Bundaberg's own Isaac Cooper and fellow Tokyo Olympian medalists Alexander Graham and Thomas Neill turned it on to lead the way as the stars shone brightly to light up the 48th annual City of Charm Carnival hosted by Bundaberg Swim Team at Norville Park Pool.
The terrific trio had to settle for a three-way tie second in the Men’s Open Age Championship behind Isaac and Thomas’ Rackley Centenary club-mate Louis Townsend, who was a Mixed 4x50m Freestyle Relay Gold medalist at the 2017 World Championships, but they were all brilliant.
Over 412 competitors from 32 clubs from throughout South Queensland competed across a total of 138 events on a bumper program over Friday night, Saturday and Sunday at the time-honoured carnival.
Isaac notched three Carnival records, clocking 22.83sec in the 50m Freestyle, beating club-mates William Stockwell, Thomas and Louis, and bettering the standard that he set at last year’s carnival by 0.83sec, and 25.52sec in 50m Backstroke, again improving his own record set 12 months earlier by 1.20sec, with Thomas Neill, William, Tom Jeffries, and Louis rounding out a Rackley top-five sweep.
In 100m Backstroke his time of 55.17sec was 1.98sec quicker than his record of last year, with his younger brother Ben brave in fourth place.
Louis rewrote the record in 50m Breaststroke, stopping the clock at 29.51sec, beating Isaac, Thomas Neill and Zac George in another Rackley first to fourth white-wash, while Louis also reigned supreme in the 100m Breaststroke.
Tokyo Olympics Relays dual Bronze Medalist Alexander, of the Miami Club, racked up no fewer than five records, in 800m Freestyle (8:12.43), 400m Freestyle (3:55.09), 100m Butterfly (54.88sec), 50m Butterfly with 24.43sec, shading Louis and Tom Jeffries, and 200m Butterfly (2:03.06).
The 26-year-old’s 400m Freestyle time took a whopping 13.4 seconds off Leigh Bool’s previous record set in 2002.
He also clinched award for Swimmer of the Meet, which is presented to the person who breaks the record which has stood the longest, with his 200 Butterfly time going under the previous best set exactly two decades earlier by Shane Fielding by 1.74sec.
Thomas Neill, who was part of the Tokyo Olympics Bronze Medal winning 4x200m Freestyle Relay outfit with Alexander, achieved three records, in the 400m IM (4:24.84), 200m IM (2:03.57), 3.21sec under that set by Sydney Olympian Robert Van Der Zant in 2002.
In the Blue Riband 100m Freestyle, he went within a touch of the anticipated first 50-second swim in the event at the Pool, posting 50.12sec to blow Robert Van Der Zant’s old record which had also stood the test of time for 19 years by 2.16sec, with Louis and William taking the minor medals, just edging out Miami’s former Bundaberg Olympics Triallist Connor Simms and Isaac Cooper.
Connor was also among the medals with Silver in his premier event, the 200m Freestyle, behind Csongor Cellie, of Kawana Waters, who had to set a record of 1:54.52 to defeat him, blowing away the previous best for the event posted by Connor in 2017 by 4.76sec.
Men’s records continued to tumble with another Miami team member Cooper Ritchie erasing the old mark in 200m Backstroke with his 2:10.09.
Women’s Open Age Champion Abigail Schoorl, of Miami, powered to two Women’s Open Freestyle records with 2:05.43 in 200m and 58.01sec in 100m.
Two of the three Women’s Open Champion equal-second placegetters were also in record form, Rackley duo Lily Price, with 1:01.54 and 27.65sec in the 100m and 50m Butterfly respectively, and Bronte Job, with three, 50m Freestyle (25.43sec), 50m Backstroke (27.75sec), bettering the 2014 record of Tokyo Olympics triple Gold Medallist Kaylee McKeown by an impressive 2.52sec, and 100m Backstroke (1:02.07).
Rocky City distance ace Phoebe Hines got her name on the Records’ list with her 4:21.40 in Women’s 400m Freestyle, while young club-mate Taryn Roberts flexed her muscle in the Women’s Open 400m IM, and also set one record in her Girls 15 ys age category, with 2:24.77 in the 200m IM.
Indi Bland was BST’s only age champion, taking out the 12 yrs Girls title, but she had to split the honours in the division with club-mates Lara Parker and Layla Allwood.
Indi proved too strong in 100m Freestyle, with Layla taking Bronze and Lara placing a close fourth, while Indi grabbed Silver in 100m Backstroke, with Layla in the Bronze Medal position.
