Friday 21st of March 2014 saw a very excited team of Lower Eyre Peninsula (LEP) swimmers travel to the SA Aquatic and Leisure Centre at Marion to contest the Country SAPSASA State Final. Swimmers had been identified based upon their performance at the LEP Primary Schools Championship in November 2013 and selected into the team as a result of having the most competitive personal bests over 50m during the summer racing season. For many of the younger team members this was their first experience racing at the SA Aquatic Centre and the atmosphere was electric with the crowd filled with excited parents, grandparents and swimmers.
Team captains on the day were Kellie Dennis (St Joseph’s School) and Henry Nelligan (Cummins Area School) both year 7’s at their respective schools. The role is an important one as SAPSASA is open to both registered and non-registered swimmers with Swimming SA so a number of the team have plenty of competitive potential but may not have the experience of being marshalled, presenting to the medal ceremony and abiding by warm up and race protocols.
The team was thrilled to better their result from last year, again finishing in second place overall on 232.5 points, narrowly missing the top spot by just 10.5 points (the equivalent of one gold medal) to the team from the Hills. The first events on the schedule were the 50m freestyle heats and the LEP saw a number of swimmers progress through to the finals and medal in their respective age groups. Tasmin Durdin (10yr girls) finished in 5th place in 41.20 seconds. Jasmine Clark (11yr girls) had the perfect race to finish with the gold medal in a personal best time of 36.63 with Larissa Sporer in the same final picking up the 4th placing (37.59). The 12yr boys worked hard to finish in 2nd and 3rd place (Harrison Adams 33.13 and Henry Nelligan 33.86) with India Copland (12yr girls) swimming an excellent time of 31.83 in the final to take out the silver placing. The 13 year old team members medalled in third place – Chris Bawden from Tumby Bay Area School finished in 32.08 and Kellie Denis from St Joseph’s School in 33.83.
50m Breastroke finals saw Lower Eyre Peninsula representatives in every final, in each age group for both males and females. Kyle McInerney (10yr boys) finished in 6th place with a time of 55.91 whilst Sophie Traeger (10yr girls) completed the swim of the day with an incredible 2 second improvement on her heat swim. She finished in first place, in a new personal best performance of 52.55 seconds. In the 11 year old age group Zac Kenny was thrilled to swim two seconds faster than his heat and complete the race in 51.25 seconds to take out 5th place. Jamie Ford (11yr girls) secured the first of three individual medals in her races, being narrowly touched out at the wall resulting in a second placing in 49.55. Kalani Coleman – Smith demonstrated his incredible drive to succeed by swimming a blinder in the 12 year old breastroke (46.99 - gold), to outswim team mate Stuart Mesecke (47.82 - silver) from Navigator College. The boys showed inspiring sportsmanship after the race by shaking hands at the finish, acknowledging the effort that each one had put into the race. India Copland added to her freestyle silver with a confident gold medal performance in the breastroke in a time of 45.01. Chris Bawden (13yr boys) had to battle hard in his final to be narrowly touched out by .07 of a second to receive the silver placing (41.59) whilst Brooklyn George generated more valuable points for the team to finish in 8th place in her final (47.57).
Backstrokers took to the pool next and six competitors went through to the finals. A gold medal went to Jamie Ford (11yr girls) in 42.05 despite a much more impressive heat performance of 40.73, a silver medal went to Tommy Ford (13yr boys) in a time of 37.71 and bronze medals were taken out by India Copland (12yr girls) and Harrison Adams (12yr boys) in times of 39.47 and 41.14 respectively. Sophie Traeger finished in 4th place (10yr girls) in 47.76 and Kellie Dennis (13yr girls) again secured more valuable team points in 8th place (44.16).
The last individual races for the championship were the 50m butterfly events and a familiar set of faces again graced the finals listings and medal podium. Joseph Perin (10yr boys) swam a solid race to finish in 6th position in a time of 1.12.90 whilst Sophie Traeger (10yr girls) also finished in 6th in a time of 54.52. Jamie Ford (11 yr girls) led the field from the moment she entered the water and finished first in 39.57, putting to bed last year’s disqualification in the same event for an incorrect start. Harrison Adams (12yr boys) was ecstatic to finish first in 37.71, relishing the experience of seeing the number 1 pop up next to his name on the electronic score board. This event was the LEP’s second gold / silver combination with team captain Henry Nelligan taking out the silver in 42.87. The 13yr olds held their own with Tommy Ford showing steely determination to finish 2nd in 38.03 and Kellie Dennis in 8th position in 41.18.
