18 year old, Lichelle deferred university studies this year and has
The team then left the country and had two weeks of training camps in Singapore and Rome. Lichelle said "It was good to have the training camps, because it broke up the trip…so we did not get jet lagged." After visiting the sights of Rome, the team then travelled onto Athens, where they moved into the Athletes Village. With so much on offer, it was easy to get distracted from what Lichelle was at Athens to achieve, and that was to swim her best.
Lichelle definitely surpassed all expectations during the swimming program, winning bronze on the third night of competition in the freestyle relay and finishing sixth in the 100m freestyle event. Life only got better after that, with Lichelle making the final in the 100m Backstroke and then winning silver in the 400m Freestyle (5.23sec). Lichelle said the whole experience was awesome and did not expect to swim so well, let alone win a medal. "The athletes village was the most fun…I met so many people and new friends that I will remember forever." Lichelle explained.
The Gippsland Sports Academy athlete is now on a two week break from swimming, and will start training soon in the lead up for the 2005 Australian Championships in March. Lichelle will also attend the "Welcome home parade for Paralympians" in Sydney next week, as well as the VIS welcome home function.
This weekend will see the launch of the 2004 Gippsland Sports Academy swimming program in Warragul. The swimming program is arguably the Academy’s most successful program and with the most difficult selection criteria. Athletes are to achieve National Championship qualification times and also compete at the National Championships.
Last year there were 14 athletes initially in the squad with one athlete Sam Ashby being offered a swimming scholarship at Caulfield Grammar and numerous other achievements recorded during the program. Multi Disability swimmer Lichelle Clarke has recently been selected to compete for Australia at the Paralympics in Athens, following the Olympic Games.
For the 2004 program 20 athletes were offered swimming scholarships for which they will receive expert coaching, sports science and support services sessions. Dr. Ralph Richards, Regional Program Manager from the Victorian Institute of Sport, will continue in his role as the Head Coach and will be supported by local coaches Brian Ford (Traralgon), Michael Watson, Geoff Peterson and John Katal. Each of the local Gippsland coaches has athletes in the squad.
The program will again provided strength and conditioning for the squad, underwater filming, stroke analysis, competitions as well as lactate and hydration testing to be performed by members of the VIS sports science team.
The program will run through to the National Championships in 2005. On top of the Academy sessions the athletes will continue to train with their local coaches devising their heavy training programs.
The Academy squad for 2004 will be: Rohan Moffat, Andrew Cameron, Emma Heath, Sven Eriksson, Stephen Marks, Joel Minichello, Karley Cook, Lichelle Clarke, Elizabeth Bacchetti, Glen James Ferguson, Brenton Ford, Melissa Hopley, Caitie Mitchell, Andrew O’Connor, Jarrod Raun, Rhiannon Raun, Jeremy Saunders, Ben Smits, and Abbie Stockdale.
The Victorian Swimming Championships were held last week with all of the Latrobe First Swimming athletes suiting up to race at one of the major meets on the swimming calendar for 2004. The meet was held from the 2nd to 12th January with many Olympic athletes such as Matt Welsh, Michael Klim and Gianne Rooney in attendance.
The Victorian State Championships were held at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre on January 2nd to 12th. Gippsland Sports Academy LatrobeFirst Swimmers performed well, with two swimmers awarded Age Group Champion. Brenton Ford and Jeremy Saunders, of the Traralgon Club, achieved the highest scores in their age groups over the 5 days of Age Competition.
Sixteen year old Brenton, who swims in one of the toughest age groups in the state, swam in 12 finals, covering more than 2km of distance, to amass more championships points than any other 16 year old male. Brenton won a silver medals in the 400m Individual Medley (4:51.53) and the 200m breaststroke (2:37.13) and bronze in the 400m freestyle (4:17.68). Brenton also participated in 6 relay finals including the Boys 16 years Medley relay, which won Gold and broke the Country record for that event.
Jeremy Saunders won one gold, three silver and three bronze medals in the 13 years age group to be the 13 years male champion. Jeremy was the 12 years champion in 2003. Jeremy set a new Victorian Country record in the 200m Individual Medley with a time of 2:19.40. His silver medal swims were in the 100m freestyle (56.62), the 100m backstroke (1:04.74) and the 200m backstroke (2:21.68). Jeremy won bronze in the 100m breaststroke (1:12.99), the 200m freestyle (2:06.77) and the 200m breaststroke (2:43.61). Jeremy was also the youngest member of the 4 x 100m breaststroke relay team that won a bronze medal in Open competition.
Fifteen year old Sam Ashby, who was swimming in his last meet for Traralgon (and GSA) before starting the coming school year at Caulfield Grammar, broke the Victorian record in the 200m breaststroke by clocking 2:24.78. This broke the 16 years age group Gippsland record by 11 seconds and his own. Open record by 6 seconds. Sam also broke records in the 100m breaststroke, swimming 1:07.76 and the 200m Individual Medley, swimming 2:13.96 and won silver medals in each of those events. Sam won a bronze in the 100m butterfly in a time of 59.20 and placed 5th in the 100m backstroke in a time of 1:03.68. Sam is a great talent and a huge loss to the area. We wish him well with the Carey Aquatic Club.
