IN THE FAST LANE: Tom Hicks, Matt Pender, Alex Humphreys, Declan Herring and Jacob Sansom at West Wallsend indoor pool.A FIVE-STAR effort has helped the West Wallsend Indoor Amateur Swimming Club punch well above its weight at the Coast and Valley Championships.
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The club has only 60 members and had just 11 swimmers at last month’s regional meeting at Woy Woy. But West Wallsend came away with 10 gold, 11 silver and eight bronze medals, achieving six championship records along the way, to finish fifth on the club pointscore with 379.

It was an impressive effort against the likes of Mingara Aquatic (1723.5), Hunter (1602.5), Novocastrian (1354) and Kincumber Pacific (971.5) which all have much larger squads.

West Wallsend secretary Lee Bendeich said it was easily the best performance at a carnival in his 15 years at the club.

Jacob Sansom, Declan Herring, Matt Pender, Tom Hicks and Alex Humphreys were the medallists for West Wallsend and earned starts at both the NSW and NSW Country titles next year. Humphreys, Pender and Sansom also qualified for the Australian Age Championships.

Sansom won gold in the 12-years boys’ 50-metre, 100m and 200m backstroke races in Coast and Valley records.

He took silver in the 50m and 100m freestyle and bronze in the 50m butterfly.

Herring won the 50m, 100m and 200m 12-years boys’ breaststroke, winning the 50m event in record time. He was third in the 200m individual medley.

Pender claimed gold in the 14-years boys’ 50m freestyle and butterfly in record time. He also took out the 50m backstroke and collected four silver medals and two bronze.

Hicks, also in the 14-years boys’, was runner-up in the 50m freestyle and third in the 100m backstroke and 50m, 100m and 200m butterfly.

Alex Humphreys took gold in the girls’ 14-years 50m breaststroke and silver in the 100m and 200m breaststroke.

The boys’ 14-years relay team of Sansom, Herring, Pender and Hicks landed silver in the freestyle and bronze in the medley race.

Another club that performed above expectations at the carnival was Charlestown, which was 10th on the club pointscore.

‘‘It was a pretty good achievement seeing as we didn’t have a big team,’’ club president Graeme Hopkins said.