Dessens slashes personal best times in the pool

A DISCIPLINED training regime has catapulted Bendigo Hawks Aquatic swimmer Ryan Dessens to three stunning personal bests at the Victorian Open Championships.

Dessens only began swimming with the Hawks a year ago and the 19-year-old’s results against the state’s best last weekend shocked everyone, including himself.

The breaststroker knocked 13 seconds off his 200m personal best, almost three seconds from his 100m time and nearly half-a-second from his best 50m swim.

“I wanted to do well, I didn’t think I’d do that well,” Dessens said. “I absolutely blitzed them, I was so happy with my times.”

In the 50m preliminaries, Dessens swum 30.36 – .35 faster than his previous best. He went slightly slower in the B-final at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre, but still finished fifth in Victoria.

Some interstate and international swimmers took the qualifying spots in the A-final, although their times didn’t count towards the state event.

A third-placing in the 100m B-final saw him finish fourth in Victoria, with his 1:06.5 swim almost three seconds better than his previous best. But it was Dessens’ 200m B-final which stunned the Hawks, with the Latrobe University student smashing his personal mark by 13 seconds and finishing fourth in the state in 2:26.24.

“It was just a lot of willpower I think and a lot of training,” Dessens said of the reasons behind his rapid improvement. I’d like to keep improving at that rate, it would be brilliant.”

Dessens has been juggling his studies in civil engineering and business with working for the City of Greater Bendigo over summer, as well as swimming twice daily.

His commitment has paid-off under head coach Ash Wain since he joined the Hawks from Castlemaine.

“It was pretty light training (at Castlemaine), more social,” he said.

“I’ve really started to improve under Ash’s coaching, it’s gone dramatically.”

Wain hopes Dessens continues his improvement to break into the national top-25.

“I’m really happy, he’s really coming along well. He’s great for the team,” Wain said.

“He’s first year at uni so he’s had a lot to juggle. He’s putting everything into his swimming at this point of time, I’m hoping he’ll be able to step-up and go to that extra level.”

Dessens is hoping to bring home some medals from this weekend’s Victorian Country Championships at Sale.

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