Reward for dedication during pandemic, Nelson Bay trio net national medals in swim club first

HAPPY: Nelson Bay Swim Club national medal winners Ebony Nix, 13, Randall Ingram, 14, and Talyor Corry, 26. Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts

HAPPY: Nelson Bay Swim Club national medal winners Ebony Nix, 13, Randall Ingram, 14, and Talyor Corry, 26. Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts

Nelson Bay Swim Club members are no strangers to competition achievements but three of its members have reached all new heights.

Anna Bay Paralympian Taylor Corry, 26, once again shone in the multi-class division of the Australian Age Swimming Championships, securing a gold, silver and bronze medal.

But for the first time, Nelson Bay swimmers claimed honours in the able-bodied division of the 2021 national championship event with Ebony Nix, 13, and Randall Ingram, 14, each earning silver medals.

"I'm very proud," Nelson Bay Swim Coach Tom Davis said. "We've always had swimmers represent Nelson Bay at nationals but this is the first time they have won medals. We were the only NSW club outside Sydney that had more than one swimmer win medals. The only other swimmer from the Hunter Region to win a medal was from Singleton [Billy Moody]."

Nix won silver in the 100 metre butterfly; Ingraham silver in the 200m backstroke and; Corry, who is eying a spot on Australia's Tokyo Paralympics swim team, won gold in the 50m butterfly, silver in the 100m butterfly and bronze in the 50m backstroke.

The wins were particularly sweet as the club only sent three members to the 2021 championship, considered the premier event on the competition calendar, after a COVID-impacted year where Tomaree Aquatic Centre was closed for six months and Bay swimmers had to travel up to two hours on some days to get pool time.

Davis paid tribute to each swimmers' dedication to training during the difficult pandemic period.

GOOD FORM: Nelson Bay Swim Club coach Tom Davis (centre) with Randall Ingram and Ebony Nix on the Gold Coast at the beginning of April where the teens won silver at the 2021 Australian Age Swimming Championships. Picture: Supplied

GOOD FORM: Nelson Bay Swim Club coach Tom Davis (centre) with Randall Ingram and Ebony Nix on the Gold Coast at the beginning of April where the teens won silver at the 2021 Australian Age Swimming Championships. Picture: Supplied

All three swimmers qualified for nationals in Taree in November. It was one of the first competitions that was approved to go ahead following a nine month shutdown due to the pandemic.

Nix, from Corlette, said she had felt "pretty excited" to win at nationals.

She also made the final for the 100m backstroke, came fourth in the 200m butterfly final and just missed out, by .2 of a second, a spot in the 50m freestyle final.

She will now prepare to represent Tomaree High School at the school state championships in Sydney next week. Nix is set to compete in eight races.

Ingram, from Bobs Farm, said he felt "really happy" to win silver in his strongest stroke at nationals.

"It felt like all the hard work paid off," he said. "Medaling at nationals is a great achievement."

The teen said he knew he had won silver when he was chasing down the eventual gold medal winner in the last 50m. "There was no one else around," he said.

Ingram said his new goal was to win gold at nationals next year and hopefully qualify for other events such as the 800m freestyle and 1500m freestyle finals.

Corry is now working towards improving her times as the trials for the Tokyo Paralympics approaches.

She will compete in the Sydney Open in May before the Olympic trials are held in Adelaide in June.

Corry, who holds two silver Paralympic medals, is currently swimming about one second off the time she needs to qualify for the 100m butterfly Olympic trial time.

"I'm feeling pretty confident," Corry said. "I still have some work to do but I am confident that I can chase that time down."

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