THREE local swimmers, Ethan McAleese, Tommy Sucipto and Holly Barratt, are set to take on the world’s best at international events over the next two months after picking up a swag of medals at the WA Swimmer of the Year awards.
The swimmers, who are involved in the WA Institute of Sport program run from the Aqua Jetty in Warnbro, have been training outdoors up to nine times a week, starting their days in freezing conditions at 5am, to prepare for major competitions in the Bahamas, Hungary and New York.
McAleese (17) has been selected for the Australian team taking part in the Commonwealth Youth Games in the Bahamas next month.
His selection on the team is on the back of his fabulous performance at the Georgina Hope Foundation Australian Age Championships where he finished the championships with three finals appearances resulting in a silver medal 200m individual medley for the male 17-18 year old division.
The Year 12 Kolbe Catholic College student also picked up the Old Court Cup at the swimmer of the year awards after notching up the best performances at the state championships, achieving the highest points for the event.
McAleese said it was good to receive awards and be recognised after all his hard work.
“It’s great to see all the hard work paying off and it helps to keep me motivated,” he said.
He was excited about representing Australia for the second time in the Bahamas and said it would be a great experience.
Sucipto (22) won the 50m breaststroke and came third in the 100m backstroke at the Hancock Prospecting Australian Swimming Championships in Brisbane held in April.
He will be competing in the US Open competition in New York in July after having a sensational year in 2016, including being nominated as a swimmer of the year and representing Australia in a short course team at a competition in Canada where he medalled in the four by 100m medley relay team.
Sucipto also won a gold medal in the 100m breaststroke at the Australian Short Course Championship last November and picked up a hall of fame alumni trophy at the state awards last month.
Barratt (29), who has qualified as the oldest rookie to make the Australian team, is leaving for Europe this week as part of an eight-week training and competition program.
She came second in the 100m backstroke and won the 50m backstroke race in Brisbane and the WA swimmers swimmer of the year award and president’s swimmers award.
Southern High Performance head coach Will Scott said he was stoked with the efforts of the three athletes.
He put their success down to their dedication and hard work.
“The reason they swim well is because of the work they do,” Scott said.
“Little by little they’ve been chipping away.
“Holly is aiming to at least be in the top eight in the world by the end of the season.”
Scott said they were aiming for selection on the Australian Olympic team for the 2020 games in Tokyo.
“They are starting on that journey now,” he said.
“Representing Australia and trying to get on that podium is what everything we do in swimming is based around.”