Dramatic day of finals at state championships

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The NSW Surf Lifesaving Age Championships supported by ClubsNSW staged at Umina and Ocean beaches on the Central Coast over the weekend produced another batch of team and individual state under 9 to under 14 champions.

Manly LSC took out the overall point score closely followed by Avoca SLSC with Wanda SLSC finishing third.

Autumn came early to the nipper’s carnival that drew 3,500 competitors from 80 clubs along the eastern seaboard from as far north as the NSW/QLD border to Pambula in the south.

Showers over the three-day competition days made conditions hard-going for athletes and families and cut the day one program short. By Sunday’s finals the best was offered after the traditional morning march past; pleasant, dry conditions coupled with a light onshore breeze.

Heats interspersed with gold medal flag finals ran through to Saturday afternoon when the relay and individual sprint finals drew a large crowd to Ocean Beach’s sand track. On Sunday attention turned to the water at Ocean Beach for the surf and board events and the carnival highpoint, the under 14 ironman and woman.

Riding a small Umina Beach surfbreak on the final day of competition the 6-foot plus teenager Ryan Carroll left the rest of the under 14 ironman field in his wake.

His win is the first back-to-back blue ribbon gold medal for the Tacking Point SLSC.

On what it takes to win a two-leg ironman event of swim then board Carroll said, “It takes years of training and putting the rest of your life on hold”.

Two silvers also went Carroll’s way, in the surf and board races.

Over this past season he’s invested 10-15 hours a week to get him to the front of his age group, plus the St. Paul’s Port Macquarie student has to fit schoolwork into his hectic weekly program.

Carroll wants to go all the way in the sport. “Hopefully I’ll make the interstate team and then one day the Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Series.”

Manly’s Naomi Scott was able to defend her iron woman title in the last year of competing at a junior state title. A little runner to the beach on the final board leg gave Scott a boost over Umina’s Mimi Henderson to clinch the prized medal.

Top 10 Overall Point Score:

1.) Manly LSC – 291

2.) Avoca Beach SLSC – 248

3.) Wanda SLSC Inc – 162

4.) Elouera SLSC – 152.5

5.) Swansea Belmont SLSC – 143

6.) Bronte SLSC – 135

7.) North Cronulla SLSC – 120

8.) South Maroubra SLSC – 101.5

9.) Coogee SLSC – 84.5

10.) Terrigal SLSC – 83

The 2014 NSW Surf Life Saving Championships supported by ClubsNSW now turns its eyes on the premier weekend, the Opens Championships, where the state’s best Ironmen and Women will be fighting for glory at Ocean Beach/Umina from March 7-9.


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