
Cohen Welsh – 9 years and under, bronze - 50m freestyle, bronze – 100m freestyle, silver – 50m backstroke, gold – 100m backstroke, gold – 50m butterfly.
Declan Sutton – 14 years, gold – 50m freestyle, gold – 100m freestyle, gold – 200m freestyle, gold – 50m backstroke, gold – 100m backstroke, gold – 200m backstroke, bronze – 50m breaststroke, bronze – 50m breaststroke, gold – 50m butterfly, gold – 100m butterfly, gold – 200 individual medley.