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Nationals relay bid for record breaking team

Albany Swim Club will push for their first national relay team after the boys 14-and-under 4x50m freestyle relay team claimed bronze at the SunSmart WA State Age Long Course Swimming Championships this week.

The relay team of Jacques Swarts, Jake Shepherd, Luke Wallinger and Tom Gawned broke the WA country all-time and residential record for the 14 and 15 under-age groups in the process to cap off a great championships for the club.

Albany Swim Club coach Marshall McAleese said the team were only one second off qualifying for the national championships.

“They were outstanding, we have never taken a relay team to the nationals,” he said.

“They will have a few more opportunities to qualify and it would be a great feather in their cap.”

McAleese said the Albany team which also featured Jacinta McFarlane, Coco Smargiassi, Zac Wells, Molly Bowles and Cairo Smargiassi broke a number of personal bests while Gawned led the way with six medals.

The young swimming sensation finished with three gold medals in the 50m freestyle, 200m backstroke and 100m backstroke, silver in the 100m butterfly and 100m freestyle and bronze in the 200m individual medley.

In the process he broke the WA country all-time and residential record in the 100m backstroke, 100m freestyle, 100m butterfly, 50m backstroke and achieved his sixth national qualifying time in 100m fly.

McAleese said it was pleasing the club was able to finish third overall out of regional clubs in the championships which saw almost 500 swimmers compete from clubs in WA, Singapore and Indonesia.

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