City of Orange coach ‘on cloud nine’ after club’s incredible state title showing | Photos

MEDALS OF HONOUR: Francesca Chitukudza shows off her four-medal haul from last weekend's state age championships. Photo: TANYA CHAPMAN
MEDALS OF HONOUR: Francesca Chitukudza shows off her four-medal haul from last weekend's state age championships. Photo: TANYA CHAPMAN

City of Orange Swim Club coach Tanya Chapman couldn’t hide her excitement following her charges’ excellent showing at last weekend’s Swimming NSW 10-12 Years State Short Course Championship.

The five-strong City of Orange group earned five medals and four more finals appearances across the meet to finish 26th on the medal tally and 19th in the pointscore, out of more than 100 clubs.

Francesca Chitukudza did her reputation as a burgeoning star no harm, claiming two silver medals and two bronze medals too while Breahna Burgess produced a career-best performance.

Ranked 10th heading into her 12 years 200 metre breastroke final, Burgess stunned the entire pool by winning a silver medal from the outside lane and shaving almost eight seconds off her personal best time.

“She was amazing, she was a huge dark horse,” Chapman said.

“When I started with Breahna she was at rock bottom, she was ready to give the sport away.

“Seeing her development has been incredible. I said to her before the meet that she was back on pace and if she swam well, she’d medal.

TALENT APLENTY: City of Orange's five-strong state age group; (back, from left) Mille Brodbeck, Cally Dawson, Breahna Burgess, (front) Francesca and Francis Chitukudza. Photo: TANYA CHAPMAN

TALENT APLENTY: City of Orange's five-strong state age group; (back, from left) Mille Brodbeck, Cally Dawson, Breahna Burgess, (front) Francesca and Francis Chitukudza. Photo: TANYA CHAPMAN

“She didn’t believe me, no one wins medals from the outside lanes, but she went out there and came second.

“She was less than a second behind Collette (Lyons) from Kinross as well, and she actually managed to come in well and truly under the national qualifying time for next year’s championship.”

Francis Chitukudza, Millie Brodbeck and Cally Dawson also competed, producing excellent showings too.

“Francis was very, very sick. He pulled out of a couple of events on Saturday and I’m really not sure how he managed to swim on Sunday, he’s a tough little bugger,” Chapman said, lauding her charge’s grit and determination.

“He was on par with his times too, considering he was so sick it was a great effort.”

Brodbeck and Dawson both made their state-level debuts last weekend, as part of City of Orange’s 4x50m girls’ freestyle and medley relay teams.

“Millie clocked 34.01 in the freestyle which was a personal best and she led the medley swimming backstroke and did 41.14, also a personal best,” Chapman explained.

“Cally was on debut as well, she swam a personal best in the freestyle relay and swam the freestyle in the 4x50m medley relay too, swimming slightly quicker than the day before.

ALL SMILES: City of Orange's Breahna Burgess and Kinross' Collette Lyons share the 200m breastroke podium with Bomaderry's Shania Campbell-Cooper. Photo: TANYA CHAPMAN

ALL SMILES: City of Orange's Breahna Burgess and Kinross' Collette Lyons share the 200m breastroke podium with Bomaderry's Shania Campbell-Cooper. Photo: TANYA CHAPMAN

“We had a total of 19 personal best times as well, this was definitely the most successful state championships by far.

“These guys exceeded all expectations, well and truly, I’m on cloud nine.”

Young guns Thomas Pell and Johannes Logan represented their Jets Swim Club with aplomb last weekend as well, turning out excellent efforts.

Up against some very stiff competition, the pair didn’t manage to secure any medals but swam superbly to earn three top 15 finishes combined.

Logan managed to score two of those top 15 finishes, with Pell claiming the other.

Logan finished 13th in his 10 and under 50 metre breaststroke final, clocking 43.21 in qualifying and shaving almost a second off that in the final.

He also blitzed his qualification mark in the 10 and under 100m breaststroke final. After swimming 1.34.33 in qualifying, Logan cut almost two seconds off that mark in the final to finish 15th.

Pell finished 13th in the 11 and under 200m breastrstroke, clocking 3.11.93 in the final.