Wodonga on fire at O&M champs |PICTURES

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WODONGA has dominated the Ovens and Murray Swimming Championships with two of its stars smashing a series of long-standing records.

The club had all eight starters in the open boys 100 metres freestyle and half of the field in the girls.

National champion Heath Macleod, swimming in the under-14 age division, broke no fewer than six individual records.

He broke his own 400-metre freestyle record by eight seconds and the 50-metre breaststroke and 100-metre breaststroke marks that had stood for 20 years.

Holbrook’s Olivia Plunkett, 16, broke the 50-metre backstroke and 100-metre breaststroke records, her Wod-onga teammate and open 100 metre winner Georgia Stadelmann also breaking the 50-metre backstroke standard in finishing second.

James Jarrous touched out Harrison Lowe in the open 100-metre freestyle final with Macleod third.

The meet also saw a record that had stood since 1979 broken when Lucinda Macleod, 9, and Heath’s sister, swam 34.81 seconds for the 50-metre freestyle.

Macleod said he had been swimming well at training but hadn’t thought about the records.

He paid tribute to a team that had dominated the 100 metre final and pushed each other to new limits

“I knew I could set the records, felt good in training but you don’t really expect to do it,” Macleod said.

“We have such a great squad — it’s really competitive even at training and that pushes you every day.

“My next goal is the nationals in Sydney in April.

“I’ve set records in a number of strokes but breaststroke is probably my best event at nationals.”

Plunkett, 16, said they had been training hard and expected to do good times at the meet.

“We’ve got a great club — the girls training with the boys, it is competitive but training is always a little different, always a bit of fun as well as hard work,” she said.

“The 200-metre backstroke and even the medley seem to be my best events — I’m probably in the top 20 in the country in some of my events.

“So I’ll go to nationals, it will be my third and a long way from my first where I was just so nervous.”

Winner of the blue-ribbon 100-metre freestyle final Stadelmann said she lifted in the second 50 metres after being second to the wall on the first lap.

“I’m exhausted, relieved, just so happy.”

Wodonga Swimming Club head coach Mike Ursu said the performance was reward for hard work.

“Most of the older kids here do 10 sessions a week, in the water morning and night,” he said.

“We set about creating a high performance training program and squad but you only get out of it what you put in and all these kids don’t muck around — they have a purpose.

“They have great discipline and work hard.”

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