Port Augusta Swimming Carnival was attended by a large contingent of swimmers from both our Port Lincoln and Ceduna branches on Saturday 1st of December. An eventful trip up to Port Augusta was safely negotiated by all our families despite severe thunderstorms which upended trees and flooded numerous Whyalla streets. To say that the swimmers arrived excited to compete was an understatement, considering how incredible the ride up was - they were definitely hyped for some special performances.
It was wonderful to see so many of our younger families taking the time to spend a weekend away swimming and enjoying the achievements of their children. The improvement in race confidence of these younger swimmers is remarkable and their resilience in the face of rule infractions commendable. It is definitely a steep learning curve when the finer details of racing need to be mastered and it can be daunting when a referee announces that you have been disqualified. Listen carefully to your coaches and ask for clarification, talk to club captains and senior swimmers and watch our older swimmers technique carefully to understand what is acceptable for each stroke. There is certainly a lot to learn!
Following a bronze medal for the West Coast in the 14 and under Medley Relay the first individual medal of the day went to superfish Moet McCathie with a silver medal swim in the 50m freestyle event (40.38). Moet went on to win a further two medals - bronze in the 50m backstroke (48.54) narrowly being edged out by team mate Jamie Ford (48.27) who took out the silver, and silver in the 50m butterfly in a fantastic time of 51.90. This was Moet's first open carnival and she did herself proud with an awesome set of achievements.
Next to medal was the ever determined Harrison Adams who took out silver in the boys 50m freestyle (37.44). He added to his tally with another silver in the 50m backstroke (48.26), and a bronze in the 50m breastroke (58.02). His swim of the day was his final butterfly race with the reward being the gold (51.05), showing that this enthusiasm and dedication in attending morning and afternoon swimming training sessions is reaping dividends. Swimming in the same age group with just as much enthusiasm for the sport is Kilani Coleman - Smith. He was justifiably proud of his efforts - taking home his first ever swimming medals. A magnificent 50m breastroke (57.22) secured the silver medal whilst his time of 1.07.22 in the 50m butterfly was worthy of a bronze. Kilani managed a huge program on the day, swimming all 50m scratch, 100m scratch, handicap and team swims to the best of his ability, staying organised and positive for the duration of the meet.
The team loved having its youngest team members on board for the carnival. 8 year olds Lily Nicholls and Sophie Traeger. Lily had some cracker swims, showing enormous potential for the future. It is a credit to her family for supporting her to become such a competent swimmer at such a young age. She recorded a 51.77 for her 50m freestyle, a 58.09 for her 50m backstroke, a 1.04.63 for her 50m breastroke and a 1.08.74 for her 50m butterfly. She is definitely one to watch!
Sophie Traeger drew plenty of support from the team as she progressed through to the final of the 50m BBB (butterfly, backstroke or breastroke) handicap final. Dodging thunderstorms which threatened to halt the carnival, Sophie was as proud as punch to take home the silver medal in this event.
In a repeat of the last weekend's tussle for first place in Roxby Downs, Brooke Traeger and Natasha Hammond ensured they would not be giving up a placing lightly. Brooke very narrowly edged out Natasha in the freestyle by a matter of a 10th of a second. Brooke finished the race winning the gold medal in a time of 31.31 and Natasha with the silver in 31.46. Similarly in the 100m breastroke the team mates were within the slightest touch of one another, Brooke finishing in second place in 1.41.80 and Natasha in third place in 1.41.99. Both competitors showed great team leadership in the organisation of pre warm up stretches and in supporting younger swimmers to marshal correctly.
Congratulations to Lauren Nicholls who produced some great times on the day in the 11 - 12 year old girls age group. She has now broken the 40 second mark for the 50m freestyle to record a new personal best of 39.44. She also recorded a personal improvement in her 50m breastroke finishing in 56.38 seconds. Also swimming in this age group were Tascha Jordison, Yemaya Coleman - Smith, Kelli Dennis, Alleigh Hamnett and Brookyln George and the girls will be facing some tight competition in the lead up to the team being finalised for SAPSASA early next year. They supported one another well and have gained important race experience.
Longer swims were also on offer on the day with Brooklyn George being chuffed with her time over the 200m breastroke (4.08.27). Similarly Emma Hamnett managed a significant personal best in 4.16.23. Tommy Ford looked at ease over the 200m backstroke (3.26.42) enjoying the chance to practice maintaining an even keel when swimming backwards in an outdoor pool.
A hearty congratulation to all of the team who attended the Port Augusta Carnival - many swimmers walked away with individual and team awards together with personal best achievements and a better understanding of competitive swimming rules. A full listing of results can be found at www.westcoastswimmingclub.com
Sonia Ford is our publicity officer and would love to hear of noteworthy news items from our swimming community!