After being invited to attend the South Australian Long Course Age Championships following their outstanding performances at the SA Country Championships in Murray Bridge, West Coast Swimmers Brooke Traeger and India Copland returned to the SA Aquatic and Leisure in Marion to contest the South Australian Age Championships from the 21st - 24th of January. This swimming meet brings together South Australia's finest age group athletes all vying for the honour of being named South Australian 'State Champion'. Also invited to the event were Luke Andrews and Levi Proude, however due to other commitments they declined the invitation. Both Brooke and India proved that they have the ability to continue to produce personal best times under the pressure of championship racing. Incredibly in the first schedule of event heats, Brooke managed a personal best time of 2.43.81 to secure a place in the final of the 14yrs 200m butterfly. Lining up for the final that evening she managed what many believed to be impossible - improve her time again by a massive 9 seconds to win the gold medal in a time of 2.34.65. This time was just two seconds shy of the National Age Qualifying time which stands at 2.32.20. India Copland - 12 yrs recorded her best performance in the 50m breastroke finishing the race in a PB of 43.51. Brooke's butterfly performances in shorter distances - namely the 50m and 100m butterfly also resulted in her appearance on the winner's podium. Brooke received a bronze in both events in a time of 31.10 and 1.11.00 respectively. To complete her medal haul Brooke found yet another reserve of energy to again secure the bronze medal in the 50m freestyle (28.60) in a time that was just .3 of a second shy of the Australian Age Qualifying of 28.30. Swimming Australia have a tiered structure of goal times with Brooke now achieving times against a Youth Performance Squad 'blue' level and India being one of a number of our younger athletes that has made the Junior Excellence 'silver' standard. Just for the record Brooke then travelled overnight with her family back to Port Lincoln to jump in the water at the Tunarama Swim thru event to exit the water 'fastest female' with a $100 prize in her pocket. What an exciting year ahead for these talented swimmers.
Author - Sonia Ford
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