By Ian Hanson
MORWELL, Victoria, Australia. April 24. ONE of Australian Swimming’s rising stars, City of Perth’s Travis Nederpelt, completed a golden treble when he won the five kilometer open water championship at the Tip Top Australian National Age Group Championships in Morwell yesterday.
Nederpelt went from the pool at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre where he won gold in the 400 and 1500 meter freestyle, silver in the 200m and bronze in the 100 to his third gold in the 5K at the Hazelwood Pondage.
The brilliant 15-year-old not only won his age group but clocked the fastest time of the day – 57 minutes 56 seconds, to confirm his status as one of the Australian stars of the future.
Earlier in the year, Nederpelt finished third in the Australian Open five-kilometer championship, behind Herbert Ray and his older brother Jarrad, who finished second to Travis today but still won the 17-18 years age group in 59.37.
The first woman across the line was 1999 Pan Pacific representative Sarah Bowd (Redcliffe Leagues Lawnton, Qld), who broke away from Melissa Benson (City of Perth) in the final 2.5km.
Bowd won the 15-years age group in 1:03.08, easily defeating Redcliffe teammate Sarah Kekki (1:05.05) and Nikki McElroy, Campbelltown, NSW, 1:05.09.
She was one of five gold medallists from the Redcliffe Leagues Lawnton Club with Luke Palmer winning the 13 years and under boys; Paul Haseman the 14 years boys, Kate Cherry the 13 years and under girls and Jessicah Schipper the 14 years girls.
Schipper was also one of the stars of the five-day stillwater meet, winning the 100 and 200m butterfly and 400m freestyle gold medals.
Australian Swimming’s Open Water Committee chairman Don Blue said he was delighted with the success of the Open Water Age championships, with over 100 swimmers from all over Australia converging on The Pondage.
Organizers have already announced that the 2002 National Age Group Open Water Championships will be swum at Penrith Lakes on April 14, the day after the five-day National Age Group Swimming Championships at the Sydney Aquatic Centre (April 9-13).
2001 TIP TOP AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL AGE GROUP 5KM OPEN WATER SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS
13 years and under: L Palmer (Redcliffe Leagues Lawnton, Qld) 1:03.25 1, J Geelan (South Esk, Tas) 2, L Pavasovic (Macquarie Fields, NSW) 1:06.41 3.
14 years: P Hasemann (Redcliffe Leagues Lawnton, Qld) 1:01.07 1, J Bettridge (Albany Creek, Qld) 1:01.54 2, M Haworth (Macquarie Fields, NSW) 1:02.02 3.
15 years: T Nederpelt (City of Perth, WA) 57.56 1, D Kennedy (Auburn, NSW) 1:00.00 2, D Campbell (Campbelltown) 1:00.02 3.
16 years: J Carmine (Maroochydore, Qld) 59.46 1, R Smith (Towist, Qld) 59.52 2, B Capell (Commercial, Qld) 59.57 3.
17-18 years: J Nederpelt (City of Perth, WA) 59.37 1, B Johnson (Arena, WA) 1:01.26 2, N Lynch (Ferny Hills and District, Qld) 1:02.18 3.
13 years and under: K Cherry (Redcliffe Leagues Lawnton, Qld) 1:05.02 1, R Brown (West Coast WA) 1:05.02 2, J Evans (Albany Creek, Qld) 1:05.52 3.
14 years: J Schipper (Redcliffe Leagues Lawnton, Qld) 1:06.59 1, R McGarry (Commercial, Qld) 1:08.14 2, L Bates (Aqua Attack, WA) 3.
15 years: S Bowd (Redcliffe Leagues Lawnton, Qld) 1:03.08 1, S Kekki (Redcliffe Leagues Lawnton, 1:05.05 2, N McElroy (Campbelltown, NSW) 1:05.09 3.
16 years: C Robinson (Aqua Attack, WA) 1:05.18 1, T McDonald (Redcliffe Leagues Lawnton, Qld) 1:05.25 2, A Pope (The Hills, NSW) 1:05.43 3.
17-18 years:M Benson (City of Perth, WA) 1:03.18 1, M Oppedissano (Surrey Park, Vic) 1:05.09 2, P Doyle (Warringah Aquatic, NSW) 1:06.16 3.