January is a busy month for deaf and hard of hearing swimming participants. State Swimming Championships are taking place throughout Australia. So far, VIC had its State Age Championships and QLD had its State Championships (both Age and Open). A few more happening in January such as NSW, WA, SA, TAS plus VIC State Open Championships.
VIC State Age Championships had success with four youngsters taking part in the mainstream events in their respective age group as follows:
* Alex Kirchner (12yo) had a great meet reaching two finals in 100m and 200m Backstroke. To his surprise, he broke the Australian Age Record for 13/u in 200m Backstroke and the 50m Backstroke whilst swimming in the Medley Relay event. His highlights were winning two medals (one gold and one bronze) in the club relay events.
* Nicholas Layton (12yo) took part in the State Championships for the first time and was thrilled to take home a silver medal for his effort in the Freestyle club relay event. He also swam in two Freestyle events with commendable times.
* Samuel Greatorex (15yo) had a great meet reaching four finals, breaking three Australian Open Records, seven Australian Age Records (15yo) and two bronze medals in the club relay events. Samuel also qualified for the National Age Championships in 100m Backstroke and was short by 0.11 in the 200m Backstroke.
* Monique Beckwith (16yo) did her best in eight events with limited preparations due to injuries and illness. Her biggest achievement was breaking the Australian Age Record 16yo 200m breaststroke. She was close short by 0.56 for the 100m Breaststroke record.
At the QLD State Championships, three swimmers took part and did commendable performance in the pool.
* Julia Algie (17yo) had an assorted collection of medals including a gold medal in the 100m Backstroke (multi-class). She reached the final in the 17-18yo girls 200m Backstroke (mainstream). Julia was so close to breaking the Australian Open Record in 50m Freestyle, missed by 0.08 however she broke the Australian Age Record for 16yo girls. Overall, three Australian Age Records and three Queensland Records. She assisted Darling Downs to a bronze medal place in the Freestyle regional district relay event.
* Michael Anderson (27yo) swam as S10 physical impairment classification in freestyle and backstroke events. He came away with a gold medal in 100m Backstroke with a commendable time. Well done Michael.
* Brendan Hall (21yo) (S9 physical impairment and has moderate hearing loss). He swam in eight events and collected assorted colours of medals. His goals are the 2015 IPC World Championships and RIO 2016 Paralympics through S9 physical impairment classification.
Good luck to swimmers in their upcoming State Championships or major swim meets this year!
Alex Kirchner (left) with his Team Relay mates on the Podium receiving their gold medal at the VIC State Age Swimming Championships