By Mark Heenan
Ocean Grove Surf Life Saving Club Nippers produced some outstanding results at the two-day Life Saving Victoria State Junior Championships in Warrnambool over the weekend.
A week after Ocean Grove SLSC was crowned champions at the Senior Lifesaving Championships at Port Fairy, the club’s youngest stars shined in Victoria’s south-west on 11 and 12 March.
Highlights included Grove Nipper Marcus Bird’s incredible win in the Under 13 Boys Iron Man final, while local Xavier Eales won the Under 13 Boys Surf Board final.
Bird also claimed victory in the Boys Under 13 Surf Race.
The quartet of Rhys Devlin, Tim Hannan, Drew Honey and Tyler Walsh took out honours in the Under 14 Boys Aqua Cameron Relay.
Tim Hannan won the Under 14 Boys Iron Man and Boys Surf Race and teamed up with Sam Occhipinti and Tyler Walsh to claim the Under 14 Boys Surf Board Relay.
Star female Lexie McNaughton won the individual Under 14 Girls Surf Race and combined with Erica Crawford and Taia Young and took out silver in the Under 14 Girls Surf Board Relay.
Ocean Grove SLSC Surf Sport co-ordinator Shane Bird confirmed more than 80 local Nippers took part in Warrnambool across the two days.
He said Ocean Grove had scored more points at this year’s junior state championships compared to the 2016 event where the club finished equal second with 255 points.
“We have certainly scored more points than we did last year,” Bird said.
“The depth of competitors in the younger age groups was great.
“In Under 10s we were fielding three Aqua Cameron teams at States, which is quite phenomenal.”