Attending their first meet since the Country Championships members of the West Coast Swimming Club travelled to Whyalla over the weekend 1st and 2nd of March to contest an indoor short course open carnival in conjunction with an open water swim in the Whyalla Marina. Medals began streaming in immediately with Bryce Hammond (7 yrs) beaming from ear to ear with his first ever open carnival medals - gold in both the 8 and under 25m freestyle and backstroke in a time of 22.08 and 24.78 seconds respectively. Also competing in her first open carnival was Tasmin Durdin (10 yrs) who together with Sophie Traeger, Bridie Micken and Kylie Hurrell took out the first 4 places in the 10 and under 50m breastroke. Joseph Perin (9 yrs) has been participating regularly in club time trials and also took the opportunity to refine his race skills at Whyalla in the lead up to the SAPSASA event in Adelaide in March. Joseph competed in 4 events including a 50m butterfly finishing in 4th place in a 1.15.21.
It was great to see Ellie McInerney back in the water after her recent hospital stay. She competed in the 4 x 25m freestyle relay and together with Jamie Ford, Tasmin Durdin and Emma Hamnett missed out on first place in the final by the narrowest of margins. Ellie's brother Kyle is proving to be the one to beat in the 9 year old boys age group with his most competitive results in the 10 and under 50m backstroke (51.22) and breastroke (55.88) Competing in the next age group up was Jarrod Stolz who has gained plenty of race confidence and fitness being a regular attendee at morning and afternoon training sessions. Jarrod's best performance was in his 50m breastroke finishing in 4th place with a time of 58.67. Emma Hamnett made excellent ground on her backstroke and breastroke personal best times with the biggest improvement in her 50m backstroke (52.88).
Members of the development squad are continuing to refine their racing skills; particularly their etiquette on the blocks (no muscle movement, goggle adjustments permitted), underwater streamlining and efficiency over the duration of the turn. Pleasing personal best times were recorded by Tommy Ford who continues to show his strength in backstroke. He recorded 13 year old State Short Course Qualifying Times in all three distances - the 50m, 100m and 200m events. Also recording State Qualifying times in 8 out of 10 events was Henry Lambert who also celebrated a recent birthday. He returned from Whyalla with 4 gold medals in the 50m backstroke (32.84), 50m breastroke (35.18) and 100 & 200m backstroke (1.12.03 and 2.46.97). Maxwell Lambert enjoyed his mornings events with National Age prodigy and rival swimmer Simon Geldenhys from Whyalla being unavailable due to a cricket grandfinal. Maxwell also came away with two 14 year old State Age qualifying times in the 50m backstroke (35.46) and 50m breastroke (42.08) and felt the weight of 8 medals around his neck by the end of the meet! Christopher Bawden was recognised at our recent pointscore event as one of our 'Swimmers of the Month' having made some drastic improvements in his performance in recent months. His results in Whyalla were just as impressive finishing with a clean sweep of personal best times. He recorded state qualification standards in the 13 year old age category for 50m and 100m breastroke events (43.78 and 1.34.34) and we look forward to seeing him add a 200m breastroke to his swimming repertoire in coming meets. Breastrokers Brookyln George and Dana Hurrell recorded their best performances in the 200 breastroke finishing in second and third place respectively (3.53.39 and 3.56.94). Madeline McShane who is shortly participating in the World's greatest shave, continued to make ground on her 100m breastroke (1.47.82) and 100m freestyle (1.25.54). She also tackled the 400 Individual Medley which is one of the rockstar events due to its demanding nature across all 4 stokes. She completed the race in 7.54.79.
Surprise performance of the meet went to Gerard Meyer who at 16 years of age made significant time improvements across almost all events. His competitiveness in breastroke shone through with 17 year old State Age Qualification in all three distances (50m, 100, and 200m). His 100m freestyle is continuing to edge closer to the 1 minute mark this time recording a 1.03.22. Gerard also participated in the 1600m Open Water Event on the Sunday together with five other members of the club. His younger sister, Mia Meyer swam a great 50m butterfly to take out the gold in the 1 3 - 14 age group (39.77)
Rested after her outstanding effort at the State Championships in late January, Brooke Traeger competed in a total of 11 events taking out either gold or silver in every event, whether they be age group categorised or open. She continued to show her versatility between the pool and open ocean events also taking out the title of fastest female competitor in the Open Water Swim on Sunday completing the 1600m in a time of 23 minutes and 20 seconds. Also braving the open water event was first timer Kellie Dennis who was rewarded with a third placed visitor trophy. Sharing the water with a very friendly mother dolphin and her calf Kellie completed the race in 29 minutes and 54 seconds. Kellie had plenty of medal winning swims in the pool on Saturday with her backstroke rewarding her with a gold (200m backstroke - 3.22.47) and silver (100m backstroke - 1.33.80) medallion. India Copland finished in second place in the 50m 11 - 12 yrs breastroke in a time of 44.89 also medalling in the 50m freestyle (33.88). Jamie Ford (11 years) continues to mentally work through mastering 100m distance events recording personal best performances in her 100m breastroke (1.52.05), 100m butterfly (1.50.21) and 100m backstroke (1.36.75).
Joining the team were West Coast's 'swimming cousins' from the Ceduna Branch who bought a large contingent across to enjoy the carnival. The club has the administrative capacity to cater for a geographically dispersed membership base and provides financial services, nomination officer services, equipment supplies and team uniform requirements to swimmers from Ceduna, Lock, Cummins, Tumby Bay and Port Lincoln. You can learn more about the operations of the West Coast Swimming Club via the club's website www.westcoastswimmingclub.com
Sonia Ford is our publicity officer and would love to hear of noteworthy news items from our swimming community!