Sally shines at teams champs
SWIMMING: Boyne-Tannum Bullets prodigy Sally Vagg helped Queensland to its 11th straight State Teams Swimming Championship at the AIS in Canberra.
The 13-year-old exceeded her own expectations and also took home a gold medal in the 4x100m Freestyle Relay event.
"I swam personal best times in every event and I am very happy with that," Sally said.
"I'm most proud of my 100m backstroke time of 1:04:38 minutes and my 50m backstroke (29:71sec) because it was the first time I have swam under 30 seconds for 50m backstroke and a big personal best time for the 100m backstroke.
Sally said she enjoyed the team-based 4x100m freestyle relay.
"The 4x100m free relay was probably my favourite event because of the team spirit and the girls in the team were really fun," she said.
There was plenty of support off the pool as well.
"We were screaming the whole time we weren't swimming and the entire Queensland team was up on their feet cheering us home," Sally said.
"It was a huge bonus to win gold in the relay and I was very proud to be a part of the winning team."
Out of Sally's five individual events that she swam for Queensland, she achieved the fastest or second fastest times for a 13-year-old in each event and overall in the 13-14 year age group.
"I placed with one fourth (200 backstroke), three sixth places (50m backstroke, 200m freestyle and 200m butterfly) and ninth in the 100m backstroke," Sally said.
"I am very pleased and proud of how I went, especially as I was the youngest member of the Queensland team."
Apart from a gold medal and new PB times, Sally said she took away new friendships made and learned more about swimming and preparation.
"I also got to experience working with the Queensland coaches, which was a great learning opportunity to take on board some new ideas and opinions," she said.
Sally loved the facilities at the AIS.
"I enjoyed swimming at the AIS Aquatic Centre because the complex included three different pools which allowed plenty of room for everyone to warm up and warm down after every race," she said.
"Because it was a short course meet, the competition was held in a 25m pool just like at home."
Sally was also a part of a popular tradition.
"Following tradition as the youngest team member, I was given the honour of looking after Tilly the platypus, which is the team mascot," she said.
"Tilly had to accompany me everywhere over the four days."
Sally's next event is the Queensland Long Course Championship in December.