By Stephen J. Thomas
SYDNEY, Australia, September 13. AUSTRALIAN team member Ashleigh McCleery put in some solid swims in Canada at the Pan Pacific Championships last month but she didn’t feel quite right during the meet. The 19-year-old Queenslander made the finals of the 200 and 400 individual medley events (finishing sixth and fifth respectively) in her first major international competition.
However, it turned out she was suffering from an inflamed appendicitis during the meet and it ruptured on the flight back to Australia. McCleery underwent emergency surgery as soon as she arrived home.
According to her father Morris, “Ashleigh is on the way to a full recovery now but she was a very lucky girl.”
McCleery trains under coach Glenn Baker at the Southport pool on the Gold Coast is still dealing with some secondary infections and won't be back to training for a week or two yet. She produced some eye-catching performances in freestyle and individual medley in a Queensland team tour of California in June, winning the female high points score at Santa Clara and was runner-up at the TYR Meet at Mission Viejo. McCleery will be hoping to get back to fitness in time for the Aussie World Championships selection trials to be held in Brisbane early December.