Cowra’s champion NSW Combined High School’s girls 4x50 metres freestyle quartet have been declared the town’s best sporting team of the past 12 months, winning gold at the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre back in April.
Georgia Lewis, Abbie Lewis, Jade Te Weehi and Jade Browne wiped an incredible five seconds off their previous best prior to the heats, ultimately winning comfortably in a time of 1.54.96.
Dapto High School was second in 1.56.62 with The Hills Sports High School finishing third in 1.59.69.
Each individual split was also a personal best, and the registered time was inside one second of setting a new state record.
Despite leading from start to finish, a thumping final leg from Jade Browne secured Cowra’s triumph.
Georgia Lewis began strongly and handed over to Jade Te Weehi who maintained Cowra’s lead.
Dapto closed in on Abbie Lewis after the halfway mark however Browne flew home to seal the win.
“She smashed it. She did great,” the girls said of Jade Browne’s swim.
“I was pretty nervous. I was trying to get us off to a quick start,” Georgia said of her swim.
“I was pretty nervous because Georgia had a good swim and I needed to hold that so I just didn’t breathe a lot,” Jade Te Weehi said.
“I was really, really nervous because the girls were starting to catch up. We were winning but not by much. I was really trying to hold it,” Abbie added.
It was the second year in a row that the Lewis sisters, Te Weehi and Browne represented Cowra at 17-19 years girls relay.
In 2016 they were forced to settle for silver after being edged out by one-hundredth of a second.
This year they dominated, qualifying fastest with a time of 1.55.41 before almost taking a further second off that in the final.
The girls progressed to NSW All Schools where they finished seventh.
Remarkably, Browne and Abbie are just 15-years-old and Te Weehi and Georgia are 16 and 17 respectively.
It gives an indication of how talented they are, and without 12 months of the year access to swimming facilities most opposition at state have, it almost defies belief.
“I think they underestimate just how well they do,” Browne’s mother Di said.
The team will be presented their prize at Saturday’s 37th annual Sportsperson of the Year awards presentation at the Cowra Services Club.
Notable mentions for Team of the Year-
Cowra Blues – Central West AFL premiers 2016
Cowra Eagles Rugby Union Club’s women’s side – Central West Rugby Union premiers 2016
Cowra senior men’s soccer club – Bathurst Football Association second grade premiers 2016