2015 Lower Eyre Peninsula SAPSASA Swim Team. Front Row: Ashton Webber, Sienna Smith, Evie Durdin, Max Rogalski, Kylie Hurrell, Dylan Evans, Joseph Perin, Bridie Mickan, Ryder Rogalski, Sebastian Henderson. Middle Row: Team Manager Mr Graham McConnell, Kalani Coleman-Smith, Arjay Isle, Samuel Griffith, Larissa Sporer, Isabella Baldwin, Sophie Traeger, Marie Van Roojen, Kyle McInerney Team Coach Sonia Ford. Back Row Liana Baldwin, Harrison Adams, Dana Hurrell, Joel Edmonds, Victoria Henderson, Tasmin Durdin, Jamie Ford.
For only the third time since records were made commencing in 1954, has the Lower Eyre Peninsula SAPSASA Swimming Team been crowned Champion Country District. Winning for the first time in 1992, followed by another win in 2010, the team was thrilled to walk away champions at the State final day on Friday 27th of March 2015. The team finished with a grand total of 247 points – more than 60 points in front of their nearest competitor (Barker and Hills).
The team was comprised of the 25 most competitive age group swimmers born between 2002 and 2005 based upon their personal best swims over the summer competition season, commencing following the Lower Eyre Peninsula Primary School Championship in November 2014. Swimmers represented St Josephs School Port Lincoln, Navigator College, Port Lincoln Primary School and Cummins Area School. Accompanying the team to the SA Aquatic and Leisure Centre in Marion was team coach Mrs Sonia Ford (Navigator College) and team manager Regional SAPSASA Convenor Mr Graham McConnell. Competitors had been supported in training by squad coaches Mr Matt Hamnett, Ms Carol Veldhuyzen and all other members of the West Coast coaching team. A highlight of the team’s performance was the 98% conversion rate from heat swims to finals berths. Almost the entire squad ended up ranked top 8 in their individual event following the heats.
Each year the team selects two captains – one Year 7 male and female. This year Jamie Ford (Port Lincoln Primary School) and Harrison Adams (St Josephs School) were invited to represent the team in collecting the championship pennant. Both swimmers have been members of the team for their 4th consecutive year.
Individual swimmers who finished first and earned the title of SA Country SAPSASA Champion were Harrison Adams (2002) who finished first in the 13 years 50m freestyle (31.54) and first in the 50m butterfly in 35.75 seconds. Jamie Ford (2003) carried on her winning record in butterfly and backstroke finishing both of these events multiple body lengths infront of the field. She created a new personal best long course time in the butterfly of 35.23 (4 seconds clear of her nearest competitor) and a 38.23 in the backstroke.
Joel Edmonds (2003) swam a blinder in the 50 freestyle (31.70) to receive the bronze medal but was beaming following his gold medal swim in a very close 50m butterfly final (38.32). Bridie Mickan (2005) is to be commended for her excellent 50m breastroke heat swim of 49.19 which following the publication of metro results has her ranked fastest 10 year old in the state. She held on in the final to bring home the gold medal in this event for the LEP blitzing the competition by over three seconds.
Also smashing the competition in breastroke was Dana Hurrell (2002). Dana has developed an extremely efficient and powerful breastroke style, with increasing front end speed and more polished starts and finishes. Similarly to Bridie, she left the competition three seconds behind in the final to finish in a 40.30.
Teams who gold in the 4 x 50 freestyle relay included the 10 year old boys Arjay Isle, Sebastian Henderson, Ashton Webber and Ryder Rogalski who finished 7 seconds clear of the field in 2.53.57. At the other end of the team the 13 year old boys team also held the lead for their entire race to bring home another gold in 2.28.40. Congratulations Samuel Griffiths, Joel Edmonds, Max Rogalski and Kalani Coleman-Smith.
Breastroke swim of the meet went to Sebastian Henderson who completed his heat swim in a personal best time of 55.79 seconds and went into the final ranked 5th. Harnessing the excitement of his first SAPSASA final he wiped off another nearly 2 seconds to lift his final placing to 4th and nail another PB of 53.92 seconds.
A number of early outstanding personal performances really lifted team spirit and the general excitement level and set the scene for some scorching times. In the 50m freestyle, Ryder Rogalski (2005) cracked the 40 second barrier and recorded a 39.27. Marie Van Roojen (2005) went into the championships with a personal best of 44.76 and after a summer of training with the squad wiped of 4 seconds to record a 40.21. She is an outstanding team player who stepped up into a number of relay events and combined this with heats and finals swims in butterfly at the end of the meet.
