Grammar team eyes success at state titles
IPSWICH Grammar School Swim Club competitors launch their state titles campaign tomorrow, having decided to overlook today's relay events at Chandler.
However, head coach Greg Fasala and his assistant Jess Chandler have plenty of talented swimmers to watch in individual competition over the next week.
The IGS team features a mix of experienced and younger swimmers, keen to experience the challenge of racing in the hotly contested annual Queensland championships.
"That's a pretty good effort. It's not easy to qualify for the states,'' former Olympian Fasala said of his 12-strong team.
That's why each of the swimmers were presented with a special shirt yesterday. It's a tradition Fasala has overseen since joining the IGS program four years ago.
However, this year's state title qualifiers had an extra challenge to contend with.
With heating issues in the old IGS pool during winter, the swimmers trained at other venues, including the Waterworx aquatic centre at Springfield.
Being a business partner at that facility, Fasala seized on the opportunity to give his swimmers a new training focus, over shorter 25m distances.
"They've got a good gym and heated water all year round,'' he said of the Waterworx centre.
The IGS swimmers also had some sessions at the Ipswich Girls' Grammar School pool.
"I think it was a good change,'' Fasala said.
Back in the IGS pool in recent weeks, the state titles qualifiers quickly returned to a familiar routine.
"They are all swimming pretty solidly,'' Fasala said.
Among those with big programs at the state titles are Jasper Ford and Ryan Maskelyne.
Ford is tackling all the strokes in his 15 years age group with Maskelyne focused on the breaststroke in 15 years and open competition.
Maskelyne suffered a nasty shin injury mid-year, being on a difficult road to recovery.
"It will be the first time back for him for a while,'' Fasala said.
The IGS head coach said presenting shirts to the swimmers is important, enhancing club pride and reminding them to enjoy the challenge ahead.
"For some of these kids, it's the first time,'' said Fasala, who won a silver medal representing Australia in the freestyle relay at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.
"And I find that a lot of the kids that don't make it or just miss out are really keen to work hard for the following year.
"It's funny how a little thing like a t-shirt makes a huge difference.''
Ipswich Grammar Swim Club competitors contesting individual events at the state titles starting this weekend at Chandler:
- Jayden Allum, 12 (200m breaststroke, 100m freestyle, 100m breaststroke).
- Bradyn Cawood, 15 (100m freestyle).
- Flynn Ford, 14 (100m butterfly, 100m and 200m freestyle, 100m backstroke).
- Jasper Ford, 15 (100m and 200m freestyle, 100m and 200m butterfly, 100m backstroke, 200 IM).
- Maddie Henness, 11 (100m freestyle).
- Ryan Maskelyne, 15 (men's open 100m and 200m breaststroke, boys 15yrs 100m and 200m breaststroke).
- Summer McDonald, 14 (100m and 200m breaststroke).
- Sam Porter, 12 (100m freestyle).
- Ashleigh Scully, 14 (100m and 200m breaststroke).
- Jack Scully, 16 (100m, 200m, 400m and 1500m freestyle).
- Ella Whitley, 11 (100m freestyle).
- Gaberielle Wolventong, 11 (100m freestyle).