Layla savoured glorious Gold in 200m Butterfly, and she led home Lara and Indi in a BST trifecta in the 200m IM, and gained Silver, with Indi securing Bronze in 200m Freestyle, and she took out Bronze in 100m Butterfly.
Lara accounted for Indi and Layla in another BST one-two-three in 50m Freestyle, and her 100m Butterfly also had a Silver lining.
Seven age champions hailed from Rockhampton, four from their City club, Sally Vagg (15 years Girls), Lachlan Kuss (14 yrs Boys), Amelie Smith (13 yrs Girls), and Mackenzie Wyeth (10 yrs Girls), and three from the Caribeae club, brothers Levi and Zachary Thomsen, in 11 and 10 yrs Boys respectively, and Oliver Lau (8 yrs boys).
Cooroy Dolphins produced two Age victors, Brady Ellison (12 yrs Boys) and Oscar Bundfuss (9 yrs Boys).
Six other clubs had one Age titleist each, Keith Ashcroft (Hervey Bay, 15 yrs boys), Shianne Plunkett (Gladstone, 14 yrs Girls), Kayden Gibson (Gladstone South, 13 yrs Boys), Lucy Wright (Fraser Coast, 11 yrs Girls), Clara Short (Mountain Creek Mooloolaba, 9 yrs Girls), and Lily Costa (Kawana Waters, 8 yrs Girls).
Sally Vagg erased four Girls 15 yrs marks, in 200m Freestyle (2:05.48), 100m Backstroke (1:06.73), 100m Freestyle (58.92sec), and 100m Butterfly (1:03.51), and she also equalled the 2019 standard of 2:19.39 set by Bundaberg’s 2018 Commonwealth Games Triallist Jaime Krueger in 200m Butterfly.
Amelie Smith notched a pair of 13 yrs Breaststroke records with 2:47.59 in 200m, and 1:16.68 in 100m, while Levi Thomsen set three records, in the Boys 11 yrs 200m Backstroke (2:42.91), 200m IM (2:42.87), and 200m Freestyle (2:21.05), and Oliver Lau picked up the 8 yrs 50m Backstroke record with 44.45sec.
Amelie also topped the Individual Rankings at the carnival, racking up 57 points, with Levi second on 52 and Sally Vagg third with 42.
Levi also took home the Carswell Award for the 12 yrs and under Highest Points across all events.
Rocky City were clear winners in Team Rankings with 272 points, ahead of Caribeae (169), Fraser Coast (137), Kawana Waters (130) and BST (121).
Kayden Gibson showed his versatility with records in Boys 13 yrs 100m Butterfly (1:01.46), and 100m Backstroke (1:05.81), with a further Age Champion collecting one record each along the way, Shianne Plunkett Glad (Girls 14 yrs 100m Butterfly, 1:05.04), and two more swimmers recreating records, Joshua Moore (Kawana Waters, Boys 15 yrs 100m Butterfly, 59.44sec), and Levi and Zachary’s younger sister Kyah Thomsen lowering the Girls 8 yrs 50m Backstroke time to 46.14sec.
The host club’s Ethan Giles was unable to repeat his 9 yrs Boys Age title of last year, but he again performed superbly to wind up third in 10 years, amassing seven medals, Gold in 50m Freestyle; Silver in 100m Butterfly, 100m Freestyle, and 200m IM in which team-mate Frederick Lewis grabbed third; and Bronze in 100m Breaststroke, 200m Freestyle and 100m Backstroke.
Atlanta Day emerged as a rising star for BST, winding up the 8 years Girls runner-up with an also stunning seven medals, Gold in 50m Breaststroke and 200m IM; Silver in 50m Butterfly, 200m Freestyle, and 100m Freestyle; and Bronze in 50m Freestyle and 50m Backstroke.
Matthew Walk also did the club very proud with dual Gold, in the Boys Multi-Class 50m Freestyle and Backstroke.
Kasey Krueger and Aarj Day each chalked up three medals, with Kasey clinching Silver in the Girls 13 yrs 50m Freestyle and 200m Freestyle, and Bronze in 100m Butterfly, and Aarj picking up Silver in the Boys 11 yrs 200m Backstroke and 200m Butterfly, and Bronze in 200m Freestyle.
Mimi Woods snared Silver in the Girls 13 yrs 200m Butterfly and Bronze in the 200m IM.
Three other BST representatives bagged one Bronze each, Jack Parker (Boys 11 yrs 200m Breaststroke), Angus Caldwell (Boys 12 yrs 200m Backstroke), and Lewis O’Brien (Boys 9 yrs 50m Backstroke).
Fraser Coast took out the keenly contested Mercantile Relay, just 0.22sec from their nominated time.