COLLEGE STATION -- Texas A&M women’s swimming signee Tess Simpson (Ingleside, Ontario, Canada) earned three medals and six top six finishes at the Australian Olympic Youth Festival in Sydney this past month.
Simpson opened the competition, held Jan. 15-18, by earning the gold medal in the 100-meter backstroke. Simpson finished in 1:02.95, .18 ahead of Canadian teammate Chantal Van Landeghem.
“It felt amazing to get the win,” said Simpson. “It felt smooth and I was in control. The best parts of the race for me were my start and my underwater fly kick. During the race it was hard to see what was going on but I knew I was headed for a close finish.”
The Aggie signee earned silver medals as a member of the Canadian 400 freestyle and medley relay teams. Simpson led off the 400-meter medley group in 1:03.48, pushing the team toward a second-place finish in 4:12.26 behind only the host Australians. Simpson swam the anchor leg for the Canadian 400 freestyle relay that finished second, behind Australia, in 3:49.99.
Simpson chopped more than four seconds off her career best in the 200-meter backstroke, taking fourth-place in 2:15.73. She also placed fourth in the 50-meter freestyle (26.69) and earned a sixth-place finish in the 100-meter freestyle (57.91).
The Australian Youth Olympic Festival was initiated by the Australian Olympic Committee following the success of 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. The Festival was first held in Sydney in January 2001, and has been held bi-annually ever since. In 2009, over 2500 athletes and officials from 25 countries competed in 21 different sports