Pope impresses on age national debut

Published 12:00pm 8 May 2022

Pope impresses on age national debut
Words by Nick Crockford

Southern Cross swimmer Barry Pope, pictured with coach Jayden Hadler, made an impressive debut at the Australian Age Championships in Adelaide last month.

Pope, who only reached the qualifying age of 14 one month before the titles, had two top-five finishes and three personal best times from his four events.

Seeded 15 out of 49 entrants in the 14 Year Boys 100m butterfly, Pope the Redcliffe State High School student qualified for the finals and was fourth, from an outside lane in a personal best time 58.60 seconds.

In the 50m butterfly, Pope was seeded 35 out of 105 entrants, made the finals and was fifth in a tight fought race in a personal best 26.38 seconds.

Super season

The 100m freestyle saw the peninsula resident finish 53rd from 107 entrants in a time of 57.11 seconds.

In the 50m freestyle, seeded 138 out of 205 entrants, Pope was 44th in a personal best time of 25.92 seconds, breaking 26 seconds in the process.

He was supported in Adelaide by his parents and head coach of Southern Cross swimming club and Ripple Swim, Jayden Hadler, still holding many age national records.

It also completed a fine season for the teenager which included state titles, state schools championships and now top five national finishes.

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