Bundaberg's rising swimming superstar Isaac Cooper continued his sensational season by taking out the coveted Male Swimmer of the Meet award at the 2021 Queensland Sprint Championships last week.
Issac gained the honour after claiming two gold medals and one silver against the state’s best swimmers at the Brisbane Aquatic Centre.
Making his debut for the elite Rackley Swim Team under new coach Damien Jones after only joining the club following his move to Brisbane to start University a few days earlier, the 17-year-old grabbed gold in the open men’s 50m backstroke, touching in 25.06sec to win by over a second.
Not only did he break the Queensland record, but Isaac also set a new Australia age record for his age, beating the 25.10sec that future Commonwealth Games and World Championships representative Ben Treffers put on the books back in 2009.
Isaac was also successful in the 17-18 years men’s 50m freestyle, beating his former Fairymead clubmate Tobias Street in his debut for the Bond University Club into second place, with a time of 23.59.
He also was pleased to claim silver in the 50m butterfly.
Isaac said he “nearly missed” his backstroke event after a mix-up resulted in him arriving late for marshalling.
“It was all rushed and I didn’t realise ‘til 2 hours after that I had broken the Queensland Record and the Australian fastest ranked time in the 17 years age group – I wasn’t even expecting a PB and to break the Australian record was awesome – then to be advised later in the week that I was Swimmer of the Meet was pretty surreal,” Isaac said.
“I was definitely also happy with silver in butterfly – for me, it is not a main event, but I do it for race experience.”
Isaac started University this week, studying Exercise and Sports Science at QUT, but he will continue to train hard for upcoming major swimming competitions.
“I’ve got the Age Nationals on the Gold Coast at the end of March, then the Australian Olympic Trials in April, where I am currently ranked 8th in 100m backstroke but I will try to drop that as far as I can, and 50 back is my other main event,” he said.
There are no Bundaberg senior fixtures this weekend, due to the Bulls Masters events in the city today and tomorrow.
Congratulations to the Bundaberg players who have been chosen to play the star-studded Bulls Masters in a T20 game at Salter Oval at 6.30pm tomorrow: Adam Pozzebon, Michael Loader, Brendan Grills, Tim McIntosh, Chris Napper, Matt Jackson, Arden Lankowski, Dale Steele, Chris Duff, Mitch Waters, Nathan Van Eekeren, Dean Krebs, and Ben Davey.
Gates will open at 12:30pm, with a Bundy Youth Invitational X1 to take on Bundy Masters in a curtain-raiser game at 1.30pm, before a Free Kids Super Clinic at 4.30pm, leading into the main event.
In the last round of Rum City Foods Intra Cup fixtures last Saturday, Isis junior-16 player Jackson Rehbein stamped himself as a star of the future by claiming 5-22 from six overs for Brothers against Norths.
The left-arm paceman had scored 38 for Isis/Easts in under-16 in the morning.
The last round of junior fixtures will be played tomorrow morning, with in under-16, Waves and YMCA, who will play Hervey Bay Brumbies and Isis/Easts respectively, battling it out for the minor premiership.
The unbeaten Brothers Mustangs have the U14 minor title secure, while Norths Maroons will finish first in the Junior Cricket 2 division.
Hervey Bay Softball semi-finals in all 11 divisions will be contested on their fields tomorrow, with a full day’s program starting at 9am and running through non-stop to a scheduled 6.30pm finish.
Both A Grade Ladies games are set down for 5pm, with minor premiers and reigning champions United Firesticks to suit up against second placed Waves Tsunamis for direct passage to the grand final in a fortnight’s time, while third placed Terrors will be favourites against Bargara Bullets in the minor semi.
In A Grade Men’s play-offs at 1pm, top of the table and 2020 premiers United Heat will need to bounce back from a surprise loss last week to Misfits when they battle it out No. 2 seeds Terrors, while Misfits will have their hometown behind them when they tussle with Maryborough in the eliminator.
The high-flying Across The Waves Eagles will hit the road for the first time this season when they take on Gympie Cats in the AFL Wide Bay Takalvan’s Women’s Premiership tomorrow.
The Eagles have stamped themselves as title favourites with big wins over Hervey Bay Bombers and Brothers Bulldogs in the first two rounds, and if they repeat those performances, they should again be too strong for the Cats.
Meanwhile, the Bulldogs will be striving to put a 59-0 whitewash behind them when they also travel to meet Bay Power, who defeated the Cats in Gympie in the season opener before having the bye last week.
The superbly bred Investible was successful at his first start for Bundaberg trainer Laura Cronan in a Maiden at Gladstone on Saturday.
A four-year-old by Not a Single Doubt, the gelding had managed just three thirds from his first 22 starts from Townsville to Gold Coast, but having his first outing since November 6, he won well to give promise of better things to come.
Meanwhile, widely travelled nine-year-old bush champion Fab’s Cowboy, which is unbeaten in Bundaberg and is now trained in Moranbah by Bevan Johnson, recorded his 41st victory at his 100th race start in a 1000m Cup race at Roma on Saturday.
Trainers Ken Boody, of Dalma, and Darren Taylor, of Bouldercombe, each claimed doubles at this week’s Bundaberg meeting.
Ken got the money with hot favourite Dyna Smokey, which maintained his unbeaten record in four stars at the Park in the Masters Open, and Hardaway Ally, which made it back-to-back wins in a 5th Grade.
Darren triumphed in the with Off Break, which made it three wins and four seconds from his past seven outings in the Mixed 4th/5th Grade, and Barcia Bullet, in a 5th Grade.
Six District trainers were also among the winners on the day, with Garry Cluse taking out the Maiden with Sunburnt Harlem, Narelle Mulchy in the Novice Non-Penalty with track debutant Masked Crusader which won a Lismore Maiden at her first start in October, and Allen Kelly with Savuro, which maintained his high strike rate with his 16th win in 31 starts in the Best 8.
The other local winners included Greg Kennedy with Deep Emotion (Masters 5th Grade), Kevin Pershouse with Pete’s Dream (550m 5th Grade), and Paul Burgess with the talented Wildash Trapper (550m 5th Grade).
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