SAPSASA also provides the opportunity for SWD (Swimmers with a disability) to compete in the championships. Ellie McInerney (S7) from Navigator College competed in three events recording her best performance in the 50m backstroke to take home a gold medal (1.00.59). Points are allocated to swimmers based on a comparison between their performance and the world record for their particular classification with the swimmer closest being crowned that events champion. Ellie also swam the 100 freestyle and received a silver medal (2.03.39) and the 50 freestyle (57.56) where she received bronze.
The highlight for many of the swimmers is the chance to team up with their swimming mates and contest the 4 x 50 age group team freestyle finals. Medals again came streaming in for the LEP and these events provide key contributions to the overall team point score.
The gorgeous 10yr girls team comprising Lily Nicholls, Lily Perham, Sophie Traeger and Tasmin Durdin were thrilled with their gold medal win, edging out the Hills team by just one second (2.57.09). Tasmin showed great resilience to also join the 11 year old girls team with Jamie Ford, Larissa Sporer and Jasmine Clark who also walked away with the gold in an unbeatable time of 2.38.31. The third team to finish first were the 12 year old boys (Harrison Adams, Henry Nelligan, Kalani Coleman-Smith and Stuart Mesecke) who finished over 10 seconds in front of their nearest rival team in 2.23.09.
Silver medal winning teams were both the boys and girls 13 year old teams. The boys (Tommy Ford, Chris Bawden, Henry Nelligan and Kalani Coleman-Smith) finished their race in 2.20.91 whilst the girls finished in 2.28.62. The final team to bring home a bronze placing were the 12 yr old girls (Moet McCathie, Victoria Henderson, India Copland and Issy Scott) who swam a 2.30.50.
Being involved in the SAPSASA swim team is a significant commitment for Lower Eyre Peninsula families. Many of the swimmers have attended regular before school morning training sessions at the Port Lincoln Leisure Centre and carefully planned their travel to Adelaide to make the most of flight and accommodation specials. The team acknowledges the special contribution made by team managers Andrew Casanova and Sonia Ford together with team coach Carol Veldhuyzen. One of the senior swimmers from the West Coast Swimming Club – Brooke Traeger also put to good use her extensive competition experience by supporting all of the swimmers and teams to correctly marshal prior to their event. The team for 2015 will incorporate swimmers born in 2005, 2004, 2003 and 2002 and selection into a target squad is based on swimmers participation and performance at the Lower Eyre Peninsula Primary Schools Carnival in November 2014. For more information about the activities of the West Coast Swimming Club go to www.westcoastswimmingclub.com
West Coast swimmers were on the road again for their second consecutive weekend away at competition. The venue this time was the Port Pirie Swimming Pool to contest their open carnival. The competition offered a full program of swimming including 400m, 800m and 1500m events. 9 swimmers attended the meet bringing home plenty of swimming bling for their efforts. Kellie Dennis (12) and Tommy Ford (12) have both been working hard on developing a 400m freestyle event and Kellie completed her race in second place in 6 minutes and 17 seconds and Tommy finished in first place in 5 minutes and 57 seconds. Ellie McInerney (12) was showing increasing race confidence and she is back to contesting 100m events finishing the 100m freestyle in 2.05.35. Sophie Traeger (9) performed confidently in the 10 and under age group taking home five individual medals. She walked away with gold in the 50m breastroke (56.70) and 50m backstroke (49.86). Also competing in this age group was Kyle McInerney (9) who also added to his medals from Whyalla with a third placing in the 50m backstroke (54.32). At this early stage in their understanding of competitive swimming, there are many important elements to master including an effective dive, efficient underwater work, completing their race with determination and speed using the approved competition finishes. Jamie Ford (11) competed in a full program of 100m events and was pleased to continue to improve her backstroke (1.41.58) time and breastroke (1.50.53). She also is working hard to develop her 200m Individual medley showing a high level of technical proficiency across all four strokes – her time of 3.30.54 is a three second improvement on her performance at the SA Country Championships. Tommy Ford (12) was thrilled with his haul of 7 gold medals at the event. Tommy is continuing to show his efficiency in backstroke completing the 100m event in 1.25.31. He was also the backstroke representative in the 4 x 50m Medley Relay team who walked away with first placing. Joining him to complete the 200m in 2.33.60 was Brooklyn George (12) breastroke, Brooke Traeger (15) butterfly and Coen George (14) freestyle.
