Sportstar January/February 2016 nominees

September 28, 2016

Triathlete Campbell Gray, swimmer Col Pearse and go-karter Reece Sidebottom are January/February 2016's Sportstar nominees.

Echuca’s Campbell Gray started the year with a bang, winning two events in Melbourne as well as competing in the Echuca Triathlon.

The results of all those earned Gray selection in the Victorian Schools state side for the national championships in April.

The nationals will be held in Hervey Bay, Queensland.

Racing in the Gatorade Series at the start of the year, Gray won the second event in St Kilda by one minute, 23 seconds, despite the 15-year-old being one of the youngest in his 15-19 age group.

‘‘I feel like I’m going good in those events,’’ Gray said.

He now has his sights set on taking out the overall Gatorade Series as his build up to the national championships continues.

‘‘The Queensland event is pretty much the end of the season, so before that it will be the Gatorades and hopefully I can take out my age group,’’ he said.

It seems every time Col Pearse enters a pool these days he is raising the bar with his performances.

Pearse raced in the Victorian Country Championships in Bendigo in January and once again came away with great personal and overall results.

Swimming in the multi-class races, Pearse came away from the championships with two gold medals, one silver and a bronze.

Pearse began with a bang on day one, taking out gold in his favourite event, the 50m butterfly in a time of 34.54 — one of four swims on the day as part of a busy program.

He backed it up on the Saturday with silver in the 50m backstroke in a time of 38.57, immediately followed by bronze in the 50m freestyle in 31.01.

Sunday was his busiest day with four of his longest races of the meet, but true to form he performed well as he claimed a gold and a personal best in the 200m individual medley with a strong time of 3:00.3.0

Australian junior kart champion Reece Sidebottom recorded an impressive top 10 finish at the 2016 CIK-FIA Winter Cup in Italy.

Competing at the famous event as a reward from Karting Australia for winning the Australian Junior Kart Championship last year, Echuca’s Sidebottom lined up with the Ricciardo Kart team in the OK class at the South Garda circuit in Lonato.

He started from 31st in the pre-final, the finishing positions of which decided the grid for the final.

During the 17-lap pre-final, Sidebottom carved his way up 16 places to cross the line 15th.

He continued this form in the final by showing some strong speed to be placed tenth at the chequered flag.

‘‘Racing in Italy was like nothing I have ever done, the top 20 all had the potential to win.

The racing was very close but also very rough.

To come away with a top 10 finish is very pleasing.”

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