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Top Australian age-group swimmer trains with NWAC

By JIM WALLER
Whidbey News-Times Sports editor
July 15, 2013 · 8:03 AM
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North Whidbey Aquatic Club coach Bill Patterson, left, presents Australian Ethan Bachert with an Aquajet swim cap. Bachert worked out with the local swim club while visiting Whidbey Island. / Jim Waller / Whidbey News-Times

For Ethan Bachert, it was a working vacation.

Bachert and his family were in town July 1-11 for his grandparents’ (John and Marjorie Bachert’s) 50th wedding anniversary. But the young Australian swimming star did more than visit relatives and see the sights, he continued to train for his state championships.

Bachert, 14, is ranked second in Australia in his age group in the butterfly. His goal is to someday represent his country in international competition and is zeroing in on the Commonwealth Games hosted by Australia in 2018.

To stay in shape, Bachert trained with the North Whidbey Aquatic Club and coach Bill Patterson.

Bachert said that it was a privilege to practice with the Aquajets and that Patterson worked him hard.

He added, “It was really great to have the sets and coaches.”

Bachert wasn’t the only one to benefit from the workouts. Patterson said the Australian speedster pushed his swimmers and forced them to work harder to keep up.

Bachert competes for the Marion Swimming Club in the new $100 million South Australian Aquatic and Leisure Centre.

He is part of the club’s high performance program, considered one of the country’s best.

Bachert,  the son of Andrew and Debra Bachert, is also a top student at Immaneul College in Adelaide were he is on an academic scholarship.

Patterson called Bachert a great kid, hard worker and a pleasure to coach. The only problem, Patterson said jokingly, was that Bachert, true to the Australian rules of the road, swam on the wrong side of the lane.

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