What an adventure in swimming Shane is having. In April he was scheduled to swim in Sydney in the Australian National Championship meet. Cale and Maria didn’t qualify for this meet, but they managed to convince us that they should take a week off from school so they could support their brother. Trent was scheduled to be working in New Zealand the week before, so he met us in Sydney.
The meet was to take place at SOPAC, Sydney Olympic Park, site of the 2000 Olympics.
It was so inspiring to walk down the Hall of Fame, and see some of the memories, and all the records set in this pool.
Shane qualified to swim in 10 events throughout the six day meet, so with preliminaries and finals he had 18 races. He did quite well, as he wasn’t tapered for this meet, and this was by far the biggest competition he’d ever participated in. Swimmers from all over the world were here to compete, including teams from South Africa, Great Britain, Greece, Guam, New Guinea, Peru, Thailand, Zimbabwe, the Canadian National Youth Team, the New Zealand National Team, along with 281 Australian teams.
It was pretty neat to see our home team from Hudson Wisconsin represented at such a big meet. Shane was able to swim for HASA (Hudson Area Swim Association) with special permission granted by USA Swimming. Since he was a visitor at the meet, he was eligible for medals, but the Aussies would still get their medals.
Shane’s best events during the week were the 100 meter Breaststroke, where he took 1st place overall, with a time of 1 minute, 9:04 seconds, and also the 200 Individual Medley, were he placed second with a time of 2 minutes 14:29 seconds, and the 200 breaststroke, where he also took a second place, with a time of 2 minutes 16:52 seconds. Shane was so excited to be awarded his medals on the podium for all three of these events, that none of us will forget how thrilled we were for Shane.
He made so many new friends this week, including his “mom friend” Veronica, Elijah Winnington, and of course he reconnected with our Perth friends Brody and Raiffe. Shane and Elijah are close friends after only knowing each other a week, and I have a feeling they will be lifelong friends.
By the way, Elijah broke a couple Australian national record during the week. Shane was so happy for his new friend! Also at this meet we watched Kyle Chalmers break several national records held by Ian Thorpe! What an exciting week!
A big thank you to the West Brisbane Swim Club for welcoming Shane into their team for the week!! You guys are awesome!!
And yes … Shane ALWAYS wears a bandana. He’s been doing this for nearly two years now, and it’s become his “thing”, it’s what he is recognized for and known for. It’s so fun to see him develop his own brand! It’s brilliant! And even more fun to see kids copy him and emulate him! In his first meet back in the states, (next week, June 8th) Shane will proudly wear his new Australian headband given to him by his mom-friend Veronica!