Rutherford Public School's Ava Jankovic rewrites swimming record book

Ava Jankovic is not the type of girl to seek the limelight, but her efforts in the swimming pool are increasingly propelling her into it.

Jankovic, 11, broke six long-standing records at Rutherford Public School’s recent swimming carnival and now has her sights set on qualifying for the NSW PSSA titles through the zone and regional championships.

Her efforts in breaking the 50 metre records for freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke and butterfly, were all the more remarkable as her training is more geared towards distance swimming.

“I prefer swimming the 400m and 800m freestyle and my best event is the 200m fly,” Jankovic, who finished second in the state age 200m butterfly final last year, said.

“I was trying to go for the records and just thought I’ve got to swim as fast as I can.”

Swimming is a family affair with her brother Reece, 14, also an accomplished swimmer whose pet event is the 1500m freestyle.

The two train each morning in Newcastle at Arnold’s swim centre and while it means a 4.30am start, their mother Julie Caddy said they found it a great way to start the day.

“They say it clears their minds and sets them up for the day,” Caddy said.

“They’re very dedicated, but it’s a passion and they swim in state competitions as well as the school system.”

Jankovic has made the PSSA finals each year since she was seven in year two at Ashtonfield Public School.

She moved to Rutherford two years ago and broke four school records last year on the way to making the final of the PSSA titles. 

Record effort

All Age Girls 100m Freestyle - 1:09:59 (record was 1:19:66 from Shannon Skinner 1999)

12 Years 50m Freestyle - 32:91 (record was 36:12 from Emily Davies 1996)

Senior Girls 50m Breaststroke - 44:50 (record was 50:27 from Emily Davies 1996)

Senior Girls 50m Backstroke - 39:63 (record was 43:62 from Emily Davies 1999)

Senior Girls 50m Butterfly - 34:31 (record was 46:22 from Teagan Toms 1999)

All Age Girls IM- 2:51:53 – (record was 3:07:16. Jankovic broke her 2016 record by 16 seconds)