MACKSVILLE'S Declan Sutton and Cohen Welsh don't always swim against the fastest school students in Australia - but when they do, they come home with bling.
The lads, cousins at that and members of the Macksville Marlins, showed they can be big fish in a large pool after slaying at the School Sport Australia (SSA) National Swimming Championships at Melbourne.
'The Decimator' Sutton picked up a silver medal and two bronze, while Cohen also towelled off to climb the podium for a silver.
This was Declan's second time at the championships - and it brought a stellar return.
He won silver in the 17-19 years boys medley relay (swimming the first leg, backstroke, for a PB of 27.41 seconds), bronze in the mixed medley relay and boys free relay, and placed fourth in the 50m back.
For Cohen, a Year 6 student at St Patrick's Primary, this was his first time at SSA nationals - and there was time only for waves not nerves on the big stage.
He snared silver in the 12 years boys free relay and placed fourth in the medley relay, sixth in the 50m back and 10th in the 50m free.
Both boys are powerful backstrokers and eyeing long careers chasing the black line.
Cohen is something of an all-rounder, representing St Pat's in their champion rugby league team, while also being a gun at touch football.
"He's had a busy and very successful sports year," said mum Dallis, who doubles as taxi driver to get her son to his various events and training.
While only 17 years of age, Declan has already had a lengthy and shining career between the pool ropes - and is now juggling those endeavours with Year 11 studies at Macksville High and his first job - as a 'dishie' at the Ex-Services Club.
He is likely to get one more crack at the SSA nationals next year, and is starting to ponder what may be after that.
"I hope to go to uni and maybe do physiotherapy - at least something to do with sport," Declan told the Guardian.