Six Spartans qualify for world championships

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Six Spartans qualify for world championships

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The six USC Spartans who have made the Australian teams - from left Leah Neale, Ellie Cole, Braedan Jason, Blake Cochrane, Taylor McKeown and Kaylee McKeown.

1 May 2017

Six USC Spartans swimmers have qualified for the 2017 world championships after strong performances at the recent Australian titles in Brisbane.

Three swimmers from each of the USC Olympic and Paralympic high-performance squads are preparing for world title tilts in Hungary in July and Mexico in September/October respectively.

The efforts of these swimmers and their club mates at the Australian championships saw the Spartans finish second on points score, only two points behind renowned powerhouse club St Peters Western.

Spartans who qualified for the 2017 FINA World Championships, to be held in Budapest from 14-30 July, were Leah Neale and sisters Taylor and Kaylee McKeown.

Leah will compete in the 4x200m relay, Kaylee in the 200m backstroke and Taylor in the 100m and 200m breaststroke events.lie Cole, Braedan Jason, Blake Cochrane, Tay McKeown and Kaylee McKeown as well as coaches Chris Mooney and Nathan Doyle.

Spartans bound for the 2017 Para Swimming World Championships in Mexico City from 30 September to 7 October, are Braedan Jason, Blake Cochrane and Ellie Cole.

Braedan qualified for the 400m freestyle and is set to compete in several freestyle and butterfly events, Blake qualified for the 100m breaststroke, and is likely to compete in breaststroke and individual medley races, while Ellie qualified in 100m breaststroke and will compete in the 50m and 100m freestyle events.

USC Olympic and Paralympic coaches, Chris Mooney and Nathan Doyle, also gained selection in the Australian coaching squads for the world championships.

Mr Mooney said all Spartans swimmers competed well at the national titles, with many recording personal best times and improving their Australian rankings. But he was keeping a lid on his excitement about the results.

“The Olympics in 2020 is our main goal, so we’re not blowing our trumpet or getting too far ahead of ourselves just yet. There is still a lot of work to get through for our big goals that are down the track, including the Commonwealth Games in April next year,” he said.

Mr Doyle said the entire Paralympic squad was taking a “one in, all in” approach to training for the world titles, with all his swimmers set to attend training camps at the Gold Coast and in Cairns during the lead-up to the Para Swimming World Championships in Mexico.

— Terry Walsh

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