Third medal for Hernani hotshots

AT THE recent schools state swimming championships, Hernani swimmers have continued to produce the impressive results for which they have become renowned.

Whether its the pristine water or the rarefied mountain air that fires them up, when it comes to swimming, the Hernani children are determined to uphold the school tradition of State representation.

After winning gold in 2003 and bronze in 2004, the Hernani relay team were eager to make it three medals in a row in the Small School Relay Event.

The team of Tom Turnbull, Claudia Turnbull, Hannah Maxwell, Zani Smith and Emma Goddard travelled to Sydney with the North Coast record of 2 minutes 41.08 seconds in the bag.

In the morning heats they even amazed themselves by recording a time of 2:34.32, which was just over a second outside the state record, and saw them seeded first going into the finals.

As the day progressed, parents nervously waited, with all wondering if the team could reproduce this fine form in the afternoon finals.

They gave it their best shot, but were out gunned by Gum Flat Primary School from Inverell, who swam a huge PB to win.

Nevertheless, the Hernani hotshots were delighted to take out the silver medal, with team anchor Emma recording a personal best time in the process.

Emma also swam well in the Senior Girls 50m Breaststroke.

Swimming in the Combined High Schools state carnival prior to the PSSA Championships, Richie Goddard from Dorrigo High School also returned from Homebush with great results.

He swam in the 15 years and under boys multi disability events, and from the five events that he contested he broke five NSW and one Australian Record (in S14 Disability Category for Boys 13 years and under).

Although swimming great times, Richie remained unplaced in his first four events after the multi disability scaling adjustment was applied.

However, as he put it, he saved the best for last.

In the 50m backstroke, he flew out of the blocks to take the lead and never lost it - recording a four second PB in the process! He smashed the NSW record and even managed to take the Australian Record by almost one second.

He retained his first placing, even after adjustment, taking out a CHS gold medal. He now progresses to the All Schools championship tomorrow - the trials for the Pacific Schools Games to be held in Melbourne later this year.

Richie thanked his Dorrigo coaches, and in particular local coaches Cheryl Neville, Tim Raven and Leigh Eastwood, who have encouraged and supported him in his quest to make the NSW Team.

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