AT JUST eight-years of age, Riverton swimmer Mackenzie Bell blitzed the pool at the Junior State Swimming Championships at the HBF Stadium in Claremont earlier this month.
Mackenzie, who has been swimming since she was six months old, won seven gold medals at the championships.
Her swimming club, Riverton Aquanauts, finished the weekend competition ranked 11th on the team leader board out of the 53 clubs that competed.
“I am having so much fun swimming with the Aquanauts, as it keeps me fit and healthy,” Mackenzie said.
Mackenzie, who has been swimming competitively for nine months, trains four times a week, with three sessions starting at 5.30am before school.
Her coach Gemma Herrington said Mackenzie showed great potential.
“For her to win seven gold medals at eight years of age at the State championship is the most amazing achievement,” Ms Herrington said.
“She just loves to swim. She is happy with any challenge that is put in front of her.”
Her father Nick Bell said his daughter, who attends Riverton Primary School, had her sights set on becoming an Olympic swimmer.
“Mackenzie has always been in the water and having lessons from the age of six months,” he said.
“At four and half, she was able to swim the length of a 50m swimming pool unaided. We had numerous people commenting at how good a stroke she had.
“Over the past nine months, she has gone up two levels of swimming and now swims up to 4km a session.”
Coming into the State championships, Mackenzie was ranked first in six of the seven races eight year olds can compete in.
Mr Bell said Mackenzie was the number one swimmer in the state for times swum for all events other than the 50m butterfly in which she achieved second place.
She also managed to achieve personal best times for all seven races at the recent State championships.
“As you can imagine my wife Josefine and I are incredibly proud considering she was only doing competitive swimming to start with for fitness,” Mr Bell said.
JUNIOR SPORTS HERO
Category: Junior Sports Star Individual