Hawks clean up in pool

Not to be outdone by the girls, the Hawks boys' team provided plenty of highlights across the weekend.

THE Bendigo Hawks Aquatic Swim Club underlined its dramatic improvement under the guidance of head coach Ashley Wain with an unprecedented medal haul at the Victorian Country Long Course Swimming Championships in Wodonga last weekend.

Represented by a small team of just 20 swimmers, the Hawks took on the biggest and best country Victorian swim clubs and finished the meet with a haul of 33 medals - 10 gold, 12 silver and 11 bronze.

The result placed the Hawks second on the medal table, only behind the powerhouse Traralgon Swim Club and well ahead of larger rival clubs including Geelong, Wodonga, Ballarat Gold and Bendigo East.

Leading the way for the Hawks was 11-year-old superfish Emily Evans, who collected three individual gold medals.

Evans proved the dominant swimmer in her age group by winning the 50m freestyle, backstroke and butterfly events and placing just outside the medals in the 50m breaststroke.

Twelve-year-old Olivia Wright enhanced her growing stature in the sport with a comprehensive victory in the 100m fly and a stroke-for-stroke win in the 100m back.

Wright showed her versatility by also winning silver medals in the 100m freestyle and 100m breaststroke events.

Club newcomer Chelsea Beale, 11, has improved rapidly since joining the Hawks and this was underlined by her brilliant bronze-medal-winning swim in the 50m breaststroke and a close fourth in the 50m freestyle.

Beale also combined with Evans, Lauren Cox and Harliai Curthoys-Davies to take silver in the girls 11-and-under medley relay.

Curthoys-Davies enjoyed a successful meet, earning an individual silver and bronze medal in the 50m freestyle and backstroke events respectively.

Not to be outdone by the girls, the Hawks boys' team provided plenty of highlights across the weekend and gave its enthusiastic supporters much to cheer about.

These included Angus Verbeek, 14, who won gold in the 100m back and bronze in the 100m breaststroke and 200m individual medley; Mitchell Sherlock, 12, claiming silver in the 100m freestyle and bronze in the 100m backstroke and 100m butterfly; Callum Maloney, 13, taking silver in the 100m freestyle; and Bailey Harriden, 14, who grabbed bronze in the 100m butterfly.

But their combined effort in winning silver in both the boys 14-and-under 200m freestyle and medley relay events in national age championship qualifying times brought the Hawks' entourage to their feet.

Nineteen-year-old Ryan Dessens was valiant in his bid to repeat his triple-gold performance of last year, ending up with two silver medals and one bronze in his pet breaststroke events.

While the inspirational Kahlia Marsh, 19, will leave the club at season’s end, she showed her class with stunning swims that resulted in four gold, two silver and three bronze medals.

In a sign that she remains a force to be reckoned with, Marsh broke three event records in the process.

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