South-west swimmers tackle the best at Victorian open titles

FIVE south-west swimmers will try their luck against some of the country’s best this weekend. 

Isaac Jones, Billy McPhee, Tayte Lang, Ashleigh Pettigrew and Caitlyn Mackay will compete at the Victorian open championships at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre which starts today. 

The quintet will line up against the likes of James Magnussen, James Roberts, Alicia Coutts and Bronte Barratt. 

Warrnambool Swimming Club head coach Jayson Lamb said the locals could compete in about half-a-dozen events each. 

Lamb said McPhee and Lang would use the event to gain experience while Jones, Mackay and Pettigrew were aiming for finals. “It’s a hot field that includes Olympians and some up-and-comers,” he said. 

“Ashley and Caitlin are our multi-class swimmers and I’d like to see them and Isaac make finals. 

“For Tayte and Billy, we’ll be using this as a way to gain experience.

“We’re not expecting medals, but it will be a good experience for all of them to test themselves against some of the best.” 

Lamb said Jones was ranked highly in the 200-metre butterfly event where he will be up against 2012 Australian Olympic team members. 

“With Isaac, we are past swimming for experience,” Lamb said. “The focus will be on swimming hard in the heats to make the finals.” 

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