Annually, primary school aged swimmers are given the opportunity to compete at the SAPSASA Country and Metro State Finals, which are hosted at the SA Aquatic and Leisure Centre (SAALC) in Marion. Swimmers from the Lower Eyre Peninsula (LEP) undergo a selection process following the LEP Primary Schools Interschool Swimming Championships in November each year. Opportunities to record a personal best time at Point Score events hosted at the Port Lincoln Pool by the West Coast Swimming Club are also provided.
This year 27 swimmers from 5 different LEP schools were invited onto the team. Cummins Area School, Port Lincoln Primary School (PLPS), St Josephs School, Tumby Bay Area School and Navigator College all had representative swimmers, who together with parents, caregivers and supporters made their way to Adelaide for the event.
This is the second year running that the team recorded the highest overall point score to be awarded the SAPSASA Pennant for the Country Champion District. LEP recorded a final point score of 211 points, winning by the narrowest of margins from the Lower South East team (204 points). Accepting the pennant from SAPSASA representatives were team captains Tasmin Durdin (St Josephs School) and Max Rogalski (PLPS).
2016 SAPSASA Lower Eyre Peninsula Swim Team: Front Row (left to right) - Sebastian Henderson, Alanah Bascombe, Zara Scott, Ryder Rogalski, Amali White, Isaac Evans, Evie Durdin, Aaron Kerr. Middle Row - Rachel Jolly (team manager), Harrison Blight, Ellie Akehurst, Max Rogalski, Dylan Evans, Kylie Hurrell, Angus Waller, Sonia Ford (coach). Next Row - Bridie Mickan, Hugh Redden, Liam Gerber, Kyle McInerney, Arjay Isle, Jack Crettenden, Levi Chandler. Back Row - William Bawden, Tasmin Durdin, Megan Carr, Joel Edmonds, Sydney Claughton, Sophie Traeger.
This year’s event was particularly exciting with the involvement of swimming legend Ian Thorpe. He took the time to meet with swimmers as part of his promotion of the 2016 Australian Swimming Championships (Rio Olympic Qualifying) which will be held at the SAALC in April. PLPS student Joel Edmonds who swum exceptionally well on the day was invited to meet with Thorpey. Joel’s photograph has since appeared in the Adelaide Advertiser. Also taking the time to wish swimmers the best on the day was rising star Kyle Chalmers who will contest the 50m and 100m freestyle at the championships and Sally Hunter who will be looking for a place on the Australian Dolphins Swim Team in the 100m and 200m breastroke.
It wasn’t long into the program before reports of personal best times and the awarding of medals for individual and team performances came flooding in. Joel Edmonds set the tone for the meet with a very quick 1.07.83 to qualify fastest for the 100m freestyle in the first race of the day. The top 8 swimmers following preliminary heats are invited into their respective age group final. 50m freestyle medallists from LEP were; Amali White - Bronze 10yr girls (39.86), Arjay Isle - Bronze 11yr boys (35.69), Angus Waller - Silver Multi-class (MC) boys 100m Freestyle, Bronze MC boys 50m Freestyle and Joel Edmonds - Gold 13yr boys (30.77). Also making finals (top 8 swimmers) were Harrison Blight -5th 10yr boys (41.01), Ryder Rogalski - 6th 11yr boys (37.83), Liam Gerber - 6th 12yr boys (36.36) and Tasmin Durdin 5th 12yr girls (34.72). The team would also like to acknowledge the willingness of Sydney Claughton (Cummins Area School) to put her hand up to compete as a 13yr old. Sydney swam a 38.07 to narrowly miss the final in the freestyle. She also raced breastroke (58.06) and backstroke (49.84).
Next on the program was the Open Medley Relay teams racing. The boys team comprising of Dylan Evans (backstroke), Max Rogalski (breastroke), Joel Edmonds (butterfly) and Liam Gerber (freestyle) were clearly a cut above their competitors finishing 9 seconds ahead of their nearest rival team to take out the gold medal in 2:37.82. The girls team had a great race, but unfortunately were disqualified for a stroke rule infraction. Represented the LEP in this event were Ellie Akehurst (backstroke), Kylie Hurrell (breastroke), Tasmin Durdin (butterfly) and Megan Carr (freestyle).
