PERSONAL BEST: Lismore Workers Swim Team athlete Abbie Yourell, 14, was thrilled to swim a PB in Sydney after she shaved seven minutes off her 5km swim time in the NSW Open Water Championships.
PERSONAL BEST: Lismore Workers Swim Team athlete Abbie Yourell, 14, was thrilled to swim a PB in Sydney after she shaved seven minutes off her 5km swim time in the NSW Open Water Championships.

Abbie’s 5km swim PB at open water championships

Swimming in open water is a very long way from following the black line in the pool.

It’s very demanding and requires dedication, focus and stamina – something Lismore Workers Swim Team member, Abbie Yourell has in spades.

On Saturday January 30, Abbie, 14, showed her mettle swimming freestyle in the New South Wales Open Water Championship in Penrith, Sydney.

Then at 3am on Sunday, Abbie and her mum Rebecca Yourell caught the train to Sydney Airport so they could fly home in time for the youngster to do her beach patrol for Evans Head Surf Lifesaving Club.

“I was very tired when I finished but very happy too,” she said.

“I’m taking Monday morning training off but will be back on Monday afternoon.”

While waiting for her time to be confirmed, she said her coach Peter Harvey estimated she swam the 5km course distance in 1:12, four minutes under national qualifying time.

COACH’S TACTICS: Lismore Workers Swim Team athlete Abbie Yourell, 14, with coach Peter Harvey in Sydney. Abbie said his tactics helped her knock seven minutes off her 5km swim time.
COACH’S TACTICS: Lismore Workers Swim Team athlete Abbie Yourell, 14, with coach Peter Harvey in Sydney. Abbie said his tactics helped her knock seven minutes off her 5km swim time.

“This is almost seven minutes off my personal best,” she said,

“I have been in training seven days a week, doing a mix of sprint and distance swimming to build my fitness.”

Abbie said at Penrith, Harvey would give her encouragement by whistling and ahead of the head, they discussed how should ‘pace the race’.

“You cant really hear anyone at all when swimming but I could hear Pete’s whistle as it’s really loud,” she said.

“When I hear it I raise my head and follow his hand signals.

“The whistle he gave me at the 3.5km mark to say ‘keep going’ was really encouraging.”

Abbie said she continue training for the 5km continuous swim event as now she is focusing on the Nationals on the Sunshine Coast in March.

“On 14 March I will be doing a 5km swim again and my goal is another personal best,” she said aid.

“My goal is to improve every time I swim.”

The Year 8 student at Evans River K-12 Community School said the friends she trains with LWST are also very encouraging.

“Even though they were at a swim meet themselves on Saturday, they still sent messages of support,” she said.



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