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Australian Age Group Championships - Day 3

Apr 13, 2000  - Ian Hanson

Rockhampton's Ashley Anderson tonight won his third gold medal of the 2000 Tip Top Australian Age Swimming Championships, at the Challenge Stadium in Perth and took his overall tally to 14 titles in three years.

The 15-year-old Aboriginal boy, won the 100 metres freestyle in 52.84. He won the 50m freestyle in 23.51 the night before.

Anderson spent 10 weeks out of the water pondering his future after last year's National Age Champs in Hobart, but there has been no uncertainty about his performances at these championships, which have captured the eye of Australian National Head Coach Don Talbot.

"I cannot remember the overall depth of a National Age meet being as strong as this and young Ashley Anderson has been one of several youngsters to standout", said Talbot.

"It is swimmers like Ashley, breaststroke girl Leisel Jones and Tasmanian butterflyer Nicole Hunter who have certainly stamped themselves as among the ones to watch."

Anderson's 52.84 was a personal best time for the event with New Zealand's Mark Herring taking the visitor's silver medal in 53.68 and Western Australian Braydon McIntosh the silver in 53.84.

Meanwhile, Miami's Katie Canning added to her 800m freestyle win with her second gold medal of the meet in the 100m freestyle in 57.69.

Canning has been one of the stand-out performers of this meet, surprising even her coach Denis Cotterell.

"Katie only qualified for one event at last year's Nationals, the 50 metres freestyle so her turnaround in 12 months has been quite remarkable," said Cotterell.

"To win the 800m freestyle after finishing second in the 200m butterfly on the first night was a very good effort and she showed she's got some speed too, with her win in the 100m."

Canning's Miami teammate Stephen Penfold, a training partner of Grant Hackett on the Gold Coast, signalled his intentions at next month's Selection Trials with his 15:34.45 gold medal swim in the 16-18 years 1500 metres freestyle.

Penfold, 18, defeated fellow Gold Coaster, Dylan Rackley (Burleigh Beach Club) who clocked 15:55.92.

The womens 100 metres butterfly saw Shoalhaven Academy pair Rachel Coffee (1:01.55) take gold and Jordana Webb the silver in 1:02.92.