Members of the West Coast Swimming club were invited to swim for their school at the recent B Grade SASSA (South Australian Secondary Schools Association) championships hosted by School Sport SA at the SA Aquatic and Leisure Centre in Adelaide (Tuesday 3rd of March). Nine Eyre Peninsula schools combined their pool talents to present both a Far West boys and girls team in the competition. Represented schools from Port Lincoln included St Joseph’s School, Navigator College and Port Lincoln High School. Neighbouring schools Cummins Area School and Tumby Bay Area School also fielded members of the team together with swimmers from Ceduna Area School. Joining the team from Whyalla were students from Samaritan College and Edward John Eyre High School who picked up a single swimmer from Port Augusta High School to complete the team.
The Far West team has climbed the swimming ranks having topped the C Grade division in 2014. This year they again walked away champions after having been promoted to the B Grade competition. Topping some of Adelaide’s most well positioned and resourced private schools the team now has its sights on being invited to swim in the A Grade competition and compete against schools such as Immanuel College, Trinity Grammar, Woolford and Prince Alfred College. The boys team finished with a point score of 780, more than 150 points ahead of the nearest rival whilst the girls team finished in second place with 638 points just 50 points shy of the St Peter’s Girls team who finished on 686 points. Their combined team total of 1418 was a massive 400 points in front of Scotch College – the team’s nearest rival.
Individual swimmers had some fantastic performances under the pressure of back to back racing. Kieran Stephens (Cummins AS) swam Division 1, 50m fly in a 32.36 followed by a series of excellent freestyle races. He posted the second fastest U15 boys time of a 29.19 only beaten by fellow team member Maxwell Lambert (St Josephs) who took out Division 1 in a 28.63.
Brooke Traeger (St Joseph’s School) was a key member of the girls team and represented both the open and U16 girls division in freestyle and butterfly. She was the third fastest open 50m butterfly swimmer and finished in a 30.99 and a close second in the 50m freestyle (29.13 seconds). Team mate Kellie Dennis (St Josephs) has made some significant improvements in her freestyle, being able to consistently clock 32 seconds for the 50m freestyle in three different age divisions.
India Copland (Navigator College) was a valuable member of the team racking up points in both freestyle, backstroke and breastroke. She finished the 50m U14 Division 1 backstroke in a 37.38 seconds followed by a cracked swim in the 50m freestyle of 31.10. Competing in his last SASSA team was Year 12 student Henry Lambert (St Josephs) who filled a full quota of races. Having raced in open state swimming championships Henry belted out a fast 50m freestyle of 26.41 seconds together with an impressive 33.69 for his 50 breastroke.
Of the 27 swimmers who participated in the B Grade championships, 15 swimmers were those who rely upon the availability of the Port Lincoln Leisure centre to maintain their fitness, strength and familiarity with competitive racing protocols. It was fantastic that all regional schools were able to support the teams travel and implement flexible teaching and assessment tasks so that particularly senior students are still able to feel confident nominating for the team. The team will wait with baited breath to see if their overall winning score was sufficient enough to see them elevated to the championship’s highest grade for 2016. Swimmers also have the opportunity to nominate for consideration into the SA Secondary School Sport Swimming team who will field competitors at the National School Sport Championships which will be running concurrently with the 2015 Pacific School Games in Adelaide.
Rear - Trent Ritter, Nik Constantinopolous, Mitchell Schwerdt, Tyson Lynch, Reyner Clarke, Simon Geldenhuys, Christopher Bawden, India Copland, Ania Constantinopolous, Madeline McShane. Middle / Front - Alanah Hancock, Henry Nelligan, Kieran Stephens, Adele Lynch, Taylah Stirling, Demi Lynch, Jamie Matsen, Meg Sheasby, Tommy Ford, Stuart Mesecke, Alleigh Hamnett, Yemaya Coleman-Smith, Kellie Dennis, Brooke Traeger. Team Coach - Sonia Ford
Author - Sonia Ford
Sonia is our publicity officer and would love to hear of noteworthy news items from our swimming community!