Skin's finalists in the boys competition took to the pool at the Stanthorpe Open on Sunday.
Skin's finalists in the boys competition took to the pool at the Stanthorpe Open on Sunday. Matthew Purcell

Strokes of excellence

SWIMMING: The region's top fliers in the pool made the journey to town over the weekend for the annual Stanthorpe Open.

Numbers were up and competition was fierce as Stanthorpe's best took on rivals from across the Darling Downs.

Close to 200 swimmers competed in what was one of the biggest swim meets on the regional calendar.

"We had an extra two swimmers from our club gain state sprint times which brings us up to 13,” Stanthorpe Swimming Club president Shannon Armbruster said.

"It's just brilliant. One of the kids hadn't even been near it and just dropped in under time out of the blue and that was J.J Cusack. He's done really well this season.

"Little Oska Zappa got through as well which is awesome.”

One of the biggest attractions on the day was the Skin's sprint event.

The top eight fastest swimmers on the day race off, with the two slowest dropping out until it's whittled down to four in the final.

Local boy Ben Armbruster blew away his competition to win in the men's.

Hannah McMeniman finished second in the girls event. "It was fantastic because it was only the second time she'd swum in a Skin's event,” Shannon said.

As well as getting some age champions, Stanthorpe made the most of their home-ground advantage.

"It's very competitive across all areas and in all the strokes so we did well.”

She also said the event had a beneficial impact on the wider community.

"It's huge for the town because a lot stay in accommodation over night. A lot come for the show weekend and go to the show Saturday and swim on Sunday.”

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