McAuley students break eight swim records

Swim stars: McAuley Rose Bay students Jessica Toomey, Ruby Tonelli-Smith, Harriet Cassidy, and Lucy Hardman.

Swim stars: McAuley Rose Bay students Jessica Toomey, Ruby Tonelli-Smith, Harriet Cassidy, and Lucy Hardman.

McAuley Catholic Primary Rose Bay students glided through the Eastern Suburbs Cluster swimming trials, breaking records in four events.

Nineteen students qualified for the trial event, where they competed against students from 20 other schools.  Year 5 students and relay teammates Ruby Tonelli-Smith, Jessica Toomey, Lucy Hardman and Harriet Cassidy placed first in the Junior Girls 4 x 50 metre freestyle event.

Ruby, 9, also broke records for the Junior Girls 200 metre Individual Medley, Junior Girls 50m Backstroke, and Junior Girls 50m Butterfly with times of 3 minutes and 6 seconds, 40 seconds, and 38 seconds respectively.

She said the atmosphere at the event was fun.

“When you see the first race you get a bit nervous but then once you dive in you feel fine,” she said. “Everyone was cheering for each other. There was lots of noise but it was an amazing thing with everyone having so much fun. It’s kind of the same process as school swimming carnivals just a bit bigger.”

“We’re all in the same class and we’re really good friends,” Ruby said of the relay team.

“It makes it easier to swim together, because although I would cheer for my other team members, you know each other and you know how everyone is. It’s nice swimming with people you really know well.”

Once you dive in you feel fine.

– Ruby Tonelli-Smith

The girls were among six students from McAuley who progressed to the Combined Regional Sydney Archdiocesan swimming trial held on March 2, where they bettered their previous record times. The students broke eight records in total across the two events.

Four students will now compete in the MacKillop Catholic Primary Schools Swimming carnival at the Sydney International Aquatic Centre on March 31.  The event is a precursor to the NSW Primary Schools Sports Association state swimming carnival.

Ruby said she likes swimming for the practical aspect as well as the fun and competitive elements of the sport. “If there was no such thing as swimming you would fall into the water and drown. With swimming you have the ability to move through water and get from one side to the other. I’ve been doing lots of things for my club [Cranbrook Eastern Edge] and the school. It was a great experience being able to represent the Eastern Edge and McAuley since McAuley is such an amazing school.

“They’re very encouraging and supportive of my swimming and I ‘m just very lucky to have that opportunity to represent them.  No matter how far I go, I’ll always be proud of what I’ve achieved.”


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