THE stands at Des Renford Aquatic Centre’s 25m indoor pool were close to capacity last Sunday, creating a great atmosphere for the 71st annual Speedo NSW Jewish Swimming Championships.
In the AJN Cup 100m freestyle main event, there was an incredibly tight finish in the men’s, with 24-year-old Kyron Israelsohn touching the wall in 54.21 seconds, just in front of 16-year-old City of Sydney Aquatic Club member Alex Thompson (54.44) and 16-year-old Maccabi swimmer Noah Abeshouse (54.63).
Israelsohn, who is currently not affiliated with a club, said he is returning to swimming training after a six-month break.
“I always like to use this meet as motivation to kickstart my year in swimming, because it’s got a nice tradition and it’s great to be part of,” Israelsohn said.
“And for sure, it’s good to see these youngsters were right on my tail.”
Thompson said he was very happy with nailing a PB time after focusing more on freestyle in training, and Abeshouse also posted a PB.
In the AJN Cup’s women’s race, last year’s runner-up, 16-year-old Maccabi swimmer Hannah Pajor, coasted to victory by about 1.5 lengths in the time of 1:03.57, followed by fellow Maccabi swimmers, 13-year-old Ella Leshetz (1:04.70) and 16-year-old Jessica Williams (1:05.51).
Pajor told The AJN she didn’t think she would win, but felt in good form, “because we had a very good Maccabi pre-season training camp last month, where we all worked really hard”.
“It’s always nice to have this annual event just for Jewish swimmers, and all be together.”
Leshetz posted a big PB, and then went on to break a 26-year meet record in the 13 girls’ 50 free, winning that in a time of 29.75 seconds. The previous record of 30.33 seconds was set in 1995 by Sara Dickinson.
“I was really happy with that, because I was aiming to get some PBs,” Leshetz said.
Thompson also aced his other races, breaking four meet age records, easily winning the Joe Bos Memorial Trophy for Swimmer of the Meet in the 13+ category.
The 12 & Under Swimmer of the Meet award went to Julian Brown, who won all 12-year-old boys’ events he entered.
Other meet record breakers on the day were Maccabi’s Ariella Levy (17-24 girls’ 50 breaststroke) and Tamryn Schubert (13+ girls’ 200 IM).