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The start of something extraordinary

Quirke ready to see what she is capable of at Opens

Wellington swimmer Ellen Quirke returned to New Zealand from Texas, USA this week to compete in the State New Zealand Open Championships which begin next Tuesday.

Quirke is coming into the championships off the back of a successful dual meet season with her girls’ university swim team in the United States, Texas A&M, the team going undefeated.

Since moving to Texas Quirke has had to adjust to swimming short course yards but says she has settled in to it now and as her coaches at Texas A&M are very supportive of her coming back to compete in New Zealand, they have been giving her the opportunity to do more long course training whenever possible in the lead up to Opens.

The other big difference in swimming at Texas A&M Quirke points out is that she is competing for a team rather than for herself.

“As important as individual results and times are, competing for a university team really puts the focus on your placings and the points you’re earning for your team. The loyalty you feel towards your team makes you put in that little bit extra in practice because you know how much everyone on the team is pushing themselves to achieve the team’s goals,” Quirke said.

While Quirke is enjoying her time at Texas A&M with many great resources available to her, that she says have helped her improve not only as a swimmer but as a person, she is glad to have the chance to come home.

“Mostly I’m looking forward seeing my family and friends again. I haven’t been home for nearly a year so that will be really nice. Also I’m looking forward to racing long course again and seeing what I’m capable of,” she said.