Local swimming sensation Harry Bennett put both Narrabri and Wee Waa back on the national swimming map earlier this month when he competed at the 2021 National Age Championships.

The 15-year-old is a Narrabri boy who swims for Wee Waa Swimming Club and has enjoyed another successful season in 2020 and 2021.

He qualified for and competed in six events at the National Age Championships event which was hosted by the Gold Coast Swimming and Aquatic Centre. He swam in two of those events on Thursday, April 8, two more on Saturday, April 10, then competed in the final two on Monday, April 12.

Swimming against predominantly older opposition after he turned 15 in March, Harry produced some phenomenal efforts and achieved some impressive results.

In his boys’ 15-years 100-metre freestyle event on Thursday, April 8, Harry swam a 54.96 to drop 1.03 seconds off his entry time to place 24th.

Later that day he swam another personal best time in the boys’ 15-years 200-metre butterfly. He shaved 0.91 seconds off his entry time with a 2:15.48 to place 15th.

On Saturday, April 10, Harry swam a 1:04.15 in the boys’ 15-years 100-metre backstroke and a 4:59.88 in the boys’ 15-years 400-metre individual medley which saw him place 30th and 15th respectively.

On his final day of competing on Monday, April 12, his first event was the boys’ 15-years 200-metre individual medley in which he placed 15th with a 2:17.96.

He then saved his best for last, breaking one of his 2020-21 season goals in the process. That was to swim a sub-minute time in the 100-metre butterfly and he did that as he finished the boys’ 15-years event in 59.69 seconds to earn his third PB of the championships and achieve an impressive 12th-place finish.

Harry is trained by Narrabri swimming coach Karla Carruthers who commended the young gun for his achievements as well as his effort and dedication.

“Just getting there in itself was amazing for Harry,” Carruthers said.

“I’m so proud of him.

“It was an amazing atmosphere up there, even during the first two days which were training days, being around all the other competitors and coaches during those days was amazing.

“Harry swam really well but his best races were his 100 free and 100 fly especially.

“A big highlight for us was when he went under a minute in the 100 fly because that was one the goals we had set for this season, as was making
nationals times.

“He went 59 in that and it was a really good race, and he went 54 in the 100 free which was a pretty good time as well.

“Both were PBs and I don’t think anyone from this area has ever gone faster than that, I’ve been having a bit of a look back through the records.

“It’s pretty awesome.”

Carruthers said that the sky was the limit for Harry, who has proven to his coach that he possesses the potential to win goal medals at a national level.

“I think that anyone has the ability to go anywhere if they want to,” she said.

“Harry’s mindset is very strong but how far he goes will come down to his workload.

“I think he has the potential in the future to medal at state or nationals, but there’ll have to be a huge increase in workload.

“We’ve never had to increase that much because he’s just gotten faster, but as he gets older he’ll need to increase it.”

Harry has continued his training at the Narrabri Aquatic Centre’s indoor pool and has now turned his attention to NSW All Schools Swimming Championships which will be held at the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre late next month. He also has an eye on the Swimming NSW Country Short Course Championships which will be held in late June, also at SOPAC.

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