Swimmer shines at states
KINGAROY'S Ryan Zeller got his first taste of state level swimming last week.
The Kingaroy Swimming Club junior competed in last week's Queensland Swimming Championships at Brisbane's Chandler Aquatic Centre.
The 14-year-old achieved personal bests in both his 100m freestyle and 100m backstroke events, shaving two seconds off his 100m freestyle time and two and a half seconds off his 100m backstroke time.
Zeller said making his debut at the state championships was an overwhelming experience.
"I was definitely nervous and it was a really nerve-wracking experience," he said.
"Everyone in the crowd is looking down at you and they were packed right to the bottom."
The Kingaroy State High School student's coach, Joe Dangerfield, said his swimmer put nerves aside to achieve personal bests at the championships.
"For the size of the meet, he swam out of his skin," he said.
"I remember my own first state titles and the nerves really hit you, but he really handled it well."
Zeller said he was happy with his performance.
"I thought I did quite well to my standards and I felt great. I was hoping a bit more for my backstroke, which I can work on," he said.
Zeller currently trains for eight two-hour sessions a week at Kingaroy Swimming Pool, and said he hoped to do even better at his next state championships.
"I've already qualified for my next state titles and I'll see if I can make nationals in the sprints," he said.
Zeller will be also competing in the 5km and 10km events at the Australian Open Water Championships in February at Lake Macquarie, NSW.
The Kingaroy Swimming Club relay team of Christopher Hutton, Daniel Reid, Patrick Want and Ryan Zeller also competed in the 4x50m freestyle and medley relays at the Queensland Swimming Championships in Brisbane.
The Kingaroy team finished in 30th place in both relays in a field of 80 teams in each event.