Kaitlin Walsh, Harper Adams and Damien Yabsley claim medals at Metro Short Course Swimming Championships

Medalists: Kaitlin Walsh, Harper Adams and Damien Yabsley each claimed medals. Picture: Andrew McMurtry

Medalists: Kaitlin Walsh, Harper Adams and Damien Yabsley each claimed medals. Picture: Andrew McMurtry

The Castle Hill RSL Dolphins have swum away with five medals from the 2017 NSW Metropolitan Short Course Championships.

Harper Adams claimed gold in the 11-year-old 100m breaststroke, Kaitlin Walsh won silver in the 15-year-old 100m breaststroke and Damien Yabsley, 23, took out three bronze medals in the open mens category.

Harper, 11, said it was the first time she had achieved a result like this.

“It was really exciting, I wasn’t expecting it,” she said.

“I was very shocked to begin with but I had a lot of fun there. It was a good meet.”

Harper has been swimming since she was two but has only been with Castle Hill for the past two years.

With the strong result at the metro championships, she said she’s got the confidence to “try to get a medal at state”.

The Castle Hill resident has had a strong year after making the school state swimming carnival.

She has proven to be a multi-talented athlete.

“It’s been a great year because I do gymnastics next door so I’ve gone to Melbourne and Hobart so that was fun,” Harper said.

For Kaitlin, her silver medal was a pleasing result after an interrupted preparation.

Battling illness, injury and motivation issues after a four months without a dedicated coach, the Glenorie resident admitted it was a good result.

“It felt pretty good considering everything that led up to it,” she said.

“I was happy even though my time wasn’t that great.”

Kaitlin now trains under her former coach Greg Morrison, who she previously worked with when she was at Galston.

She also said fellow medallist Damien had provided her some motivation for the metro championships as they have been teammates for several years and both moved from the Galston club to Castle Hill.

Kaitlin hopes the pair can help her push herself before a strong state meet.

“I’m hoping for a few medals but even more than that, I want some PBs,” she said.

“I haven’t had PBs since last year at nationals so it’s been really tough. I’ve been working really hard at training recently so I hope it all turns out well.”

Damien claimed three bronze medals in the 50m and 100m breaststroke, and 100m individual medley.

But more importantly for the Cherrybrook 23-year-old was the improvement he has had this season.

“I haven’t really improved in a long time and I’m finally starting to do it again so it’s good to be getting rewarded for the time and effort I put in,” he said. 

“In respect to medals, they’re not as important to me nowadays, it’s more about the swimming and still enjoying it.

“Now it’s more about swimming against myself, wanting to improve and cement what I’ve done for so long and keep getting better by changing little things here and there. So it’s still good to get PBs.”

The Castle Hill RSL Dolphins had 33 swimmers at the metro championships and had 27 top 10 finishes. Overall, the club finished 14th on the club medal tally.

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