Girls Swim For Their State
Earlier this year, we reported that some of our students were selected to compete at the Australian Age Swimming Championships in Adelaide in April. The students who competed were Bianca Monaco (Year 10), Alyssa Monaco (Year 10), Sienna Pitt (Year 8), and Helen Smith (Year 9).
Bianca swam in the 1500m, 800m, 400m, 200m, and 100m freestyle, as well as three relays. Alyssa swam in the 100m individual medley, 50m and 100m butterfly, 100m and 200m breaststroke, 50m and 100m freestyle, and four relays!
Sienna who has just turned 13, competed in the 100m and 200m breaststroke, and the 200m and 400m individual medly, against some swimmers 12 months older than she. She came away with four personal best times, increasing her national ranking for the national meet in 2023.
Helen also had a great competition coming away with multiple personal best times. She also received three silver medals in the 200m and 400m individual relays and the 4 x 50 state relay.
Helen shares her experience of the competition below.
In mid-April, my family and I were lucky to travel to Adelaide so I could compete at the Australian Age Swimming Championships. At this event, I competed in the 50m, 100m, 200m, and 400m freestyle along with the 200m and 400m individual medley and the 100m butterfly. I also gained a spot in the 4 x 50m State freestyle relay, which was a really fun experience.
I have been swimming competitively for five years, all of it at South Shore Swimming Club. Leading up to Nationals I was training six swim sessions per week. We usually do between 4.5km to 6.5km per session. Also, I did one gym training session and a few blasts on the spin bike. Luckily, I’m only in Year 9 so my homework load isn’t too crazy, but it is definitely important to put schoolwork above training commitments, even if that means missing a session.
Overall, the highlight of the competition for me was being able to spend time with some of my friends from other clubs on the final night of the competition. The last event of the meet was the mixed medley state relay. All of the swimmers went down on the pool deck, and everyone screamed their lungs out willing their state to victory. It was a great atmosphere!
In swimming (like all sports!) you have your highs and lows, but I’ve always loved it because it’s where I feel at home: Your team is like your family. I also just love putting in the hard work and seeing it pay off, especially when you least expect it.
In the swimming world, my biggest inspiration will forever and always have to be Katie Ledecky (USA). It doesn’t matter how much she wins by, even if she has lapped her competition (which has happened!) she’s always just as gracious and goal-driven as if she had come last place. I think that is really something to admire and to take forward in the future.
Congratulations, Helen, we can’t wait to see where your swimming takes you next!