Grafton swimming star Andrea 'Torpedo' Thomson in the pool during the season's first meeting back in Lismore on Sunday, August 2, 2020.
Grafton swimming star Andrea 'Torpedo' Thomson in the pool during the season's first meeting back in Lismore on Sunday, August 2, 2020.

North Coast swimmers return for Lismore season opener

IT HAS been a long wait for competitive swimmers on the north coast but teams flocked from far and wide for the first carnival since the COVID-19 pandemic in Lismore on Sunday.

A handful of strong competitors made the journey from Grafton, joining teams from as far as Stroud, Armidale, Forster, Glen Innes and the Gold Coast to compete in the Northern Rivers meeting.

Clarence Valley star Andrea ‘Torpedo’ Thomson had an outstanding day in the water.

“Andrea had a great day, smashing eight personal bests in eight races,” Andrea’s mother Kerry Bowers-Thomson said.

South Grafton star Andrea Thomson swam recorded new personal best times in the eight events she took part in.
South Grafton star Andrea Thomson swam recorded new personal best times in the eight events she took part in.

Kerry was impressed with the Lismore Swimming Club for putting on a faultless carnival.

“It was run very smoothly with strict COVID rules in place which everybody was happy to abide by. It was a very successful day,” she said.

“The events were run as mixed races. They were put into heats according to entry times in order to run a quicker carnival. In some cases, the kids were racing older opponents, with a number of them coming out on top.

“All the kids from Grafton area swam very well with PBs in most events. It was a very good performance having only been back in the pool training for a few months, if that.”

Joining Thomson was Shannon and Riley Robinson, Maritsa Hartono, Jamie Plunkett, Jack Leeson and Lily Childs.

Grafton High School swimmer Jack Leeson won all his events at the Mid North Coast Zone CHSchools Swimming carnival in Grafton last year.
Grafton High School swimmer Jack Leeson won all his events at the Mid North Coast Zone CHSchools Swimming carnival in Grafton last year.

Along with a swag of PBs, Andrea made moves towards bigger meetings that could go ahead later in the year.

“Andrea also got a couple of qualifying times for the State Age Championships at end of year, that is of course, if they actually go ahead during these uncertain times,” Kerry said.

”She has to qualify as a 13-year-old even though she isn’t 13 until next year.

“It was exciting to see Olympic Swimmer Ruth Everuss, who competed alongside Dawn Fraser, in attendance as well.”