DALBY’S NEW CHAMP
Meet the region’s newest teen swimming superstar
FOR 16-year-old Chloe Johnston, swimming wasn’t always her greatest passion. Like most children with older siblings, Chloe started swimming because her sister did it and she wanted to follow in her footsteps.
“I started swimming when I was pretty little, like six or seven, but I didn’t really like it,” Miss Johnston said.
“I just did it once a week because my big sister swam.”
These days, Chloe – who hails from Dalby but now lives on the Sunshine Coast – is somewhat of a swimming superstar.
She’s busy preparing for one of her toughest competitions yet.
Chloe finished off 2018 on a high, achieving some incredible results from her state competition in Brisbane, which ran from December 10-15.
“I had a pretty good meet,” Miss Johnston said about the competition.
“I made the final in the 200m butterfly and got my national time and came seventh. My favourite event is the 800m freestyle, and I came fourth in that.”
Miss Johnston has now been swimming competitively for four years and is showing no sign of slowing down.
More of the swimmer’s life is spent in the pool than out.
Miss Johnston wakes up every morning and trains for two hours, attends school from 8.20am to 3.20pm, and is straight back in the pool after school.
The intense training means Miss Johnston sometimes misses out on holidays and much-deserved breaks. She was given three days off after the state competition before diving straight back into training.
Despite staying cool during races, Miss Johnston does get a bit nervous every now and again.
“The hardest part about competing is when I get really nervous and sometimes I don’t swim as well,” Miss Johnston said.
“If it’s my 800m I get really nervous, but if it’s something I don’t train for I’m like ‘oh, whatever’.”
To help get over nerves, the teen says she’s got a great playlist filled with plenty of rap and Gang of Youths.
Chloe’s mum Kylie has moved back to Dalby recently and works as the manager of Dalby Aquatic Centre.
Kylie has always seen the potential in her daughter and admires her hard work and dedication.
“She actually enjoys it. She gets herself up at 4.30 in the morning, sticks to her diet and just trains hard,” Mrs Johnston said.
As for the toughest aspect of Chloe swimming competitively, Kylie believes the hard part is juggling all the day-to-day activities.
“They get very tired, and trying to fit school in is very, very tricky,” Mrs Johnston said.
Despite the challenges, Chloe is training long and hard for nationals, where her mum will be in the crowd, cheering her daughter on as her number-one fan.
The ultimate goal for the swim star is to make the Olympics in the future. She’d love to represent Australia in her favourite event, the 800m freestyle.
For now, Chloe has a set of goals for 2019 that she’s focussing on.
“I really want to try and get a medal at nationals this year,” Miss Johnston said.
“And there’s an Australian junior team that I’d like to make as well.”
She has been training under Craig Harkiss and Michael Sage, who have helped her get to where she is today.
The national swimming championships will be held in mid-April in Adelaide.
YOUNG CHAMPION: Chloe Johnston is on her way to Nationals after putting in months of training.