Gold Fins dive into sprint glory
AS GYMPIE'S oldest swimming champion, David Lee, announced his retirement from the sport this week a new star was born at the state sprints at Chandler on the weekend.
Nine-year-old Troy Carlson, after his first-ever McDonald's Qld Sprint Championships, came home with two medals from the Queensland titles.
Carlson won a silver in the 50m freestyle and bronze in the 50m backstroke.
He also placed fourth in the 50m butterfly and ninth in the 50m breaststroke.
The Gympie South State School student has broken nearly every record in the Gympie Swimming Club handbook this year and again showed his raw talent in the pool to be the second fastest nine-year-old in the state in the 50 free.
Carlson said he was beaten by Tom Neal from Clayfield.
"It was pretty close, about half a second," Carlson said.
"It was a lot of fun, maybe I have to train a bit harder."
David Lee, swimming in his last state sprints, won four medals.
He took silver in the multiclass 50 breast and bronze in the multiclass 50 free, back and butterfly.
After 20 years of swimming, where his highlight was winning a medal at the Global Games, he is giving the game away.
"I am sure I am retiring," Lee said.
"I have only the club championships to go and that's it.
"I will still swim for fitness, but no more competitive swimming," he said.
Gympie Gold Fins swimming coach Libby Manthey said it was sad to see Lee give up competitive swimming but said there was always a new breed of swimmers moving up to fill the ranks.
She said the team swam really well at the state sprints with nearly all the 11 swimmers attending posting personal best times.
"Troy swam well to get medals and his stroke is improving," Manthey said.
"Altogether the club looks in good shape for the upcoming Wide Bay titles."
One of the surprise packets for the Gold Fins was nine-year-old Darcy Cartwright who blew his best times out of the water to get eighth in the state for the 50m freestyle.
"He took three or four seconds off every stroke.
"He was a surprise packet and really jumped up a level," Manthey said.
Club president Cherie Carlson said it was the best performance by the Gympie Gold Fins at the state sprints she can remember.