Eldridge, Wills excel
Two Wimmera swimmers acquitted themselves well at Swimming Victoria’s Age Championships at Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre.
Warracknabeal’s Lily Eldridge and Horsham’s Eloise Wills contested the championships, which are open to all Victorian swimmers – metropolitan and country – who have met or beaten qualifying times at specific meets in the lead-up to the event.
Wimmera district swimmers competed in meets at venues such as Geelong, Ballarat or Melbourne to qualify.
Heats are contested in the morning session and the 10 fastest swimmers progress to the finals, which are in the evening on the same day.
Lily, 14, qualified in four events for her age group, 100m freestyle, 50m freestyle, 100m breaststroke and 100m backstroke.
She set three new personal bests in 100 freestyle, breaststroke and backstroke.
Lily was the ninth fastest in the 100m breaststroke heats and went on to compete in the final, where she finished ninth.
Lily said she had spent countless hours in the pool training and to reach a final at this level was a reward for the sacrifices she and her family had made.
Eloise, 12, qualified in six events for her age group – 100m backstroke, 100m freestyle, 200m freestyle, 200m backstroke, 50m freestyle and 200m individual medley.
She set two new personal best times in 100m backstroke and 200m freestyle.
Eloise said she enjoyed the experience, but struggled to back up after a silver medal-winning performance at the Pacific School Games in Adelaide the previous week.
Both girls, along with other swimmers from the district, will spend time over the holiday break preparing for Swimming Victoria’s Country Championships, which will be in Shepparton from January 26 to 28.