Brooklyn George had one of her most successful meets to date taking home her first ever individual gold medal placings. Her strength as a breastroke specialist shone through to finish first in both the 50m (48.04) and 100m (1.47.08) events. Both of these were personal best performances. Coen George (14) gave the team plenty of opportunities to cheer as he contested the ‘Dash for Cash’ – a 50m freestyle event that is reserved for the fastest male swimmers of the meet. With a 50m freestyle time consistently around the 30 / 31 second mark Coen made it through the first knock out round. The competition ended up being taken out by a National Age qualifier from Whyalla. Brooke Traeger (15) continues to amass a huge number of open carnival points which accumulate towards club trophies awarded at the end of the swimming season. She accrued 132 points by achieving 5 gold medals and two bronze placings. Again one of the fastest females at the meet Brooke was invited to contest the ‘Dash for Cash’ – run in a skins format swimmers contest consecutive 50m freestyle races to determine the fastest individual on the day. Brooke proudly took home $50 for her efforts.
The Port Pirie Open Water Swim was held the following day and provided another opportunity for Brooke Traeger (15) to show her strength in this style of event. Staged over a triangular course adjacent to the Port Pirie Warf conditions for the swim were ideal with limited tidal movement, light winds and the water temperature still holding its summer warmth. Brooke had her work cut out for her as she battled over every metre of the 2000m race with Paige Maynard from Playford Aquatic Club to eventually pip her by just a few arm strokes at the finish line. Brooke took home two generous prize cheques provided by Nyrstar - the first for being the fastest female ($200) and the second for being placed second over the finish line ($150). She completed the race in 27 minutes and 35 seconds. In recognition of the battle waged between the two girls over the entire course Nyrstar matched the prize money for Paige. Also competing in the event were siblings Tommy (12) and Jamie Ford (11) together with their mother Sonia. This was Tommy's first time wearing a red cap reserved for the fastest qualifying swimmers and he confidently completed the course in 32 minutes and 12 seconds. Sonia was able to keep Jamie at bay finishing 35 minutes and 20 seconds - five minutes ahead of Jamie who was the event's youngest swimmer. All competitors were asked to wear a black arm band for the duration of the swim in honour of the loss of a long standing life member of the Port Pirie swimming club who traditionally collected the caps at the end of the meet.
Photo from back; Teacher Matt Keatley, Nik Constantinopoulos, Gerard Meyers, Trent Ritter, Henry Lambert, Milton Kelsh, Kale Olds, Simon Geldenhuip. Middle Alana Hancock, Tayla Stirling, Meg Sheasby, Katherine Turner, Brooke Traeger, Xanthia Clark, Coen George, max Lambert, Mitchell Schwert, Cameron Wilson. Front Demi and Alana Lynch, Madi McShane, Mia Meyers, Maddy Izzo, Ania Constantinopoulos, Yemeya Coleman-Smith
The FAR WEST Secondary School Swimming Team dominated in C division to win the boys shield, girls shield and overall champions last week. The team travelled to Adelaide from Port Lincoln, Ceduna, Whyalla and Port Augusta representing the Eyre Peninsulas secondary schools. Saint Josephs, Navigator College, Samaritan College, Ceduna Area School, Whyalla High and Port Augusta’s Caritas College. In the past four years the team has moved from the bottom division up five divisions and will next year compete in B division against some of Adelaide’s top private schools and giving them the opportunity to be part of the 2015 Pacific School Games being held in Adelaide.
This was a unique team effort that combined and showcased the regions talent. The boys dominated consistently to place first in most events and in every relay event, narrowly missing a long standing relay record. The girls also showed their strength placing consistently in the top three despite a strong challenge from Loxton and Glenunga. The boys open relay team was well out front with Henry Lambert, Simon Gelenhuip, Cameron Wilson and Gerard Meyers all posting sub 27 seconds for their 50 free swims. Kale Olds came out of nowhere to cut his 50m freestyle by 7 seconds to a 30 sec best time. Cameron Wilson and Brooke Traeger led out the morning with the fly in their usual strong style to finish in first and second place respectively and continued the meet in great form. Henry and Max Lambert, Simon Geldenhuip, Coen George, Trent Ritter, Mitchell Schwert, Gerard Meyers and Milton Kelsh for the boys were literally running from one event to another displaying their fitness and sportsmanship throughout the meet. Not to be outdone Brooke Traeger, Alana Hancock, Tayla Stirling, Yemeya Coleman-Smith, Xanthia Clark, Meg Sheasby, Demi and Adele Lynch were also constantly on the move between events and absolutely shined during the relays. Captains Henry Lambert and Brooke Traeger represented the team with style at presentations. Every member of the team contributed to the win and is to be congratulated on their behaviour, team spirit and sportsmanship. Thank you to parents for their support, St Joseph’s teacher Matt Keatley and Coach Carolyn Veldhuyzen.
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!