Abbie Stockdale won two bronze medals in the backstroke events. Abbie’s time in the 100m event was 1:08.19, and in the 200m event was 2:27.02. Abbie swam a 31.03 to lead off the bronze medal winning 18 & under medley relay, breaking the Gippsland age and open 50m backstroke records.
Melissa Hopley, 14 years, won bronze in the 200m freestyle event in a time of 2:14.21 and competed in 5 finals and 6 relays.
Sixteen year old Caitie Mitchell set a new Victorian Country record in the 100m Breaststroke whilst placing 4th in that event in a time of 1:15.69. Caitie also placed 5th in the 200m breaststroke and achieved 2 further National Qualifying times in the 200IM and 50m freestyle.
Glenn Ferguson placed second in the 100m breaststroke and 6th in the 200m breast stroke. Sven Eriksson swam in two finals and Karley Cook swam in three finals. Both swimmers achieved a 5th placing in one of their events.
Multi-Disability swimmer Lichelle Clarke placed first in both the 100m free and the 50m free and third in the 50m backstroke.
After the Victorian Championships, Traralgon has 13 National Qualified swimmers. Those already holding National Qualifying times, Brenton Ford, Caitie Mitchell, Abbie Stockdale, Ben Geard, Tim Blackwood, Jeremy Saunders and Melissa Hopley, have been joined in the National Squad by Andrew O’Connor (16), Rhiannon Raun (14), Ben Smits (16), Jarrod Raun (13), Emma Heath (12) and Courtney Ford (18). Warragul’s Joel Minichiello (23) also achieved a National qualifying time. These swimmers can now compete at the Open or Age National Championships in either Sydney or Perth in the coming months and may also be eligible for consideration for the Gippsland Sports Academy LatrobeFirst Swimming Squad.
The Victorian Country Championships are to be held this weekend in Bendigo.
Swimmers from the Gippsland Sports Academy LatrobeFirst’ Swimming Program returned from a competition camp in Wagga Wagga, NSW with a swag of medals.
The Academy Squad of 9 National swimmers, competing as a Gippsland team, won 46 medals, broke one out-of-Gippsland record and achieved 3 new National qualifying times.
Traralgon’s Caitie Mitchell took five firsts, two seconds and two thirds during the two - day competition. Caitie won the 200m and 400m Individual Medley, the 50m and 100m breaststroke, and the 50m freestyle. Mitchell missed the 50m fly crown by .01 seconds and also placed second in the 100m freestyle. Her third placings were in the 200m freestyle and the 50m backstroke. Her 50m breaststroke time of 35.74 is an Open National Qualifying time which allows her to compete at the 2004 Olympic trials in Sydney.
Morwell’s Glenn Ferguson also qualified for the Sydney event when he won the 50m breaststroke and broke his own Out-of-Gippsland record in 31.79.
Brenton Ford, from the Traralgon Club, won three gold, taking out the distance events. Brenton won the 800m freestyle, the 400m Individual Medley as well as the 200m Individual Medley. Brenton also picked up a bronze in the 200m freestyle.
Traralgon’s Melissa Hopley won two gold, two silver and four bronze medals taking out the double freestyle of 50m and 100m in the 13-14 years age group. Melissa’s other medals came in the 200m freestyle, the 100m backstroke, the 50m butterfly, 200m backstroke, 50m breaststroke and 50m backstroke.
Abbie Stockdale (Traralgon) won 2 gold, one silver and one bronze medal. Abbie won both the 50m and 100m backstroke events, whilst placing second in the 200m backstroke. Abbie placed third in the 50m freestyle.
Sam Ashby (Traralgon) continued to dominate the distance breaststroke with a gold in the 200m event against stiff competition.
Karley Cook from the Warragul Club won three gold and figured in two Gippsland ‘trifectas’. Cook won the 100m and 200m freestyle and placed second in the 50m freestyle. She shared the dais in the 200m event with Melissa Hopley (second) and Caitie Mitchell (third), and was also part of the winning combination in the 50 free where Caitie Mitchell won, Karley took second and Abbie Stockdale placed third. Cook also won the 800m freestyle and placed second in the 100m butterfly and third in the 200m Individual Medley and the 50m butterfly.
Sven Eriksson (15 of Warragul) achieved a National Age qualifying time in the 50m freestyle swimming 26.28. Eriksson placed second in that event, as he also did in the 200m freestyle, and third in the 100m freestyle.
Steven Marks (17 of Warragul) won 2 gold, 3 silver and 3 bronze winning the 100m backstroke and the 200m freestyle. Marks, who swam in 12 events over the weekend, won silver in the 200m Individual Medley, the 200m backstroke and the 100m freestyle. He placed third in the 400m Individual Medley, the 50m freestyle and the 50m backstroke.