The LEP have certainly developed some strength in breastroke racing. Awarded age group champion for their individual performances were; Harrison Blight - Gold 10yr boys (54.54) who touched out second and third place by less than .3 of a second and Bridie Mickan - Gold 11yr girls (44.45) who was a clear winner in her field. Also awarded medals in the 50m breastroke were Sebastian Henderson - Bronze 11yr boys (51.49) and Max Rogalksi - Silver 13yr boys (40.56). It was also fantastic to see many other swimmers have the chance to race as a finalist and recorded some awesome results. Congratulations to; William Bawden - 4th 11yr boys (52.42), Kyle McInerney - 4th 12yr boys (48.50), Kylie Hurrell - 5th 12yr girls (47.88) and Sophie Traeger - 7th 12yr girls (49.26).
Swimmers performing in backstroke also made significant contributions to the team point score. Age group champion was awarded to Bridie Mickan - Gold 11yr girls (41.69). Tasmin Durdin took out the Bronze medal in the 12yr girls (40.09) as did Max Rogalski for the 12yr boys age group (40.64). Backstroke finalists were Harrison Blight - 4th 10yr boys (49.04), Aaron Kerr - 5th 10yr boys (50.56), Amali White - 5th 10yr girls (49.59), Zara Scott - 7th 10yr girls (50.30), Arjay Isle - 4th 11yr boys (44.22) and Dylan Evans - 6th 12yr boys (45.58).
The final opportunity for individual performances was the 50m butterfly heats and finals. LEP again shone with all entered competitors being ranked amongst the top 8 country competitors. Age group champion went to Joel Edmonds - Gold 13yr boys (33.87) - his third individual medal for the meet. Also proud of their additional swimming bling was Aaron Kerr - Silver 10yr boys (50.78), Sebastian Henderson - Bronze 11yr boys (42.59) and Bridie Mickan - Silver 11yr girls (39.71). Performing well in the finals were Dylan Evans - 4th 12yr boys (44.45), Zara Scott - 8th 10yr Girls (1:00.89) and Tasmin Durdin - 8th 12yr girls (43.74).
Age group 4 x 50m freestyle teams racing was fast paced, exciting and allowed the LEP to demonstrate its depth of talent. Supported by a number of swimmers who travelled to Adelaide specifically to support relay racing, their contribution to team success was appreciated. First to line up for medals was the 10yr boys team who received the silver medal (2:55.89) - Aaron Kerr, Issac Evans, Hugh Redden and Harrison Blight. Next up was the 11yr boys who smashed the rest of the field by six seconds to take out the gold medal in (2:40.78) - Sebastian Henderson, Levi Chandler, Ryder Rogalski and Arjay Isle. The 12yr boys also followed up well to take out the bronze medal position (2:37.78) - Kyle McInerney, Ryder Rogalski, Liam Gerber and Arjay Isle. The last boys relay for the day was for 13yrs and the LEP swam hard to achieve the silver medal (2:32.69) - Ryder Rogalski, Liam Gerber, Jack Crettenden and Max Rogalski.
The consistent strong performance of our teams is critical to the overall accumulation of championship points. All first placings are awarded equally with 8 points, regardless of being individual or teams - through to 1 point for 8th position. It was great to see the both the 11yr girls and 12yr girls finish in 4th place. 11yr girls were Amali White, Zara Scott, Evie Durdin and Bridie Mickan (2:44.25) and the 12yr girls were Sophie Traeger, Megan Carr, Kylie Hurrell and Ellie Akehurst (2:36.98). The final race of the day saw the 13yr girls finish in 5th position (2:36.57) which was comprised of the same members as the 12yr old team.
The West Coast Swimming Club will offer those swimmers who have commenced training with the team to now join Swimming SA and retain their involvement in squad swimming. The club offers four levels of squad training from Nippers who train 3 times on a weekly basis through to senior level squad swimmers who train daily during the week. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sonia Ford is our publicity officer and would love to hear of noteworthy news items from our swimming community!