Macksville swimmers dazzle at NSW Country Short Course Championships

Declan Sutton back home at the Macksville Aquatic Centre. Photo by Christian Knight
Declan Sutton back home at the Macksville Aquatic Centre. Photo by Christian Knight

IT WAS an all in the family frenzy like a pack of piranhas for four Macksville youngsters at the Swimming NSW Country Short Course Championships at Sydney.

Led by Declan 'the Decimator' Sutton, the elite competitors from the Marlins club made merry at the titles - going fin-to-fin against the rising stars of the pool from across regional NSW.

The fab four was rounded out by Declan's sister, Keeley, and their cousins, Darcy and Cohen Welsh - who are brothers.

Towering tyro Declan starred - winning silver in the 50 metre backstroke, where he set a new personal best (PB) to touch in 26.75.

"I was one second behind the gold medallist. He was in the lead at the start but then I started to catch up. He pulled away at the end when I tightened up and could feel the burn," Declan told the Guardian.

In a busy program, the 17-year-old nailed seven Top 10 finishes, including a fifth placing in the 200 back in a PB of 1.41. Declan also swam a 1.95 PB to rank 5th in the State in 100m fly.

Darcy, aged 15, and Cohen, 12, turned out in their respective men's 50m back, also setting PBs. Cohen was one of only two 12-year-olds to qualify for the event.

The Brothers Swim also caught the eye in the 100m breast, with Darcy ranking 13th and Cohen 19th in the State.

Keeley is but 10 years of age, and her trip to the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre (SOPAC) saw her ranked 31st at the titles in the 50m free.

The Macksville assault was neighboured by Arrin Stirrat-Black from the Nambucca Heads club. The flying 14-year-old raced a string of events, including a 20th placing in the 50m free, and 22nd in the 100m fly.

While Declan is the eldest of the family flotilla, he shied away from claiming bragging rights over his sister and cousins.

"We're all pretty fast," he told the Guardian.

The small Macksville club was understandably delighted by the results at SOPAC, and singled coaches Renee Pickvance and Tony Kokegei out for praise.

Back home, and back chasing the black line, Declan has set his goggles on the School Sports Australia championships in Melbourne in a couple of weeks, where he will race in his pet 50m back, and three relays.

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