The ‘Latrobe First’ Team travelled by Budget bus to Wagga Wagga where the swimmers described the newly opened Wagga Wagga outdoor 50m, 10 lane, solar heated pool as "awesome". The trip gave the Academy team, who are preparing for State Championships in January, an opportunity to compete in a 50m pool in a heats and finals program. The elite Gippsland swimmers and Event Coach Michael Watson could only wonder when Gippsland might offer a comparable venue so swimmers do not have to travel to find similar competition and training opportunities.
Upon arrival in Wagga Wagga the team had a light training session in the pool and finished each day of competition with a cool down swim. Comfortable accommodation was found at the Country Comfort Motel within walking distance of the pool. Dinner on both Friday and Saturday night was delivered to the Motel by a local restaurant – carbohydrate rich meals to prepare the swimmers for competition. Coach Watson calculated that many swimmers raced as much as 3000m with heats and finals each day.
After the State Championships, which are to be held at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre between January 2 and 12, the ‘Latrobe First’ Squad will head into the third block of training leading up to the National Age Perth and Open Sydney) Championships.
Thank you to the Board and Latrobe First for the opportunities that we can offer to these worthy and committed young athletes.
The Gippsland Academy of Sport Swimming Squad travelled to Northern Victoria as a team to compete in the Victorian Country Short Course titles. Twelve members of the Academy Squad arrived at the new Wangaratta Sport and Leisure Centre by bus with Coach Brian Ford and Program Manager Jane Mitchell for the two-day event. The strength of the Gippsland swimming district was evident as Academy Swimmers claimed 22 gold medals. Ashley Delaney (17) and Jeremy Saunders (13) of the Traralgon Swimming Club, were stand-outs with Ashley winning 7 gold medals and Jeremy winning 5 gold and 1 silver medals.
Sam Ashby (14 - Traralgon), who won two gold medals in both the 14/15years 100m breaststroke (1:10.15), and the Open 200m breaststroke (2:27.54), also broke the 14 years Country and 14 years and Open Out-of-Gippsland Short Course records with the 200m swim. Abbie Stockdale (17 – Traralgon) won gold in the 16/17 years 100m backstroke in 1:06.03 and broke the Out-of-Gippsland records in the 17 & over and Open categories.
Ashley Delaney (17 – Traralgon), who recently broke both the Out-of Gippsland (age and open) and Country (age) records for the 100m freestyle with a time of 53.02, and the 100m backstroke with a time of 58.69 at the State Open Short Course titles, again claimed those events on his way to his seven-medal haul. Ashley won the 16/17 years 100m freestyle (53.13), 100m fly (58.92), 100m back (59.41), 200m IM (2:15.86), 200m freestyle (1:57.04), Open 200m back (2:10.79), and the Open 200m fly (2:12.77).
Jeremy Saunders (14 – Traralgon), won gold in the 12/13 years 100m breaststroke (1:13.47), 100m freestyle (57.68), 100m backstroke (1:06.16), 200m freestyle (2:07.66), 200m IM (2:22.82) and silver in the 100m butterfly (1:06.71).
Brenton Ford (15 – Traralgon) won gold in the 14/15 years 200m IM (2:17.35) and the 14/15 years 200m freestyle (2:00.81). Brenton won silver in the Open 200m breaststroke (2:34.13), 14/15 years 100m freestyle (56.52), and 14/15 years 100m backstroke (1:02.76).
Ben Geard (21 – Traralgon) won gold in the 18 & Over 100m breaststroke (1:08.53) and the 100m backstroke (1:00.32) and won silver in the 100 freestyle (54.90). Caitie Mitchell (16 – Traralgon) won gold in the Open 200m breaststroke (2:41.98) and the 16/17 years 100 breaststroke (1:16.81). Caitie also won silver in the 100m freestyle (1:02.17) and the 200 IM (2:28.30) and bronze in the 200m freestyle (2:16.28).
Sven Eriksson (15 – Warragul) won gold in the 14/15 year 100m freestyle (56.04) and bronze in the 200m freestyle (2:04.02). Stephen Marks (17 – Warragul) won silver in the 16/17 years 100m backstroke (1:00.49) and four bronze medals – in the 16/17 years 100m freestyle (57.22), 200m IM (2:22.10), 200m freestyle (2:08.85) and 200m backstroke (2:17.64). Karley Cook (14 – Warragul) won silver in the 14/15 years freestyle (1:01.30), 200m freestyle (2:13.30) and bronze in the 100m butterfly (1:11.65). Glenn Ferguson (15 – Morwell) won a bronze medal in the 14/15 years 100m breaststroke (1:12.55).
After the meet many of the team members remained in Wangaratta for a Swimming Victoria Country Squad camp that ran for two days.
The Academy swimmers will meet regularly for sessions in Gippsland and Melbourne and also plan another competition camp during this season. The Academy supports the District’s National swimmers to continue to compete at a high level as they prepare for the 2004 National Championships
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