Flynn Southam, 16, has made his first Australian Dolphins team.
by Holly Slattery
A slew of great performances at the Australian Swimming Championships has landed five Bond swimmers places on the Australian Dolphins team ahead of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games and 2022 World Swimming Championships.
Bull Sharks Ben Armbruster, Minna Atherton and Flynn Southam are joined by Bond students Elijah Winnington and Jenna Strauch, who placed in the top handful for their respective events to qualify for the top international competitions set for later this year.
The team of 24 swimmers contributed to Bond’s fourth place in the club point score which was a major improvement from last year’s placing outside of the top 10.
Bond swimming director and coach Kyle Samuelson was pleased with the team’s performance at the championships which concluded in Adelaide on Sunday.
“It was really great to see some good results come from the meet,” he said.
“A lot of the swimmers really enjoy the Adelaide arena and (the atmosphere) picked up in the last few days as it got closer to announcing the teams.
“This is Ben and Flynn’s first time making it on a senior Australian team which is especially exciting for them and for us as well.”
A number of Bond’s young guns tested their strength in the senior competition this year including Southam, 16, and Armbruster, 19, who swam personal bests to secure their seats to Birmingham.
18-year-old Joshua Collett, another of Bond’s rising stars, placed third in the 200m individual medley and vied with the nation’s best in four finals, while 17-year-old Jesse Coleman swam in the 50m-100m-200m butterfly trio.
Holly Hembling was Bond’s youngest swimmer to compete at the championships, qualifying for a 50m breaststroke final at just 14 years of age.
Seeing the club’s breadth of young talent rise to the challenge of elite open-aged swimming was a highlight for Samuelson.
“Having some of our rookies step up from National Age and match the level of the seniors was awesome.
“To be in the same arena as the older guys is definitely tough but they managed it well and we had some really solid performances across the board.
“Josh Collett had a really good race in the 200 IM and Jesse Coleman did really well in a few finals as well. There are a quite few of our younger swimmers that were really impressive.”
Anticipation among the up-and-comers is still on the rise as Swimming Australia is yet to confirm the junior team which will travel to Hawaii for the 2022 Junior Pan Pacific Championships in August.
Seven Bondies were also selected in the Junior Dolphins and Australia A teams for upcoming competitions in the United States.
Milla Jansen, Jesse Coleman, Joshua Collett and Flynn Southam were named in the Junior Dolphins team to compete at the 2022 Junior Pan Pacific Swimming Championships in Honolulu from August 24-27.
Maddy Gough, Mia O’Leary and Tom Hauck made the Australia A team which will contest the 2022 US National Championships from July 26-30 in Irvine, California.
All Bull Sharks will have this week off training for a well-deserved recovery before the Birmingham-bound Bondies return to pool deck to prepare for green-and-gold glory.