Great effort: Ipswich team doubles in size for state titles
WITH his swimmers tackling a multitude of events at the Queensland titles, head coach Stephen Critoph has plenty to be excited about.
However, it's the increase in competitive numbers that has pleased him the most.
This year, the CYMS St Edmund's club has 35 swimmers contesting 20 relay events alone at this weekend's championships.
"This is the club's largest representation at the level for some time and is indicative of the growth in number and strength of the club,'' Critoph said.
Eight swimmers will also compete in individual events, also a boost on previous years. The group will swim in 32 events.
"That's almost double what we had last year so I'm very happy with that,'' he said.
The individual contingent features Britney Summerville, Tahnee Summerville, Elly Burling, Aiden Tuihalangingie, Emily Grier, Grace Chandler, Jordan Harton and Trae Norbury.
Critoph said a number of swimmers are hopeful of qualifying for finals and setting personal bests as they chase even higher level goals.
"This is the first stage in our preparation, which will give us an idea about where we are heading,'' he said.
"The second stage is for the national trials in April.''
In his fourth year at CYs, Critoph is happy with the progress of his swimmers.
The relay events open the state championships at Chandler on Saturday before the individual events are staged into next week.
The relays cater for swimmers from open to nine and 10 year olds, focusing on freestyle and medley events.
"We've done our best to cover the full gamut,'' Critoph said.
The last meet CY's swimmers contested was the City of Ipswich Sprint Classic at Bundamba pool last month.
He said the emphasis in this year's preparation had been on quality.
"This is the first time I guess that we're looking at the state championships not being the top of the tree but really moving towards nationals and really putting our focus on that,'' he said.
He said the recent heat and storm threat hadn't hampered his squad's preparation.
"We haven't lost a training session so far this summer from just the weather so we've got lucky,'' he said.
Western Aquatics squad
Western Aquatics will be represented in individual events by six swimmers at the state titles.
They are: Liili Albion (100m freestyle, backstroke and butterfly, 200m freestyle); Jillian McFarlane (100m freestyle and backstroke, 200m freestyle and individual medley); Hannah Wheelhouse (100m freestyle, backstroke and butterfly, 200m freestyle); Mikaela Gallagher (100m freestyle, 200m freestyle, 400m freestyle); Keeley McNamara (100m freestyle, 200m freestyle); Ella Ramsay (100m freestyle, backstroke and butterfly, 200m freestyle and individual medley, 400m freestyle).