IN THE SWIM: Rocky City's Matthew Richardson has qualified for three events at the Australian Short Course Championships in Melbourne.
IN THE SWIM: Rocky City's Matthew Richardson has qualified for three events at the Australian Short Course Championships in Melbourne. Allan Reinikka ROK020319aswim25

Richardson gearing up for national short course

SWIMMING: Matthew Richardson has a big seven weeks ahead as he prepares for the Australian Short Course Championships in Melbourne.

The Rocky City swimmer will compete in three events - the 100m, 200m and 400m individual medleys - after clocking qualifying times at the recent state short course championships in Brisbane.

Richardson won five medals in the 18-years division at the state event, bagging silver in the 100m breaststroke and 200m IM, and bronze in the 400m IM, 100m IM and 200m breaststroke.

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He was one of 12 Rocky City swimmers in action at the event, five of whom won medals.

Coach Shane Kingston said it was three good days of competition.

"All the kids stood up and swam fast,” he said. "To come home with 18 medals was great.

"We had 70 per cent PBs as a group; we were a little bit under what we were aiming for but that's why you set targets.”

Kingston said it was a strong performance from Richardson, who had a fortnight out of the water due to illness in the lead-up to the titles.

"He did a great job to fight back and win some medals and do some impressive PBs,” Kingston said.

"The nationals are going to be considerably strong heading into an Olympic year; the top athletes will be there.

The Rocky City medal-winning contingent are (back row, from left) Matthew Richardson Coach Shane Kingston, Lily Ahmat, and (front row, from left) Taylor Brock, Taryn Roberts and Lachlan Kuss.
ROCKY CITY'S MEDAL WINNERS: (back row, from left) Matthew Richardson, coach Shane Kingston and Lily Ahmat; (front row ) Taylor Brock, Taryn Roberts and Lachlan Kuss. CONTRIBUTED

"Richo qualified for this event last year but did only one event so he's expanded his program.

"His 400 IM would put him in with a chance of making the final going on last year's results.”

Taylor Brock (11 years) won gold in the 200m and 400m freestyle and bronze in the 100m freestyle and the 200m IM.

Kingston said she put together a fantastic 200m freestyle to win her maiden gold medal at state level and then backed it up with a sensational win in the 400m freestyle.

Lily Ahmat (16 years), who had been out of the sport, scored a bronze in the 200m breaststroke in her comeback meet at state level.

Lachlan Kuss (12 years) had a demanding schedule, swimming 10 events over the three days.

Kingston said it was a big step up for him, but he acquitted himself well in bringing home two medals.

"He swam a massive PB in the 800m freestyle to take the win in a Central Queensland record, and then he got the silver in the 400m freestyle.”

Taryn Roberts continued her stellar year, bagging six medals in the 13-years age group.

She won gold in the 800m and 1500m freestyle and silver in the 400 IM and the 50m, 100m and 200m breaststroke.

Kingston said Roberts "stood up and made it count”.

"Taryn did a great job, particularly as she was battling the flu at the meet,” he said.

Taryn Roberts, 12, from the Rocky City Swimming Club swam well at the Emu Park Summer Skins Spectacular over the weekend in preparation for her first time swimming at the State Long Course event in Brisbane next week.
Taryn Roberts will represent Queensland at the state teams championships in Canberra in October. Michelle Gately

"To come away from Queensland short course with six medals is a fantastic effort.”

Following her six-medal haul, Roberts was selected to represent Queensland at the state teams championships in Canberra in October.

She is one of 44 swimmers on the invitational team, and one of just three from outside the southeast corner.

Kingston said his swimmers were now working towards the Queensland long course championships in December.

The club will resume its popular club nights at the CQUniversity Community Sports Complex at 5pm on Thursday.

It will then host its spring meet at the 2nd World War Memorial Aquatic Centre on Saturday.