Swimming New England North West held their annual Speedo Sprint heats and long course area championships events in Tamworth on the weekend and Wee Waa Swimming Club was represented in superb style by James Gleeson.

The 10-year-old Wee Waa boy, who is the son of Steve and Lorna Gleeson, lined up in four events in the Speedo Sprint heats last Saturday and then took part in three events at the long course area championships. He achieved personal best times in all seven races, qualified for the finals of the Speedo Sprints in three events after earning a trio of top-four finishes, and also earned a bronze medal in the area championships.

Unfortunately for James, he will not be able to travel to attend the Speedo Sprint finals at the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre next month due to prior commitments, however, he was thrilled to discover that meant other swimmers would get a chance to qualify for the finals who otherwise may have missed out.

First up for the dedicated Wee Waa swimmer in the Speedo Sprint heats was the 50-metre butterfly, in which he secured a fourth-placed finish and set a brilliant 6.72-second personal best time.

He then competed in the 50-metre backstroke event and finished sixth while securing a 1.38-second PB, and then swam his way to third-place finishes in the 50-metre breaststroke and the 50-metre freestyle events and set 1.27-second and 2.25-second PBs in those, respectively.

James’ first event in the long course area champs meet was the 100-metre breaststroke. He narrowly missed out on a bronze medal in that race as he finished fourth, and he also set a 1.56-second PB.

He then lined up in the 50-metre freestyle and swam his way to fifth place with a 1.91-second PB.

The Wee Waa boy then finished off the weekend in style as he earned a bronze medal for a third-place finish in his 50-metre breaststroke event, in which he also earned a 1.78-second PB.

The positive results were a deserved reward for the youngster’s dedication as he continues to train three times during the week under the guidance of coach Meg Van Der Merwe, who commenced squad training at the local pool last year in November and offers squad training three mornings a week for Wee Waa Swimming Club members.

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