James Hadley takes a break during a training session at Kingaroy.
James Hadley takes a break during a training session at Kingaroy. Claudia Williams

Murgon teen takes on state's best swimmers

SWIMMING: James Hadley was back in the pool training on Monday with his sights set on making the national titles having tested himself against some of the best swimmers in the state at the Queensland Swimming Championships in Brisbane.

James competed in the under-14 division, lining up in the 100m freestyle, 100m and 200m breaststroke and the 200m and 400m individual medleys at the Brisbane Aquatic Centre from December 9-15.

While he didn't make the finals, his results have only served to spur him on.

"I want to make it to nationals next year,” he said. "For the past two years I have missed out by just under a second for 100m breaststroke.”

James has been swimming since he was four years old and travels from Murgon to Kingaroy to train every afternoon and some mornings.

Donna Dangerfield has been coaching at Kingaroy since 1999 and has been working with James for the past two seasons.

"When he came he wouldn't swim all four strokes, he only liked breaststroke whereas now he qualified for state age for the 400m IM and the 200m IM which he had never done before,” she said.

"It is great for a kid who at the start of last season wouldn't swim butterfly or backstroke.

"He's good to coach because he listens and takes it all in and tries to do exactly what I want him to do so it's good.

"We are all pleased that James got there and a lot of the younger swimmers look up to him and want to go where he has been.”

Dangefield said the Kingaroy club has a lot of young members and many of them are aiming to reach states this season.

"We have got some younger ones that we are hoping will get state sprint times in February, which is when they race over 50m whereas James makes the distance at the moment but the others are younger,” she said. "For a lot of the kids the aim is to make Wide Bay championships in March.”

The next carnival is the Kingaroy event on Saturday, January 27.