"Before the (Olympic) trials I was doing a lot of relaxing exercises and visualization. And I think that that helped me to get a feel of what it was gonna be like when I got there. I knew that I had done everything that I could to get ready for that meet, both physically and mentally".
The West Coast Swimming Club have now completed final training preparations for the 2013 South Australian Country Championships which will be hosted by the Gawler Swimming Club from the 11th – 14thof January. The club is thrilled to be sending its largest ever team with 38 very excited competitors now making their way to Gawler for the 4 day long event. In total we will be watching 233 individual swims and 27 relay events. While the rest of us have been enjoying the best that Christmas and New Year celebrations have to offer, swimmers have been in the water twice daily for training sessions up to one and a half hours in length. They have spent a considerable amount of time perfecting their starts, turns and finishes and become more fluent with the expectations of competitive swimming at this level. Rule infractions can be a challenging part of championship swimming and all of the swimmers have been encouraged to read all of the FINA expectations.
Swimmers were blessed to have Kyle and Jackson Chalmers join the squad for a week of training – both were previous members of the West Coast Swimming Club who are now based in Adelaide at the Norwood Swimming Club –South Australia’s Centre for Excellence in Swimming. Kyle currently holds numerous Australian Age Records and most recently was in the Australian Youth Team which contested the Trans Tasman Series against New Zealand. He holds the fastest ever times clocked for a 13 year old in the 50m freestyle, 100 and 200m freestyle (24.00, 55.93, 1.57.48 respectively), 50 metre backstroke (28.08) and both the 50m and 100m butterfly (25.89 and 55.93) – source Swimming Australia. The squad was also buoyed by the return of Immanuel Boarding Students Levi Proude and Bri Veldhuyzen. Levi is the current holder of both the 50m and 100m Male Country Championship Freestyle records (25.76 and 56.99) and with a similar performance to last year is on target to take out the 16 year old records of 26.03 and 56.46. He could also lift to rewrite the current open records of 24.94 and 55.09. The first of these records has stood since 1993 and the second since 1998. Bri is a Country Championship veteran having attended events since the age of 10 and this year will be competing in the 17 year age group. Also joining the squad for training have been the Harriden family comprising Bailey, Samaiya and Mackai who currently swim with Bendigo Hawkes Aquatic in Victoria. Bailey is currently achieving Victorian State Qualifying Times and will be looking to break the 30 second mark in the 50m freestyle event (current personal best 30.14) as a visiting competitor at the Country Championships.
In Port Pirie the team bought home a total of 44 medals and we will be well on track to surpass this incredible achievement in Gawler. There will be many uplifting and memorable performances to come and swimmers will be rewarded with the thought that through determination, dedication and perseverance improvements in performance can be achieved. The event begins with the Superfish competition designed for swimmers who are yet to achieve Country Qualifying Standards. This event is awarded with a certificate achievement and is a perfect stage for swimmers to post new personal best times as they look to secure a swim in the Country Championship Relay Teams later on in the program. Competing at Superfish are; Sophie Traeger (8), Harrison Adams (10), Henry Nelligan (10), Kalani Coleman-Smith(10), Jamie Ford (9), Jasmine Clark (9), Isabella Scott (10), Emma Hamnett (10), Ania Constantinopoulos (11), Alleigh Hamnett (12), Megan Stephens (11), Brooklyn George(11) Kieren Stephens (12), Xanthia Clark (11) and Tommy Ford (11).
A great sense of team spirit and camaraderie is developed throughout the competition and swimmers are given the opportunity to understand how important individual performances in supporting a team effort can be. Supporting the achievements of other team members can be just as rewarding as your own wins. Wild cheering from the side lines is energizing and demonstrates the amazing things that can be achieved through positive people banding together.
Competing at the Country Championships as individuals are; Nikolas Constantinopoulos (13), Max Lambert (12), Henry Lambert (14), Luke Andrews (15), Gerard Meyer (15), Levi Proude (16), Natasha Hammond(13), Brooke Traeger (13), Briony Veldhuyzen (17), Tommy Ford (11), Kieren Stephens (12), Coen George(12), James Andrews (13), Tyson Lynch – Ceduna (13), Jade Calverley (13), Ellie McInerney (11), Demi Lynch - Ceduna(11), Yemaya Coleman-Smith (11), Adele Lynch – Ceduna (11), Lily Ness (15), Kendall Howell(15), Sheridan Howell (15), Alleigh Hamnett (12), Annabel Nelligan (15), Xanthia Clark (11), Kellie Dennis (11) and Harrison Adams (10).
There are a number of highly anticipated performances where we wish swimmers the very best in their attempts to secure new personal best performances, country age group or open records. A repeat of Luke Andrew’s previous personal best swim of 2.40.34 for the 200m breastroke should see him rewrite the current South Australian Open Country Record of 2.43.12. His 50m performance in the same stroke will be exceptionally exciting – and could possibly beat Ryan Mitchell’s (Olympic Breastroker) existing South Australian 15 year old record of 31.29 sec.
Henry Lambert has been clocking up plenty of swimming miles in his foray to knock off some of Levi Proude’s existing country freestyle records. He will be looking to have his name added in the 14 year old category with a 50m time better than 27.18 and a 100m time better than 56.99.
No pressure, but Jade Calverley will be again looking to break the minute mark in the 50m backstroke as she begins to real in Australian Paraylmpian Tanya Huebner’s time of 53.96. Jade came within three tenths of this mark at 1.00.36 at her most recent competition – the South Australian Multiclass Championships. With a focussed start, clear head and determined finish Jade could really surprise herself and come in on a 58, and with this young lady anything is possible.
These are only a few of what promises to be many great chances to demonstrate the depth and strength in the West Coast Swimming Team. Thanks to the dedication of head coach Carol Veldhuyzen and her support network of assistant coaches, volunteer parents and supportive committee who have toiled long and hard in the lead up what promises to be an action packed 4 days.
Author - Sonia Ford
Sonia is our publicity officer and would love to hear of noteworthy news items from our swimming community!