Swimmers aim for the gold
YEARS of training, disciplined eating and working hard has landed three Gympie Gold Fins swimmers in the deep end at the State Championships, which start this weekend.
Scott Gear, Daniel Allen and Anna Cartwright have been putting in extra effort this week to make sure they are in top form.
At the pool on Thursday Gear and Allen were training with friend of nine years Drew Timbs, 16, who now attends Toowoomba Grammar school.
Timbs who is an ex-Gold Fin swims for the Academy Swim Club and will be competing against his Gympie mates.
But the Gold Fins aren't worried; they will all remain friends even if Drew wins.
Meanwhile it will be Cartwright's first state swim meet. She was training in Hervey Bay on Thursday.
She hopes to make it to the national titles one day and at the State Champs wants to get close in the finals.
The competition will be held at the Brisbane Aquatic Centre from today until December 16.
It is an approved qualifying meet for the 2012 London Olympics and has attracted all the big names in Australian swimming including Lisbeth Trickett, Jess Schipper and Hayden Stoeckel as well as international swimmers from China, Great Britain, Japan and Switzerland.
Gympie's Gold Fins know just what it takes to be selected for the big competitions. At just 12, Cartwright already trains five or six times a week and is constantly trying to beat her previous times.
She is six-tenths of a second off breaking the Gold Fins 50m freestyle record.
For Gear it has been hours and kilometres of swimming training.
He maintains his fitness all year round and eats healthily.
"I like swimming at Chandler.
"It's indoors and I think it's a fast pool. I have made the qualifying times for the past four years for the next year's age group and a few open events," he said.
He hopes to just do the best that he can.
"A final would be good and to break the minute for 100m fly.
"I am a sprinter so I want to do well at State Sprints in February."
The Year 11 student graduates next year and plans to keep swimming until finishing high school.
"Then I will decide if I keep swimming competitively."
It was the same for Allen; he will decide after school whether or not to keep swimming.
"I train eight times a week to achieve great results, and try to follow a healthy diet," he said.
He aims to make a final in his age for 100m backstroke and do some great personal best times.