It was a case of "girls represent" for the Macksville Marlins at the Swimming New South Wales Speedo Sprint Finals at Sydney Olympic Aquatic Centre over the weekend.
Three local girls from the Macksville club, Lily Riddington, Keeley Sutton and Jazmin Sutton were honoured to represent Swimming North Coast at the prestigious event. They were all selected from heats swum at Kempsey and Lismore on February 2 of this year.
The meet consisted of 50m sprints in the four strokes of freestyle, backstroke, butterfly and breaststroke for 8 to 13-year-old swimmers who had qualified in the top four in their area. 76 swimmers were chosen to be part of the team from across 20 clubs in NSW.
Lily Riddington, (8) the youngest of the talented trio, competed in all four strokes. It was her first visit to the Olympic Aquatic Centre, and she was a bit nervous, but she didn't let that affect her performance. Young Lily achieved a personal best time in all her events; she saved the best for last though with a huge 5.33 second time improvement in the 50m butterfly.
Keeley Sutton (9) is a seasoned competitor who attended the finals last year. This year she swam consistently in her two events, achieving personal best times in both. She enjoyed the meet and the opportunity to swim with the best in the State and is aiming to qualify again next year.
Jazmin Sutton (13) has reached the end of her eligibility for this competition. She competed for the last time at the finals and gave it her all in two events. She achieved time improvements of over two seconds in both and narrowly missed the top 10 placings, coming 11th in her 50m backstroke event. Jazmin was ecstatic with her results, older swimmers can have a tough time beating personal bests and she blew hers out of the water.
Macksville Marlin coach Renee Pickvance wasn't able to attend the meet; however, she kept in constant contact with her swimmers throughout, checking results and sending good luck messages.
"I'm so pleased for them, they were swimming fantastic PBs (personal bests) and all their hard work at training has paid off. I'm very proud of all of them," she said.
All three girls train under coaches Renee Pickvance and Tony Kokegei at Macksville Aquatic Centre. Some of the dedicated swimmers train up to eight squad sessions a week.
- Lilly Riddington: 8 years, freestyle 36th, breaststroke 32nd, backstroke 44th and butterfly 24th
- Keeley Sutton: 9 years, freestyle 27th and breaststroke 38th
- Jazmin Sutton: 13 years, backstroke 11th and butterfly 21st