Horsham Sharks set personal bests at Victorian Country Swimming Championships

QUICK: Horsham Sharks squad member Miette Hopper, 12, at the Victorian Country Swimming Championships in Geelong. Miette has set two personal best times and qualified for the 100-metre breaststroke final. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

HORSHAM Sharks swimming squad members have risen to the occasion at the Victorian Country Swimming Championships, with squad members setting a number of personal bests.

Coach Paul Atherton said Miette Hopper had qualified for the 100-metre breaststroke final after taking five seconds off her previous personal best.

‘‘Miette is a very experienced swimmer and breaststroke has always been her best stroke,’’ he said.

‘‘She has a strong chance to take out a medal in the event.

‘‘She also took five seconds off her 100-metre freestyle personal best and just missed out on qualifying for that final too.’’

Miette said she was excited for her final, which was scheduled for after the Mail-Times went to press yesterday.

‘‘I think I’ll do pretty well in it,’’ she said.

‘‘I’ve been swimming pretty well so far and I’ve been having a lot of fun.’’

Atherton said Angus Tickner also had a chance of making today’s 100-metre backstroke final.

He said a number of other squad members set personal bests on Saturday.

Maddix Hughes beat her personal best 50-metre backstroke time by two seconds, while Matthew Ough beat his 100-metre backstroke best by one second.

Atherton said Jaclyn Clode and Isabella Geue both took a second off their personal bests in the 100-metre freestyle.

He said Geue also beat her 100-metre backstroke personal best by a second, while Ruby Hill just missed out on her 50-metre freestyle personal best.

‘‘I am absolutely rapt with how well the squad has done,’’ he said.

‘‘Some of the guys who haven’t been here before were nervous when they first got here.

‘‘They settled down well before their events started though and it shows from the times they have been putting in.’’

Atherton said the Sharks were well supported out of the pool by a contingent of parents, who also made the trip to Geelong to watch their children compete.

‘‘There are some clubs we would have thought had more swimmers and support than us, but it turns out that is not the case,’’ he said,

‘‘We’ve had a number of clubs talking to us and are interested in our swimmers and they can see we are growing in numbers and strength.’’

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