The Great Southern Swim Club members continue to thrive under the spotlight of competitive swimming and besides gaining even more great results at the state championships this month, they have also rubbed shoulders with the best in swimming.
At the SA Leisure and Aquatic Centre in Adelaide club members competed and saw first hand how the best prepare for their swim events.
Olympians Kyle Chalmers, Madi Wilson, James Mahoney and Josh Palmer were racing in the championships at the Aquatic Centre for the Marion Swim Club. Some of the Great Southern Swim Club swimmers had the chance to race against them in relays, which created epic opportunities and an experience they would not forget.
Great Southern Swim Team captain Zoe Bruce said watching Madi Wilson prepare to swim showed how much work was put in and how much swimming means to her. "She showed true dedication to the sport. To be in the same marshalling room and competing at the same competition with Kyle Chalmers and Madi Wilson made everything seem surreal and worthwhile," Zoe said.
"It proves to you that all the hard work pays off and the end result can be rewarding. Being able to experience competing against Olympians proves to you that you deserve to be in the place you swim in and have earned it through the commitment to the sport."
Zoe competed in the state championships in Marion on Saturday, January 25 and in the 200m women's medley relay swam the first leg of the race, backstroke and was swimming against Olympian Madi Wilson.
"Afterwards I felt like I had achieved something very personal to me and proved to myself that I was good enough to compete at the level, which is state championship level," Zoe said..
The Great Southern Swim Club team consisted of Eloise Johnson, Zac Nash-Smith, Zara Taylor, Zoe Bruce (captain), Chloe Brown, Simone Brown (president), Karin Reddcliffe (coach), Rob Kidman (coach), Vienna Johnson, Leni Newham, Hayley Mitchell, Asha Newham and Chloe Mitchell.
On day one of the SA State Championships it was Club Relay Day and the Great Southern Swim Club had four swimmers participate, Elias, Zoe, Deja and old head coach.
On day two Leni Newham won a Silver in the 12 years Women's 50m Breaststroke with a -2.82 second PB overall and broke her own State Country Record.
Vienna was the third fastest 10 year old breaststroker in the state over 50m with a PB of -2.95 seconds. Ella also had a huge PB of -2.19 in the 50m breaststroke.
Also Zara did a great job in her 50m freestyle with a PB of -0.17 seconds against a large field of contenders.
On day three it was another successful day at the State Country Championships for Great Southern, as Leni won third place and a bronze medal in the 12 years 50m butterfly and beat her Country Championship Record by a total of -2.34 seconds.
Zara swam in the 50m Breaststroke Multi Class and scored a -0.17 PB.
On day four Vienna is officially the fourth fastest 10-year-old South Australian in the 100m breaststroke having achieved a -4.11 second PB! Ella took -1.51 seconds of of her 100m breaststroke.
Leni is the fourth fastest 12-year-old in SA in the 100m breaststroke having taken -2.57 seconds off her preliminary time. Leni also made the final for the 200m freestyle. Zara is the fourth fastest Multi-Class swimmer in SA in the 50m butterfly.
Day five saw Ella swim an excellent 100m freestyle taking -1.96 seconds off of her PB. Asha is now officially the eighth fastest ten-year-old in SA in the 50m backstroke taking -1.46 seconds off of her PB.
Day 6 was a golden day for the Great Southern Swim Club nad Leni Newham. Yes, that is Gold around Leni's neck. She is officially the SA State 12-years-old 50m freestyle champion.
That's not all, though. In the prelims she beat the Country record, then in the final she beat her own record.
Leni smashed it, taking -1.18 seconds of the record and -1.35 seconds off of her PB. In the 200m breaststroke she was the fifth 12 years-old South Australian and took -2.09 off of her PB. Ella has an excellent swim in the 50m freestyle taking a massive -1.04 seconds off of her seeded time.
Zara had two good swims coming fourth in the 100m breaststroke Multiclass and eighth in the 100 m freestyle Multiclass.
Great Southern came 25th out of 44 teams in the women's point score and 32 out of 57 in the combined scores. It was a successful carnival for the club.