Bendigo Hawks squad soars at swimming championships 

Bendigo Hawks Aquatic swimmers Oliva Wright and Angus Verbeek both won individual bronze medals, while several central Victorians performed well at the recent State Age Championships in Melbourne.

Wright qualified in 11 events at the championships and took bronze in the 11-and-under 200m individual medley in 2:42.91.

Hawks’ newcomer Verbeek dashed to bronze in the boys’ 13-and-under 100m backstroke in 1:05.88.

“Olivia has been preparing well throughout the short course season. She qualified for 11 events at states, so she’s ranked quite highly across a lot of her strokes,” BHA head coach Ash Wain said.

“She was due to put in a good performance and she did.

“Angus has come down from Swan Hill, he travels down to swim with us half of the week. He’s a bit of a young talent coming through.

“Most of the team did PBs and they swam well, I was very happy with the performance of the team.

The Bendigo Hawks took 11 swimmers to the meet at Melbourne’s Sports and Aquatic Centre,  with 43 personal bests recorded and 17 finals appearances.

The Hawks finished 27th from 120 clubs at the meet.

Verbeek broke six club records – in the 50m and 100m freestyle, 100m and 200m breaststroke and backstroke – while also qualifying for five national age events.

Callum Moloney set a new club mark in the 12-year-old boys’ 50m freestyle with his 29.05 effort only .16 outside of qualifying for the final.

Former Bendigo East swimmer Jenna Strauch, now swimming for Melbourne Vicentre, dominated the 15-year-old age group, with three gold and two silver medals from nine finals.

Strauch’s swim in the 200m breast-stroke final broke Leisel Jones’ record for the event. 

Her former Bendigo East team-mate Callum King, who recently moved to Nunawading SC, competed in nine finals and narrowly missed medals in three events.

Echuca’s Joshua Kennedy was named best 13-year-old male swimmer after claiming two gold, one silver and two bronze medals. 

The Victorian Open is this weekend, with the country championships in Sale over the Australia Day long weekend.

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