Slick Sam keen to go distance


Freestyle sprinter Sam Ritchens is ready to emerge from his cocoon and turn himself into a butterfly and middle distance swimmer.

Sam, 13, of Roseville, bagged two silvers in his favoured 50m and 100m freestyle events in the under-13 division at the NSW State Age short course championships at Homebush.

The Lane Cove Swimming club member, this week’s North Shore Times Junior Sports Star Award nominee, also captured silvers in the same events at the Australian School Swimming Championships in Melbourne.

Despite his sprinting prowess, the Year 7 Knox Grammar School student said he’s keen to challenge himself in longer races.

“I definitely want to make the step up to the 200m and maybe some longer events,” he said.

“It will come with a lot of practice and training.

“I’d also like to try butterfly.

“I want to be competent in these races like I am in the 50m and 100m freestyle.

“I still want to keep doing the 50m and 100m but I need a challenge as I have been doing the same thing for three or four years.”

Sam captured two PBs in Melbourne, including a slick 25.54sec in the 50m and 57.20sec in the 100m.

The youngster said he got the jump on his rivals in both races.

“My coaches said I had flying starts and was pretty good out of the blocks,” he said.

Fellow Lane Cove swimmer Mamo Shiitsu missed out on a medal but he had three top 10 finishes.

The 16-year-old captured fourth in the 100m backstroke, fifth in the 200m backstroke and sixth in the 50m butterfly.

Sam, a former Lindfield Public School student, also collected a gold in the 13-14 years 4x50m freestyle relay and silver in the 10-18 years 10x50m freestyle relay.

To read the original article,19 August 11 by Torin Chen: