National test for Grace quintet

Published 3:00pm 4 April 2024

National test for Grace quintet
Words by Nick Crockford

Above: From left - Alia Shaw, Lily Smith, coach Josh Duyzer, Lauren Dymond and Macey Lawler preparing for the age nationals.

Five members of Grace Swimming, at Rothwell, are going through their final preparations for the biggest annual swimming event in Australia.

Lauren Dymond, Alia Shaw, Macey Lawler and Xander McRae are in 13 races at next week’s Australian Age and Multi-Class Championships.

They will join more than 2500 athletes, including 71 international entries, and thousands of spectators at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre, from April 6-14.

Dymond and McRae are making their debuts at the age nationals with the latter first off the blocks on Saturday in the 100m freestyle, 100m backstroke, 50m breaststroke and 200m individual medley.

The 13-year-old will follow that hectic start with 100m breaststroke, 50 backstroke and 50m freestyle events.

National test for Grace quintet
Xander McRae who is the first Grace swimmer in action at the age nationals on Saturday.

Alia Shaw, 15, is in the 100m, 200m and 400m freestyle with Lauren Dymond, 17, joining her in the 50m butterfly.

Completing Grace’s age nationals’ line-up will be Macey Lawler, 14, in the 50m and 100m backstroke and 100m freestyle.

The following week, Lily Smith (2022 Grace alumni) and Lauren Dymond will be competing in the Australian Open Championships at the same venue from April 17-20.

Smith is in the 50m, 100, and 200m backstroke as well as the 50m freestyle. Dymond is in the 50m butterfly.

The championships - a breeding ground of the likes of Olympic gold medallists and world champions Ariarne Titmus, Kaylee McKeown and Elijah Winnington - are being live streamed on Channel 9 Now.

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