Two junior Ararat Swimming Club members have qualified for the 2017 Victorian Country Swimming Championships in Sale from January 27-29.
Eloise Wills and Deacon Briggs recorded qualifying times at meets in Geelong, Melbourne and Ballarat to be eligible to compete at the state event.
It is the second time the pair will compete at the event after representing Horsham in the 2016 championships.
Wills will compete in the 50-metre freestyle, butterfly, breaststroke and backstroke in the 11 and under section.
Eloise’s mum, Helen, said it will be another good experience for Eloise to compete at the championships.
"Eloise enjoys competing and the social side of going to these swimming events,” she said.
"She had good teachers in the learn2swim program and she had a nice natural action in the pool.
“Eloise wanted more challenges in the pool, so her teacher suggested she could start swimming competitively.”
It is her fourth season swimming and the first season at the Ararat club.
“Eloise has had a lot to do with Ararat swimmers and developed some strong friendships,” Wills said.
“So we decided to move her down to Ararat.”
Eloise said she wants to continue her improvement in the pool at the championship meet.
“I want to continue doing personal best times like I did there last year,” she said.
“And to finish in the top 10 in the backstroke and freestyle which would mean I make the final.”
Briggs has qualified for the 100-metre freestyle and backstroke along with the 200m freestyle events in the 12-year-old age group.
The four events he competed in last year were 50-metre events but will compete in 100m events this year.
He said he has been training harder to prepare for the longer distances.
"One of my goals for this year was to qualify for it,” he said.
“So I have been training as hard as I can stay fit.
"I am pretty confident even though they are longer races that I will be able to keep my pace up during the longer races.”
Briggs said he has set further goals to aim for at Sale.
"I hope to finish in the top 30 and swim some personal bests,” he said.
The event will attract more about 600 competitors to the three day event with competitors ages ranging from 11 and under to an open age group.