10 May 2023

Cooktown swimmers shine at Cairns event

| Cape York Weekly
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A GROUP of 15 young Cooktown swimmers took on their first short course championships in Cairns over the weekend, bringing back an impressive swag of medals, personal best times and sixth place overall as a team.

The group, from Cooktown Amateur Swimming Club, travelled to the FNQ Short Course Championships, held at Tobruk Memorial Pool in Cairns for the two-day meet.

“It was an amazing opportunity for our children and such an eye opener for the whole team,” club president Melissa Gunton said.

“It was the largest event our team have attended and we had a few nervous competitors and some tears, but they all pulled through and showed everyone just how talented the Cooktown team are.”

The group competed in 144 events over the two days.

Maia Pensio took home the 10 years boys’ runner-up age champion, while Rudi Habermann tied for third in the 11 years boys’ age champion.

Cooktown came sixth out of 11 teams, with the under-10s relay a highlight of the carnival.

The team of Haila Hegamaea, Natalie Treloar, Maia Pensio and Chase Hunt took out second in both their relay events.

The team also enjoyed some team bonding outside the pool with pizza and ten pin bowling as part of a celebration dinner.

Lakea Hegamaea, Sam Ryder, Rudi Habermann and Slayde Whittaker all qualified for the Country Championships in Darwin.

“We are looking forward to this event, which is expected to have up to 800 competitors,” Gunton said.

“Special thanks must go to head coach Donald Macmillan who has been the backbone of the competitive swimmers over the past year.

“Thanks also to John Habermann and Leslie Ryder who helped supervise the team, the Cooktown RSL Memorial Club who are a major sponsor, and Greg at Gungarde for allowing us to use their bus.”

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