Rocky City Swimming's Alanna Bowles in action at the 2013 World Junior Swimming Championships.
Rocky City Swimming's Alanna Bowles in action at the 2013 World Junior Swimming Championships. Swimming Australia Ltd

Bowles joins champions for orientation before heading home

FORGET the breakfast of champions.

Rockhampton's Alanna Bowles enjoyed lunch with some Australian swimming champions yesterday.

Rocky City Swim Club swimmer Bowles earned a spot on the Australian team to compete at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games after claiming a silver medal in the 800m final at the Australian Swimming championships on Saturday.

She joined world champions James Magnussen, Cate Campbell and Christian Sprenger in Brisbane yesterday for an orientation day before driving back to the Beef Capital today with dad Ian.

Bowles said it "was pretty cool" to be in the company of some of Australia's greatest swimmers.

"I sat with James Magnussen at lunch today," Bowles said.

"I didn't really talk to him. I was talking with (2012 London Olympics gold medallist) Mel Schlanger and her husband."

Bowles booked her place in the 59-person Australian team when she touched the wall in second place behind 20-year-old Jessica Ashwood in the 800m freestyle final.

Rocky City Swimming's Alanna Bowles with the silver medal she won in the 800m freestyle at the 2014 Australian Swimming Championships in Brisbane.
Rocky City Swimming's Alanna Bowles with the silver medal she won in the 800m freestyle at the 2014 Australian Swimming Championships in Brisbane. contributed

The 16-year-old said yesterday she was still coming to grips with the enormity of her achievement.

"It hasn't sunk in fully. Today it sank in a little bit more."

"But it still hasn't sunk in that I'm on the Australian team and I'm going to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow."

Heading into the championships, Bowles expectations were at a low after suffering a back injury nine weeks ago.

She qualified second fastest for the final after setting a new personal-best time of 8:29.40 in the heats.

"I think the 8:29 I did the day before took it out of me because I haven't spent as much time in the pool as I would've liked ... but it's the best performance at a major competition for me," she said.

Her coach Shane Kingston said things just clicked in the build-up to last week's championships.

"Every time she hit the water, she just got better and better," Kingston said. "And then when it came to the race, she just swam a beautiful race."

Kingston, who trains Bowles and her Rocky City Swim Club teammates at CQUniversity pool, said it was a special achievement from someone training out of a regional city. "It is a big thing for the town of Rocky to have someone living and training here going to the Commonwealth Games. It is pretty cool," he said.

Bowles turns her focus towards next week's Australian Age and MC Age Championships in Sydney before competing in Brisbane and Canberra grand prix meets ahead of the Games from July 23.