Bond University Swimming Club (BUSC) fielded its largest team ever and put in a solid performance to finish in 25th place overall at the 2016 Georgina Hope Foundation Australian Age Championships in Adelaide earlier this week.
However all eyes were on one young Bullshark in particular – 15 year-old Elijah Winnington, who well and truly lived up to his (sur)name.
Elijah, who has been training under BUSC Head Coach, Richard Scarce for three years, proved he had the midas touch by winning seven gold medals in the seven events he swam in: the men’s 15 years’ 100m, 200m and 400m freestyle; 100m and 200m butterfly; and 200m and 400m individual medley.
He also swam personal bests in all seven events and set three new Queensland age records in the men’s 15 years’ 100m, 200m and 400m freestyle events.
Coach Richard Scarce said Elijah’s performance was nothing short of outstanding.
“It was an incredible performance that yielded an incredible result. Elijah has been training like a Champion and this week he proved he is one.”
Bond’s Mia Bellue and Jack Sparke narrowly missed out on medals, with Mia finishing fourth in the women’s 16-years breaststroke, and Jack earning two fourth places in the men’s 13-years 100m and 200m backstroke.
Three international swimmers from Bond also earned medals in their respective national Championships: Isak Eliasson from Sweden was crowned National Junior Champion in the Swiss open men’s 100m freestyle; Chris Dawson of New Zealand won gold in the NZ open men’s 100m butterfly; and Andrew Digby of Thailand scored a gold medal in the Thai open men’s 50m freestyle and a silver in the 100m freestyle.
“Although this year’s team was Bond’s biggest yet, we were still less than a third of the size of many other teams, so for us to finish in 25th place overall out of over 100 teams nationwide was a great achievement,” Richard said.
“The Bond squad has grown in leaps and bounds in terms of its size, strength and quality, compared to just 12 months ago, and this puts us in a fantastic position in the lead-up to the Rio Olympics and 2018 Commonwealth Games.”
Mia and Elijah will both stay on in Adelaide to race in the opens, alongside 11 of their Bond Swimming teammates at the 2016 Hancock Prospecting Australian Swimming Championships and the Race To Rio which are being held at the SA Aquatic & Leisure Centre from 7th to 14th April.
BUSC swimmer, and 100m freestyle world record holder, Cam McEvoy is a red-hot favourite to make the Australian Olympic team, which will be named after the event finishes, next Thursday evening.
Bond MBA alumna and soon-to-be Medicine student, Melanie Wright, also has her eye on a spot on the Australian Olympic women’s relay team.
Go Bondies Go!!