Gold Coast swimming powerhouse The Southport School (TSS) Aquatics continues to make its mark on Australian swimming throughout 2015-16 and will field no less than five members of the 20-strong Australian Swim Team for next month’s Oceania Swimming Championships in Fiji.
Along with Australia’s premier club St Peters Western, TSS Aquatics at Southport has enjoyed its most successful season in both pool and open water competition.
St Peters Western (SPW) with Michael Bohl and Dean Boxall at the helm has seven on the Olympic team, with three on the Junior Pan Pac Team and three on the Oceania team.
The TSS program, that finished second to SPW at the Georgina Hope Foundation Australian Age Championships in 2016, has blossomed under High Performance Coach, former Brit Chris Nesbitt and Open Water specialist, Great Britain’s former two-time World Championship open water swimmer David Proud.
The “British connection’s” charges have also made significant contributions to Australia’s representative teams this year – from the club’s first Olympian in butterflyer David Morgan who will take his place in the Australian team in Rio to two swimmers on the Junior Pan Pacs and five on the Oceania teams.
The Oceania Championships, in Suva from June 21-26, will see three TSS 18-year-olds Alessandra Colombini, Bianca Crisp and Alice Stuart joined by two of the men’s team Lachlan Colquhoun, 19 and Jake Kersten, 18.
Colquhoun, Colombini and Crisp will be joined by Kawana Waters two-time 5km and 10km National age open water champion Jack Brazier in the four-member open water section of the team.
Former Sydneysider Stuart finished fourth in the 200m butterfly at last month’s Hancock Prospecting Australian Championships after winning the 17/18 years 100/200m butterfly double at the GHSF Australian Age Championships.
Kersten is the team’s premier freestyle sprinter after finishing third behind SA Olympian Kyle Chalmers (Marion, SA) and Junior Pan Pac representative Jack Cartwright (St Peters Western, QLD) in the 50m freestyle (22.78) at the GHSF Australian Age Championships and second to Cartwright in the 100m freestyle (49.94).
St Peters Western trio Acacia Wildin-Snedden, Bryan Johan Poon and Cameron Jones have been rewarded for their performances, especially Wildin-Snedden, who won the 17/18 years 400 freestyle (4:13.86)/400m individual medley (4:50.80) double.
Victorian club Traralgon has two swimmers on the team in 17-year-olds Caiden Gill and Mikaela Cornelissen with the strong WA-based UWA West Coast club boasting two swimmers in Zac Incerti and Hadley Lindsay.
The team will be led by Olympian and Commonwealth Games Champion swimmer Martin Roberts with multiple Olympic Gold Medal winning Coach Tracey Menzies, appointed as the head coach.
Australian Swim Team, 2016 Oceania Championships, Suva, Fiji, June 21-26:
Jack Brazier (Kawana Waters, QLD)
Lachlan Colquhoun (TSS Aquatics, QLD)
Caiden Gill (Traralgon, VIC)
Zac Incerti (UWA West Coast, WA)
Bryan Johan Poon (St Peters Western, QLD)
Cameron Jones (St Peters Western, QLD)
Jake Kersten (TSS Aquatics, QLD)
Zac Stubblety-Cook (East Brisbane, QLD)
Thomas Wotton (Playford Aquatic, SA)
Nathan Zhu (Trinity Grammar, NSW)
Alessandra Colombini (TSS Aquatics, QLD)
Mikaela Cornelissen (Traralgon, VIC)
Bianca Crisp (TSS Aquatics, QLD)
Bec Cross (Ginninderra, ACT)
Abby Duncan (Norwood, SA)
Hadley Lindsay (UWA West Coast, WA)
Natasha Ramsden (Abbotsleigh, NSW)
Alice Stuart (TSS Aquatics, QLD)
Kara Svenson (Plane Creek and District, QLD)
Acacia Wildin-Snedden (St Peters Western, QLD)
Team Leader: Martin Roberts
Head Coach: Tracey Menzies
Coaches: Matt Brown (Trinity Grammar, NSW), Shaun Curtis (Norwood, SA), Jim Fowlie (Ginninderra, ACT)
Support Staff: Petria Thomas (Manager), Amelia Traeger (Physiotherapist), Tricia Jenkins (Massage Therapist)
Press Release courtesy: Swimming Australia