LOCAL swimming prodigy Jess Reinhardt left the competition in her wake at the School Sport Australia Swimming Championships in Melbourne last week claiming five medals and a national record.
The 17-year-old won gold in the 50m butterfly and 100m butterfly with a bronze in the 50m freestyle and also swam her way to the podium in two relay events, claiming silver in the medley and freestyle relay.
Adding to the dominant performance in the pool was a host of personal best (PB) times and a national record for the 50m butterfly which she claimed gold in, smashing the previous record of 28.21s set in 2008 down to 27.71s.
Ecstatic with her medal haul Jess said she was surprised to have broken a national school record.
“My time was close to it and I knew there was a possibility that I could (break the record) but it was very unexpected at the time,” she said.
“Usually records are broken by 0.1 of a second so to go under 28 seconds was so exciting.
“Usually I have one or two good swims but all five of them were PBs and were just faster than I had swum before.”
Jess said she had always loved swimming from an early age and had made regular appearances at the National School Championships since her debut in Year 6 with butterfly, her preferred stroke.
“I seem to have a knack for it (butterfly),” she said.
“It’s always been more comfortable than the other strokes.
“I’ve just always loved swimming and even loved training which most people don’t.”
The Year 12 student said she would be focusing her sights on the State Swimming Championships later in the year and planned on taking a gap year from university next year in order to focus on her swimming.
She said she would move up into open categories for swimming at the state titles in December and next year hoped to continue her current form.
“It’s a big difference between the age groups and open and swimming against people like Jess Schipper,” she said.
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