After being invited to attend the South Australian Long Course Age Championships following their outstanding performances at the SA Country Championships in Murray Bridge, West Coast Swimmers Brooke Traeger and India Copland returned to the SA Aquatic and Leisure in Marion to contest the South Australian Age Championships from the 21st - 24th of January. This swimming meet brings together South Australia's finest age group athletes all vying for the honour of being named South Australian 'State Champion'. Also invited to the event were Luke Andrews and Levi Proude, however due to other commitments they declined the invitation. Both Brooke and India proved that they have the ability to continue to produce personal best times under the pressure of championship racing. Incredibly in the first schedule of event heats, Brooke managed a personal best time of 2.43.81 to secure a place in the final of the 14yrs 200m butterfly. Lining up for the final that evening she managed what many believed to be impossible - improve her time again by a massive 9 seconds to win the gold medal in a time of 2.34.65. This time was just two seconds shy of the National Age Qualifying time which stands at 2.32.20. India Copland - 12 yrs recorded her best performance in the 50m breastroke finishing the race in a PB of 43.51. Brooke's butterfly performances in shorter distances - namely the 50m and 100m butterfly also resulted in her appearance on the winner's podium. Brooke received a bronze in both events in a time of 31.10 and 1.11.00 respectively. To complete her medal haul Brooke found yet another reserve of energy to again secure the bronze medal in the 50m freestyle (28.60) in a time that was just .3 of a second shy of the Australian Age Qualifying of 28.30. Swimming Australia have a tiered structure of goal times with Brooke now achieving times against a Youth Performance Squad 'blue' level and India being one of a number of our younger athletes that has made the Junior Excellence 'silver' standard. Just for the record Brooke then travelled overnight with her family back to Port Lincoln to jump in the water at the Tunarama Swim thru event to exit the water 'fastest female' with a $100 prize in her pocket. What an exciting year ahead for these talented swimmers.
The 2014 Tunarama Swim-Thru was a huge success for the West Coast Swimming Club, with 15 swimmers from the club completing the 1 kilometre swim. Brooke Traeger finished first in the Junior and Open female division in a time of 13 minutes 55 seconds, crossing the line in second position overall and earning herself $100 for her efforts. Henry Lambert swam a great time of 14 minutes and 9 seconds, winning the Junior Male division, and placing second in the Open Male division finishing just ahead of Levi Proude (14.31), who took second in the Junior male division. Swimmers including James Andrews, Gerard Meyer and Nik Constantinopoulos finished in the top 15, with young Max Lambert and Tommy Ford nipping at their heels . Kellie Dennis completed the swim in 17.36 and was recognised with a silver medal in the Junior Female category. The young swimmers all swam well, and the club has some great talent coming through. Special mention should go to Sonia Ford who swam very well showing all of the West Coast Juniors how it’s done swimming a time of 17:16.
Immediately after the swim-through presentations were completed, the swimmers changed into their West Coast jumpers and psyched up for the Tug-of-war. The club entered two teams, one in the Mixed Division and one in the Open. The Mixed team included Sonia Ford, Soraya Proude, Alleigh Hamnett, Brooke Traeger, Maddi Izzo, Max Lambert, Nik Constantinopoulos and James Andrews. The team put in a great effort against the EFM team but didn’t have the weight to take out the win. Up next was the Open team, of Luke Andrews, Levi Proude, Mick Proude, Rod Patterson, Henry Lambert, Gerard Meyer, Brenton Hammond and Jason Di-Paulo, who put up a great fight but again simply didn’t have the weight needed to win a tug-of-war against rival teams. Everyone had lots of laughs and thoroughly enjoyed the competition, and as Gerard said “If this were in the water we would have won."
Swimmers now have their sights set on the Whyalla Open Water swim which offers a range of distances up to 5km,the Lincoln 'Longman' Triathlon which includes a 2km open water event and the Port Pirie Open Water in March. It was also fantastic to see members of the club participate in the Tunarama Triathlon on the Sunday and Tunarama Fun Run on Monday, proving that West Coast Swimmers are multi talented across other sporting fields!
