Bundaberg's Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Isaac Cooper capped a stellar 12 months by claiming two gold medals and one silver the 2021 McDonalds Queensland Swimming Championships at Chandler.
Isaac, who turned 18 this week, powered to victory in the Men’s 17 years 50m Freestyle in a time of 22.45sec, and 17 years 50m Backstroke in a sensational 24.62sec, lowing triple Olympian Mitch Larkin’s 2015 Queensland Open record, and clocking the second fastest time ever by an Australian, behind Commonwealth Games gold medallist Ben Treffers’ 24.54sec set back in 2014.
“I was looking to go a little faster (in the backstroke) wanting to crack that 24.54 and the Australian Open record but I couldn’t quite do it, but I still managed a 0.10 PB and my coach Damien Jones said if you can go this fast when you are racing yourself, imagine how fast you will go when there is someone pushing you along,” Isaac said.
Earlier in the meet Mitch, Isaac and 18-year-old Joshua Edwards-Smith (54.98) went head-to-head in the open 100m backstroke with Mitch showing all his class in winning the title in 53.80, from Isaac (54.55) and Joshua (54.98).
Isaac and Joshua were also the joint Swimmers of the Session on Tuesday of the week-long titles.
Former Bundaberg swimmer Charles Cox, who now lives in Brisbane and is a member of the St Peters Western club, was also among the medals at the championships, snaring silver in the Men’s Open 200m Butterfly behind Bowen Gough, and also excelling for fifth behind Tokyo Bronze Medallist Tom Neill in the Men’s 17 & Over 400m Individual Medley (IM), and sixth in the Men’s 19 & 0ver 800m Freestyle.
Fellow Bundaberg product Toby Street, now with the Bond University club, went close to a medal when fourth in the Boys 18 Years 100m Freestyle, while Connor Simms, swimming for his new club Miami, also mixed it with the best in the Men’s Open division.
Bundaberg Swim Team trio Layla Allwood, Lara Parker and Indi Bland also came to the fore at their state championship debuts in the 12 years girls’ category
Layla picked up two medals as part of Wide Bay teams, Silver in the 4x50m Freestyle Relay, and Bronze, clocking a slick 29.68sec in her Freestyle leg of the 4x50m Medley Relay, and also doing superbly to qualify for the 200m Butterfly final.
Lara advanced to three finals, the 200 IM, 100m Butterfly, and 50m Butterfly, where she touched in seventh in 30.90sec, a mere .41sec behind the Bronze Medallist.
Indi progressed to one final, the 100m Backstroke.
SURF LIFE SAVING
Kobi Holden, of Elliott Heads, and Marc Lumbagas-Smith (Agnes Water) were each named in the Queensland Junior Cyclones State Development Squad after again shining for Queensland Country at the 2021 Surf Life Saving Queensland Interbranch Championships at Sunshine Coast.
Kobi beat all comers in the Under-15 Male Cameron Relay, and also finished second in the U15 Male 50m Manikin Carry, and 100m Manikin Tow with Fins, and was an integral part of the Country team which was also runner-up in the U13-17 Male Taplin Lifesaver Relay.
Together with club-mate Kai Devine, and Jack Lynch and Oscar Wemmerslager, they also took out the U15 Male 4x50m Obstacle Relay, while the dynamic duo were also part of the teams which added second in the U15 Male Board Teams – 3 Person, third in the U15 Male Surf Teams, and fourth in the U15 Male Board Rescue.
Individually, Kai grabbed third in the U15 Male 100m Manikin Tow with Fins.
Kobi backed it up with a hat-trick of famous victories in Summer of Surf Hayden Kenny Classic at Alexandra Headlands, the Under-15 Male Board, Surf Race, and Ironman.
Indi Bland, Casey Giles, and Max O’Brien also came to the fore for Elliott Heads at the Interbranch, with Indi grabbing third in the U13 Female 4x50m Obstacle Relay and 50m Brick Carry, and fourth in the Line Throw 10m, and also joining forces with Ava McCaig, of the Bundaberg club, in the Country team which snared second in the U13 Female 4x50m Medley Relay.
Casey wound up fifth in the U14 Female Beach Flags, and seventh in the Sprint, and also helped Country to a creditable third in the U14 Mixed Beach Relay, and fourth in the All Age Beach Relay.
Max played his part well in Country’s third in the U14 Male 4x50m Obstacle Relay, and also placed a handy fifth in the U14 Male Board Rescue.
Bundaberg club member Mimi Woods was also in the thick of things, placing fourth in the U14 Female 50m Manikin Carry, and fifth in the 100m Manikin Tow with Fins, and helping Queensland Country to three thirds, in the Female Surf Teams, 4x50m Obstacle Relay, and 4x50m Medley Relay.
Rohan McDonald (Elliott Heads) also represented Queensland Country with distinction at the titles.
Bundaberg Cricket Senior fixtures resume this weekend after the Christmas-New Year recess, with the Rum City Foods Division 1 Premiership to feature a top-of-the-table one-day blockbuster between Waves and Norths at Salter Oval tomorrow, with a mere .51 of a point separating the pair with eight rounds remaining.
Both are coming off outright victories over East Bundy Magpies and Brothers respectively, in the last two-day round which concluded on 11th December.
Meanwhile, Brothers will be striving for their first win of the season when they take on East, but the Magpies will be hungry to get their season back on track after their two batting implosions against Waves at their last outing.
Bundaberg trainer Lyn Petersen returned to the winners’ list when rank outsider Tontein ($26) scored a shock victory in a 1600m Benchmark 70 Handicap at Rockhampton last Thursday.
Ridden by Brisbane based apprentice and former South African Marnu Potgieter, the seven-year-old improved dramatically after finishing a distant last on his home track when resuming from a spell on December 11, taking the lead before the home turn and holding on for his fourth career victory but just his second for Lyn in 24 starts since October 2019 after she purchased the now seven-year-old from South Australia.
Takura trainer David Plummer continued his run of success in Bundaberg with another treble at this week’s meeting at Thabeban Park.
He was successful with litter brothers Fogelberg in the Best 8 and Little Ripper in the Mixed 4th/5th Grade, and the also ultra-consistent Jericho in the Novice Non-Penalty event.
White-hot favourite Fogelberg ($1.18) took his impressive record to 20 wins, 6 seconds and 5 thirds from 40 starts with his seventh victory from his past eight outings at the Park, beating another litter brother Easy Eddie, while Little Ripper posted his ninth win from 31 starts.
Meanwhile, Dalma owner/trainer Ken Boody claimed the quinella in the Queensland-Bred 5th Grade Final with 107-race veteran Farmor Crownies and up and comer Friend Lee’s Boy after the pair also finished one-two in the Heat a week earlier.
Just one District trainer was also among the winners on the day, Kevin Bryant with Boston Sox on debut in the TAB Maiden.
Belli Park owner/trainer Eric Conroy had dominated the Boxing Day holiday meeting with a double, picking up the Free For All with Rosebud Smile, and Masters 5th Grade with Three Sore Feet at his 83rd race appearance.
Three locals were triumphant on that program, Stephen Bland with Louisiana Flyer in the Best 8, Garry Cluse with Sunburnt Diablo in the Sky Racing 5th Grade, and Allen Kelly with the promising Slick Velvet in a Queensland-Bred Heat.