Harry Bennett travelled to Sydney to compete at the Swimming NSW Long Course Qualifying Meet at Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre last Saturday and Sunday with great success.

The 14-year-old Narrabri boy competed at the event to prepare for the 2020-21 swim season but had low expectations, having rarely swum competitively or in a 50-metre pool since the COVID-19 pandemic reached the country and abruptly ended the 2019-20 season.

However, Harry set eight new personal best times and swum a NSW Country qualifying time in the open 50m butterfly.

In the 200m individual medley he shaved an incredible 5.58 seconds off his previous best time.

Harry swims for the Wee Waa Swimming Club and is coached by Karla’s Swim Team’s head coach Karla Carruthers.

Carruthers said that she was impressed with the youngster’s performance given his recent training schedule.

“Considering COVID and the limited restrictions and time constraints at the aquatic centre in recent months, Harrison has done less training then usual,” she said.

“I was so surprised he actually swam faster in Sydney across the weekend.

“We were using this meet just to see where we were at and get some racing in before the summer season starts.

“To start off his summer with these fast PB times was very impressive.

“He was a little nervous as we are not really very prepared yet for big race meets, that comes later in the year once we have had a few months practise in the 50m pool.

“I must again commend Harry on his attitude, he is the perfect student and always listens to me and gives his absolute all in each race. He gives well over 110 per cent and he never gives up.”

Harry’s next event will be the Orana Aquatic Swimming Club’s qualifying meet in Dubbo on Sunday, October 25.

Carruthers said Harry was busily preparing for a successful 2020-21 season.

“As the season progresses we are going to work towards doing some longer distance events in the lead up to NSW State and NSW Country meets,” she said.

“I expect a lot from Harry, he definitely sets the standard in our area for competitive swimming.

“Together we have some pretty big goals for the year, but for now it’s time to get stuck into training and do a significant amount of work before the end of the year.”

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