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Two local swimmers have taken out state titles at the recent NSW Open Water Championships.
Panania resident, Samantha Battams, won gold in the 13-years event in a time of one hour and six minutes, while Hayley Rowlands finished third. Both are members of the Harlee Elite Swimming Squad at the Max Parker Leisure and Aquatic Centre.
"I can’t believe I came first considering it was only my second time competing in an open water event," Samantha said.
Samantha went on to contest the National Championships in Adelaide where she achieved a top 10 finish.
"It was unreal to compete against some of the best swimmers my own age and place in the top 10," she said.
Thirteen-year-old Hayley began swimming at the local Max Parker Leisure and Aquatic Centre when she was only six months old. Twelve years later, the Revesby local is smashing records. Just last week she took five seconds off the previous record for the 200 metres freestyle at her school carnival.
"It’s not every day you can say you beat Tracey Menzies’ (Ian Thorpe’s former coach) time," the East Hill High School student said.
"I’ve seen huge improvements in my results and it’s all thanks to Alex Clarke pushing me and the whole squad every week."
Mr Clarke who has been operating the Harlee Elite Squad at the Max Parker Leisure and Aquatic Centre over the past 12 months, will now also run the squad at Roselands Aquatic Centre.
"We’ve achieved some great results with our students, so we thought it would be a good time to grow and expand our swimming squads," Mr Clarke said.
16/03/2017 12:36 PM