Swimmers make merry

MERRYLANDS pool might have an uncertain future according to Holroyd Council, but its swimming club has rarely looked stronger.

Three swimmers from Merrylands Amateur Swimming Club have qualified for the NSW Open Championships and age championships following good results at the NSW Metropolitan Championships at Homebush this month.

Breaststroker Anthony Ventra, 16, has progressed to the age championships, as has backstroker Amber Johnson, also 16.

Johnson also qualified for the open championships, and will attend that meet with her sister, 19-year-old Brittany.

Brittany was Merrylands’ best performer. While she didn’t place in her events (best result 14th in 200m individual medley, 2:36.13), she set personal best times in six of her seven events.

Her father and club president David Johnson said the meet was a good one for the amateur club.

``The majority of swimmers broke PBs,’’ he said.

``They all swam well. We’re very proud of them all and it’s probably the best results we’ve had at a meet like this in the last five years.’‘

He attributed that form to coach Peter Johnston, who he said had introduced new ideas.

``Peter as head coach has put a new training regime in place and has been working with a few new swimmers,’’ he said.

One of those was 10-year-old Timothy Tunks, who was one of Merrylands’ five competitors at the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre.

``It was Timothy’s first metros and he got some good results,’’ Johnson said.

``And Peter is working with some others who we are also trying to get to qualify for meets like this.’‘

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