Thanks to Luke Andrews for providing this blog post :)
Look how our team has grown from the swimmers who participated in the 2012 Country Championships in Port Pirie, 2013 Country Championships in Gawler
to our 53 impressive looking team members that
represented the West Coast Swimming Club at the
2014 Country Championships in Murray Bridge.
"I love teamwork. I love the idea of everyone rallying together to help me win. ”
"Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships"
Returning from an extremely successful 2014 Country Swimming Championships held from the 10th – 13th of January, the West Coast Swimming Club have plenty to celebrate. 53 swimmers and just as many enthusiastic parents travelled to the city of Murray Bridge for the four day championship meet, from as far afield as Ceduna, Cummins, Tumby Bay and Port Lincoln and managed to bring home an impressive tally of 22 bronze, 27 silver and 44 gold medals – 93 medals in total. This was West Coast’s biggest team to ever participate and they proudly finished a close second to Onkaparinga on the overall point score results sheet (1758 to 1606 points). Next year’s championship will be held in Mount Gambier and West Coast have already started plotting out a winning strategy!
Friday afternoon saw the colourful team march on, with West Coast being lead onto pool deck by recently announced team captains Luke Andrews and Jade Calverley together with vice-captains Yemaya Coleman-Smith and Nik Constantinopoulos. The competition was then officially opened by Bob Fox – Chairman of Swimming SA with the support of patron His Excellency Rear Admiral Kevin Scarce AC CSC RANR Governor of South Australia. First to hit the water were swimmers participating in the Superfish competition which is conducted in line with Swimming SA’s Ready Set Race protocols. West Coast Swimming Club saw excellent performances from Bridie Micken who recorded her most competitive time in the 8 and under 50m breastroke (1.00.49) and Kyle McInerney (9) who was the fastest 50m breastroke competitor in his age group (55.15). 7 year old Molly Baldwin has quickly adapted to competition swimming and recorded times of 1.14.55 (breastroke) and 54.86 (freestyle). It was great to see Jessica Mesecke (9) complete three races, Seb Henderson (8) make his debut in the pool and William Bawden (8) enthusiastically invest his best efforts into each of his races. Most memorable performance goes to 6 year old Bryce Hammond who despite losing his goggles in the 50m freestyle, returned to the wall to restart the race and still managed to overtake fellow competitors. Other swimmers to enter the superfish competition were Sophie Traeger, Isabella Scott, Jasmine Clark, Stuart Mesecke, Isabella Baldwin, Liana Baldwin, Django Elliot and Emma Hamnett.
Saturday saw the commencement of the Country Championships with a large number of outstanding results being recorded over the following three days of intense competition. Numerous changes were made to the program to accommodate the increasing heat and this saw additional challenges presented to the swimmers and team managers alike.
New individual Country Championship records were created by Luke Andrews in the open 200m breastroke (2.42.05) beating his own record and in the 50m breastroke 32.98. This is a record he has broken each year since the age of 14. Brooke Traeger established a new 14 year old 50m freestyle record of 29.93 and then went one further breaking it again in her swim in the finals (29.09). Levi Proude added the 17 year old 50m freestyle record to his tally (25.26). Levi now holds this record in every age group since he was 14. Our effort in the teams relays which award double championship points will be long remembered. Teams who broke existing records were the 12U girls 4x50m freestyle team comprising Yemaya Coleman-Smith, India Copland, Demi Lynch and Xanthia Clark (2.14.96), 14U boys 4 x 50m freestyle team; Nik Constantinopoulos, James Andrews, Max Lambert and Tyson Lynch (1.59.45) who also claimed the 4 x 50 Medley relay record by improving the existing record by a massive 9 seconds (2.17.63) and the 14U girls 4 x 50m freestyle team who nailed the finish by a fraction of a second. Congratulations Brooke Traeger, Mia Meyers, Natasha Hammond and Kellie Dennis (2.08.17).
