Record-breaking swims and huge medal hauls at the Swimming WA State Open and Age Short Course Championships have earned St Mary’s Anglican Girls School duo, Tahlia Thornton and Emma Bond, a trip to Canberra.

The girls have been selected in the WA team, which will compete in the 2017 State Team Championships at the Australian Institute of Sport from September 22 to 24.

The event is a team-based competition, in which state teams go head-to-head in a variety of individual and relay events to score points for their state.

Tahlia, a Year 9 student who swims for Breakers Swim Club and has recently moved into the WAIS High Performance squad, finished the meet with an incredible haul of seven gold and one silver medal, as well as a new state record for 14/15/16/17 and 18-year-olds in the Open 200m backstroke event.

In that race, Tahlia beat competitors who were aged up to 29 years, with the eldest being Holly Barratt, who swam for Australia at the recent World Championships in Budapest.

Emma, who is in Year 10 and swims with UWA Swimming Club, won two gold, two silver and three bronze medals at the State Championships. One of the silver medals came in the Women’s 15 and over 4 x 100m medley relay where she teamed with the likes of Australian team members, Blair Evans and Tamsin Cook.

After starting swimming at the age of eight when she joined her brother at Breakers Swim Club, Tahlia started competing soon after and realised it was something she really enjoyed. 

Those early years have now progressed into competing at a state and national level, and she has won two national medals in her already stunning swimming career.

Tahlia was coached by Bobby Jovanovich before he moved to Brisbane, but is now under the watchful eye of Bud McAllister at WAIS.

In the short term, Tahlia wants to continue swimming personal best times, while her long term goals are to make national junior teams, followed by senior teams and eventually the Dolphins Australian team for international meets, including the Olympic Games.


Swimming WA State Open and Age Short Course Championships results

Tahlia Thornton

Gold – 14 Years 100m backstroke

Gold – 14 Years 200m backstroke

Gold – Open 200m backstroke

Gold – 14 Years 100m butterfly

Gold – 14 Years 200m butterfly

Gold –  4 x 50m medley relay

Gold –  4 x 100m medley relay

Silver – Open 200m butterfly


Emma Bond

Gold – Women’s 15 Year 100m butterfly

Gold – Women’s 15 Year 200m butterfly

Silver – Women’s 15 and over 4 x 100m medley relay

Silver – Women’s 15 and over 4 x 100m freestyle relay

Bronze – Women’s 15 Year 100m freestyle

Bronze – Women’s 15 Year 50m freestyle

Bronze – Women’s 15 Year 200m freestyle