Year of personal bests for Cuskelly
Talented teen all set for the state swimming championships this month
MYRTLEFORD’S Lily Cuskelly will be out to achieve her best result at this month’s SSV State Swimming Championships after a summer where the teenager has swum faster than she ever has before.
The Marian College student has qualified for the school event twice in the past and will again make the trip to Melbourne in her pet event the 50m breast stroke on April 22.
She qualified after winning Upper Hume and then Hume Regional events earlier this year.
“I’ve been twice before, every time in the 50m breaststroke but have also qualified for the 50m backstroke previously,” Cuskelly said.
“Previously at state championships I’ve placed around 6th or 7th in the final after winning my heat.”
Cuskelly has been involved with the Myrtleford Swim Club since she was six years old and says she’s always loved being in the water and learns something new almost every time she’s in the pool.
That’s probably the reason why, that despite there being no pennant competitions across the region over summer, she continued to work at her craft.
In a year where others might have taken a year off with fewer events to train for, Cuskelly has trained as normal and even added extra sessions to her schedule.
“It’s been an individual year where I’ve really worked hard training,” she said.
“I’ve trained three nights a week, and with no weekend competitions I’ve been getting down to the pool for weekend trainings and occasionally some morning trainings.”
The extra work looks to have paid off, with the 14 year-old setting a number of new personal bests.
She also broke several records at the Myrtleford Swim Club Championships last month, setting new benchmarks in the 50m breaststroke, backstroke and freestyle.
Incredibly, her 50m freestyle time was almost two seconds faster than the previous best recorded at the club.
“This year I’ve set PBs in the 200m individual medley, 100m individual medal and the 50m breaststroke and backstroke,” she said.
“I came fourth in backstroke and the individual medley (at Hume events this year) so it’s my aim to qualify in those, for the state championships next year.”
To help achieve that Cuskelly plans to head to Wangaratta to swim over winter, with the Myrtleford pool not open.