This competition saw the awarding of numerous perpetual trophies to West Coast swimmers. The 4 x 100 men’s medley relay team (Luke Andrews, Levi Proude, Gerard Meyer and Henry Lambert) bought the “Jewaskiewitz Trophy” home to Port Lincoln (4.38.78). This is the first time this trophy has ever been held by West Coast swimmers. This team was an unstoppable combination also bringing home gold in the 4 x 100 freestyle (3.59.23), 4 x 50 medley (2.03.70), 4 x 50 freestyle (1.46.78) – a new South Australian Country Record, 4 x 200 freestyle (9.09.82) and the 18U 4 x 50m Medley relay (2.01.17) also breaking the existing record. Levi Proude took out the Kassebaum Trophy for the fastest 100m freestyle at the championship (56.64) whilst 11 year old Harrison Adams bought home the Bryant Trophy rewarding the best overall performance by a male 11 and under swimmer at the meet. Previous winners of this trophy at the same age were Kyle Chalmers and Levi Proude. Harrison secured gold in three individual events together with a gold standard Junior Excellence time in the 100m backstroke (1.31.71). Also awarded for her incredible run of personal best times in every event was Brooke Traeger (14) who received the Fairweather Trophy for the most points gained by a 14/15 year old. She was crowned Country Champion in a staggering 7 events. Based upon her exceptional personal performances Brooke, along with India Copland, Luke Andrews and Levi Proude were awarded wild card entries into the South Australian State Age Championships at the SA Aquatic and Leisure Centre in Adelaide which is held from the 21st – 25th of January.
Swimmers who were awarded Gold medals and recognition as the 2014 ‘Country Champion’ were Kalani Coleman-Smith (11) 100m breastroke 1.44.28 and 50m breastroke 48.43; Levi Proude (17) 100m breastroke 1.14.02, 50m freestyle 25.85, 100m freestyle 56.64 and 50m butterfly 28.14; Jade Calverley (14 – S6) 50 freestyle 45.86, 100m breastroke 2.13.84, 100m backstroke 2.13.77, 50m butterfly 1.03.39, 200m individual medley 4.23.59, 50m breastroke 1.00.82 and 100m freestyle 1.44.47; Ellie McInerney (12 – S7) 50 backstroke 1.00.94; Brooke Traeger (14) 50 freestyle 29.09, 200m individual medley 2.43.75, 200m freestyle 2.21.26, 50m butterfly 32.40, 50m backstroke 35.08, 100m freestyle 1.06.38 and 100m butterfly 1.15.55; Henry Nelligan (11) 50 freestyle 34.45; Harrison Adams (11) 50m butterfly 39.75, 100m freestyle 1.16.53 and 100m butterfly 1.29.87; India Copland (12) 50m breastroke 43.84; Luke Andrews (16) Open 200 men’s breastroke 2.42.05 and 50m breastroke 32.98. It is an honour for all of these swimmers to be awarded the title of 2014 South Australian Country Champion and a testament to their hard work in the pool. In total 386 swimmers competed at these championships including athletes from 6 visiting interstate clubs.
The race of the meet was the 11U 50m breastroke with West Coast dominating the race and finishing with a hat trick in first, second and third position. Congratulations to Kalani Coleman-Smith (48.43), Stuart Mesecke (50.06) and Henry Nelligan (50.65) who proudly accepted their championship medals. Many of our swimmers faced stiff competition in their respective age groups and managed to rise to the occasion breaking personal best times. Congratulations to Henry Lambert who set a cracking pace in the 400m freestyle (5.02.05) and James Andrews who broke the 30 second barrier in his 50m freestyle swim to record a 29.65. Chris Bawden has shown enormous improvement in all strokes particularly in his 50 freestyle (33.94) and 100m breastroke (1.35.76). The team would also like to thank all of those swimmers who returned to the water after finishing their studies in Adelaide or taking the time to attend training to support our relay efforts – our success at this year’s championships would not have been possible without your dedication.
At the conclusion of the meet each team has the opportunity to acknowledge swimmers who have demonstrated a great sense of team spirit and support of their fellow competitors – this year Nik Constantinopoulos and James Andrews were presented with these awards. The Championships also provide an opportunity for new friendships to be made and old ones revisited. The swimmers would like to express their thanks to all of the pool deck volunteers who filled the essential officiating duties which are essential to the running of a fair and equitable swimming meet.
The West Coast Swimming Club would like to show their appreciation towards head coach Carol Veldhuyzen whose ongoing dedication and coaching expertise has prepared swimmers for the competition. She has worked in collaboration with other coaches undertaking their bronze licence training. Matt Hamnett took on the role of team manager and worked through a number of difficult technical issues and reorganisation of the event schedule to successfully marshal all swimmers to their various events. Club nominations officer Nardine McInerney completed the incredible job of creating the team manager file – entering each swimmer in up to 12 events!
Sonia Ford is our publicity officer and would love to hear of noteworthy news items from our swimming community!