17 August 2011

Medal harvest surprises Goodna swimmer Tinita Wilson


TINITA Wilson has been full of surprises of late and hopes it continues that way.

Tinita Wilson capped big improvements in the pool by securing five medals at the Australian Schools Swimming Championships in Melbourne.


TINITA Wilson has been full of surprises of late and hopes it continues that way.

The improvement the 16-year-old Woogaroo swimmer has shown in a year is remarkable, surprising almost everyone.

She recently returned from the Australian Schools Swimming Championships in Melbourne with five medals from the five events she contested in the girls 16-19 years S14 category for intellectually impaired athletes.

Tinita claimed silver medals in the 200m individual medley, 200m backstroke and 50m breaststroke, as well as bronze in the 200m freestyle and 100m freestyle – all in the same day.

Only a year earlier, the indigenous athlete had returned from the titles with two medals.

Tinita's mum Carol puts her improvement down to moving from the juniors to the senior squad at the Woogaroo Swimming Club.

"Ever since, everything just clicked," Carol said.

"She was put in the senior squad where she could no longer muck around with the other girls.

"(Coach Tony Keogh) took her out of that group and things started to click.

"She had to go faster."

Tinita was one of only two 16-year-olds competing in her division, meaning most of the St Peter Claver College year 10 student's opponents were 17 or 18.

Her improved medal haul was not the only impressive statistic.

She knocked more than eight seconds off her personal-best time for the 100m backstroke – her pet event.

"When she looked up at the board after the race, she looked at me and said 'look, look'," Carol said.

"She surprised herself."

Tinita was destined to be a backstroker from the time she first graced the Woogaroo pool at Goodna two-and-a-half years ago when she stunned the coaches by swimming her 50m backstroke faster than her 50m freestyle.

Tinita's next mission is the Australian Age Multi Class Championships in Canberra in October when she will contest a slightly-less-strenuous program.

It will still include eight events over three days but four of them are 50m events so they don't count as much, according to Carol.

Both Carol and Tinita are looking forward to seeing her photo up at on the wall at SPCC, which supported her trip to Melbourne.

"The school didn't think she'd go as well as she did and neither did I," Carol said.

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