TALENT POOL: Emma Cran, 12, and James Hadley, 11, are swimming at the State Titles.
TALENT POOL: Emma Cran, 12, and James Hadley, 11, are swimming at the State Titles. Contributed

Early gold at state swimming championships

SOUTH Burnett swimmers were decked out in gold on the first day of the state championships.

Nanango swimmer Shikira-Lee Matheson and Wondai's Emma Cran were both members of the 12 years Wide Bay medley team that won gold on Saturday.

The pair also secured bronze in the freestyle relay team, giving the two a nearly perfect start to the week-long Queensland Swimming Championships at Chandler.

Shikira-Lee went on to win a silver medal on Sunday for the 200m breaststroke, with the Australian champion edging ahead by only 0.3 seconds.

The girls will compete for the rest of the week in various individual events, with 11-year-old James Hadley from Murgon Swimming Club also at the championships for the 11 years boys 100m freestyle.

Wondai swimming coach Adam Stephenson said he was proud the young swimmers could compete at such a high level without year-long training regimes.

"Emma and James have really put in the training so far this summer and both deserve to have the chance to swim at this massive meet," he said.

"95% of the swimmers they will be competing against train all year round, so to be part of the state champs is a great achievement."

Nanango Amateur Swimming Club's Shikira-Lee Matheson will compete all week at the State Championships.
Nanango Amateur Swimming Club's Shikira-Lee Matheson will compete all week at the State Championships. Aiden Burgess

Shikira-Lee's coach Brian Shorter said his athlete had been focused and happy leading up to the competition.

"She is very mature and smart and understanding for a 12-year-old," he said.

"She comes to seven or eight sessions a week.

"I'm just guiding her because she has just got so much talent."

Shorter said she had a relaxed week before heading to Chandler.

"She is relaxed and happy and she couldn't be any better prepared," he said.

"She's got her whole family there which makes her really happy."

Shikira-Lee has already clocked in qualifying times for the National Championships in 100m and 200m breaststroke.

And Shorter said now the focus was on doing well at states and trying to qualify for more National Championship events.

"We've got three more still to qualify for, 100m back and 100m fly, we are looking at now."

"Her butterfly is really coming along. She used to run out of breath...but she just knocked eight seconds off her time. I was just amazed."

And Shorter said when Shikira-Lee put all her strokes together it was only a matter of time before she qualified in the 200m individual medley.

"200m IM is the next thing we are going to try for," he said.

"I expect her to get there because she is doing really well in that."

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