Junior swimmers break PB’s at Exmouth meet

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Tom ZaunmayrPilbara News
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VideoNearly 200 junior swimmers competed at the annual meet in Exmouth in November 2017

More than half of the Pilbara’s young swimmers broke their personal bests at the annual regional swimming carnival last weekend.

Exmouth hosted the three-day Pilbara Championships, which attracted 194 swimmers and more than 350 people to town from across the Pilbara, Broome and Carnarvon.

Hedland’s Bethany Denney was the pick of the girls for the meet, recording 1600 points across 13 events.

Alicia and Jessica Hamilton from Tom Price, and Exmouth’s Indi Strom and Lilly Watts, rounded out the top-five female swimmers.

Among the boys, Exmouth’s Reif Atherton came out on top, ahead of teammates Bo Davies and Jed Lord.

Broome’s Jesse Evans and Riley Smith from Tom Price finished in the top five.

Exmouth Swimming Club president Steve Haines said the event provided a boost to the town.

“It is well supported by the Shire and local business — they see the returns in having this type of thing hosted at this time of year,” he said.

“We have broken a few Pilbara records and even a couple of country records.”

WA Institute of Sport coach Michael Palfery said the atmosphere at the meet was good to see.

“Ten years ago, 60 to 70 per cent of the Australian swimming team originated from the country,” he said.

“I want to give these kids that sense of belief that you can start in the country and eventually make it on to the Australian team.”

Aspiring WA swimmer Jemima Horwood said fun was more important at junior meets than high performance.

Horwood said attending regional meets helped juniors gain an understanding of what it takes to take competitive sport to the next level.

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