Launching into big year
NINE Kingscliff swimmers will be keen to get their year off to a flying start when they compete at the NSW state championships in Sydney later this month.
Kingscliff Swimming Club head coach Greg Salter said the titles, at Sydney's Homebush Aquatic Centre from January 12-16, would be used as a launch pad for a big year for those competing in the Open categories.
This includes backstrokers Ethan Rolff, 22, and Taylia Zimmer, 19, backstroke/freestyle specialist Sophie Edington, 19, and Abbey Watt, 19, who will swim breaststroke/medley.
These swimmers have a busy schedule ahead of them with the world championship selection trials coming up in March and then the championships themselves, to be held in Canada, later in the year.
Salter said the state titles would be the swimmers' second last meet before the all-important world qualifiers and was the perfect opportunity to gauge form.
"For the older swimmers these titles are the stepping stone for the rest of the year," Salter said.
"The way we are going at the moment, everyone is in great shape.
"It has been a fairly heavy workload, with most swimmers completing nine sessions a week, and travelling about 7km each session.
"The qualifiers are the only place they can (make the world championships) and so we are keen they go well."
It's also a busy time for the age-group swimmers who are aiming for personal bests, medals and to make the qualifying times for the national age-group titles at Brisbane in April.
The younger swimmers are Matt Abood, 18 (freestyle), Cameron Peters, 16 (freestyle), Hayley White, 15 (backstroke/butterfly), Tyler Pollack, 14 (freestyle/medley) and Deaghlan Barnes, 13 (freestyle/butterfly).