Country success for Wests

Wests Illawarra Aquatic Club won 28 medals and finished an impressive fourth overall at the recent NSW Country Swimming Championships at the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre.

Spearheaded by 2012 London Olympians David McKeon and Jarrod Poort, plus Australian team member Emma McKeon, Wests' team of 34 took home 12 gold, 10 silver and six bronze medals.

Returning from preparing for the upcoming Australian Commonwealth Games trials, the McKeon siblings and Poort were among the meet's top swimmers.

David McKeon won the men's 15 years and over 400m, 200m and 50m freestyle, while his sister Emma won gold in the women's 15 years and over 400m freestyle and was second in the 100m backstroke and butterfly.

Poort, fresh from winning the recent Australian 5km Open Water title, took the gold in the 15 years and over 1500m freestyle in a championship record time of 15:33.98. Poort also won silver in the 400m and 200m freestyle events.

The trio also contributed to Wests Illawarra winning three relay titles.

McKeon and Poort teamed up with Vladimir Pan and Jake Power to win the 5 years and over 400m freestyle, while Emma with Kaitlin McKeon combined with Madeline Martinoski and Zoe Elkerton to win the women's 15 years and over 400m medley relay.

Emma McKeon with Zoe Elkerton, Emily Rosskelly and Tanaz Dhondy won the 5 years and over 400m freestyle relay.

The Wests B-team of Kaitlin McKeon, Madeline Martinoski, Niamh Bourke and Caitlin Smith finished third.

Among the standout performances at the meet for Wests was in the boys 12 years and under 200m freestyle relay, with Brendan Eastman, Daniel Gray, Kane Rodwell and Jason Vugrek all posting personal best times to finish third.

Four other Wests relay teams also placed in the top eight: the women's 13-14 years 200m freestyle relay team of Kelsey Hughes, Holly Hayne, Jade Gray and Rachel Cooney were fourth; while Tom Montgomery, Max Parkes, Wes Roberts and Joshua King were sixth in the boys 15 years and over 400m relay.

The boys 12 years and under 200m medley relay team of Jason Vugrek, Brendan Eastman, Kane Rodwell and Daniel Gray were sixth, while Niamh Bourke, Emily Rosskelly, Caitlin Smith and Tanoz Dhondy finished eighth in the girls 15 years and over 400m medley relay.

Among the top performances were Zoe Elkerton winning the women's open 800m and second in the girls 15 years and over 200m freestyle and butterfly. Fourteen-year-old Matthew Hearne won the men's 14 years 100m butterfly and backstroke and was second in the men's 10 years and over 50m multi class backstroke and butterfly.

Sixteen-year-old Niamh Bourke took the silver in the women's open 800m freestyle, Kaitlin McKeon, aged 16, won bronze in the girls 15 years and over 200m backstroke, while Emily Rosskelly, 15, took the bronze in the girls open 50m butterfly. Fifteen-year-old Tom Montgomery placed third behind Poort in the men's open 1500m freestyle.

The club's top 10 performers were Aria Bacic-Johnston, Justus Bacic-Johnston, Chloe Bourke, Niamh Bourke, Aaron Cannon, Tanaz Dhondy, Brendan Eastman, Zoe Elkerton, Joshua King, Max Parkes, Jake Power, Wesley Roberts, Kane Rodwell, Emily Rosskelly, Caitlyn Smith, Jason Vugrek and Matthew Webster. Wests coaches Ron McKeon, James Greathead and Anthony Jurak were pleased with the club producing 87 personal best times.

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