Similarly, Dylan Evans (2004) came into the championships yet to record a time under 40 seconds and swum himself through to the 11 years freestyle final following a heat swim of 38.88. Tasmin Durdin (2004) lit the pool on fire with a 35.53 in her heat swim and followed this up with a second personal best in the final (35.23) to bring home the bronze medal. Larissa Sporer (2003) has a beautiful, efficient stroke style and matched this with a smile from ear to ear with her bronze medal finish in the 50 freestyle, in a lightning fast time of 34.55. Also wiping off almost a clear second from her previous personal best was Isabella Baldwin (2002) who made it through to the final in 34.65.
Breastrokers hit the pool next and after excellent performances from Seb Henderson and Bridie Mickan in the 10 year old field, Kyle McInerney (2004) recorded a 51.29 in his heat swim to be ranked 5th. He then upped the anti in the final bettering this time and recording a 49.58 to finish in 4th position overall. Kylie Hurrell (2004) completed her 50m breastroke in 49.19 which would have been good enough for the 2014 gold but in an extremely competitive 2015 field she placed in 6th position. Max Rogalski (2003) loves competing in breastroke and has put together some excellent championship racing experience over summer, but narrowly missed the medals being touched out on the wall to finish in 46.62 seconds. Kalani Coleman-Smith (2002) had a great swim in the heats finishing in a long course personal best time of 46.88.
The next round of events on the program were for backstrokers and first in the field to medal was Arjay Isle (2005) who swam a 48.59 in the final to collect the bronze medal in this race. Bridie Mickan (2005) also gave the final her best effort to collect another bronze in 47.27. Dylan Evans (2004) and Tasmin Durdin (2004) both smashed their existing personal bests to finish in 5th (46.84) and 2nd (42.15) overall. In a breathtaking finish for Samuel Griffiths (2003) he walked away with bronze (40.58) with the gold medal position just .4 of a second further in front of him. Liana Baldwin’s (2002) textbook backstroke saw an excellent personal best in the heats (40.06) with a gustsy bronze medal swim in the final to record another PB (39.65). Being able to convert a personal best heat swim into a personal best finals swim is an extremely important performance attribute and one all swimmers strive to achieve.
To finish the program the butterfly swimmers took to the water and first to make the finals was Ryder Rogalski (2005) who finished in 5th position in 1.01.66. Ryder has shown great perseverance over the last 6 weeks in preparation for the race ensuring that his feet act in unison – if they don’t, a disqualification can be incurred. Marie Van Roojen (2005) is to be congratulated for her bronze medal in this event. Marie is a new recruit to swimming following the 2014 Lower Eyre Peninsula schools carnival and she shows great promise in the pool. She finished the race in a 53.71. Joseph Perin (2004) also made it through to the finals following an excellent personal best swim of 51.49. His final placing was 7th overall. Tasmin Durdin appeared again in the butterfly finals finishing in 7th position (45.89) and Larissa Sporer (2003) gave a gutsy performance at the end of the day to take out 5th place in a 40.32 after an outstanding earlier heat time of 39.32. The final race of the day saw Victoria Henderson (2002) racing back into marshalling after the 13yrs 4 x 50 freestyle relay to swim to smash out a two second personal best for her 50 fly to complete the race in 42.04 seconds.
On behalf of the Lower Eyre Peninsula Swimming Team we would like to acknowledge all of the parents who supported individual swimmers, enabling them to attend this event and add their own contribution to the achievements of the swim team. Financially, it is a significant commitment and some parents were also able to negotiate time away from work to be there in person. Each swimmer recorded personal best times on the day, maintained excellent conduct and actively supported their team mates through positive encouragements. The support of senior West Coast Swimmers was also important and the team would like to thank Tommy Ford and Brooke Traeger for their assistance in marshalling, team organisation and record keeping throughout the day.
Medallists at SAPSASA have the opportunity to nominate for selection into the South Australian Team to attend the Pacific School Games which will be hosted in Adelaide in November 2015. The closing date (2nd of April) has now passed and swimmers have a last opportunity to post a personal best time at a Junior Excellence Competition hosted in Adelaide in May. We have upwards of 5 swimmers who are seeking selection into the team and will be working hard over the next month to prepare themselves to do their best.
Author - Sonia Ford
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