Swimmer grabs Lyons share of wins

LITTLE FISH: Nine-year-old Bathurst swimmer Collette Lyons has earned a place in the NSW squad to attend the Pacific Games later this year. 040915lyons1SWIMMING

LAST year when The Cathedral School swimmer Collette Lyons picked up a sixth placing at the NSW PSSA Swimming Championships in the 50 metre freestyle, she left the meeting determined to do even better in 2015.

She knew if she could improve enough to place in an event at that level, she would earn a spot in the NSW team to attend the Pacific Games.

Improve Lyons did, and after a string of records at school, district and Polding carnivals, she produced an outstanding display of swimming at Olympic Park late last month to earn a Pacific Games berth.

Not only did she qualify for five events at the NSW PSSA Swimming Championships, she swam her way to a medal in each of them.

According to her mother Theresa Lyons, Collette had worked hard to achieve her goal.

“She has done squad swimming probably really seriously for about a year and a half now,” she said.

“Last year she made it all the way through to the NSW PSSA and she finished up sixth in the nine years and under 50 metre freestyle.

“So this year she was really determined to get a place and get into the squad to go to the Pacific Games, that was a nice little carrot dangling to make her work hard.

“She has done the hard yards, she gets up early in the morning to swim three times a week, she probably does about six sessions a week and she does afternoons as well.”

The nine-year-old won her age championship at The Cathedral School’s swimming carnival and from there continued to impress. With a swag of records and gold medals to her credit, she was included in the Polding team which headed to Olympic Park for the NSW PSSA Swimming Championships.

She started the state meeting on a positive note as she joined school mate Zara Grout in winning a gold medal as part of the Polding all age girls Freestyle relay team, but better was to come.

When Lyons touched the wall for second place in the final of the 10 years girls 50 metre freestyle, she knew she was headed to the Pacific Games.

From there she went on to win the 10 years and under 50m breaststroke, freestyle and individual medley finals, taking out the latter by an impressive seven seconds.

“She just blew me away, she swam so well,” Theresa Lyons said.

“When she touched the wall for second place in the freestyle she looked up at the board and her little face had such a big smile because she thought ‘I’ve done it.’

“I am very proud, but all credit to her, she’s the one who has been in the pool doing the work.”

The NSW Pacific Games Team will compete at The Pacific Games in Adelaide from November 21-29.

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