58 eager West Coast Swimmers took to the pool for the Whyalla Swimming Carnival on Saturday 9th of March. It was a great chance for swimmers from Ceduna to join their team-mates from Port Lincoln and Cummins to set new personal best times over a short course distance (25m pool). Sophie Traeger was as proud as punch with her handful of medals coming first in the 8 and under 25m freestyle (21.06), breastroke (27.83) and backstroke (24.11). Swimming at his first open carnival was Kyle McInerney and he was thrilled to come home with 2 bronze medals in the 8 and under 25m freestyle (22.57) and breastroke (29.17). Other younger team members making their mark were Lilly Perham who recorded four personal best times over 50m and Cameron Izzo who swam a great 50m butterfly in 1.27.59 to finish 5th in his event.
There was plenty of action in the 10 year contingent. Jamie Ford was very pleased with her 50m freestyle swim (40.95) which earnt her the bronze medal in that event. She also made it through the heats and semi finals of the 50m freestyle handicap to take home her biggest swimming trophy yet, finishing in second place. Harrison Adams was a convincing winner in the 10 year old freestyle (36.46), backstroke (46.36), butterfly (43.22) and finished with a silver medal in the breastroke (54.21). Kalani Coleman - Smith churned out 6 personal best times and felt the weight of four medals for his efforts. The pride of place being his gold medal in the 10 and under breastroke (53.67). This time has him registered on the progression of Junior Excellence standards which is an important tool for junior swimmers to use to set their next goal time. Medal winner Emma Hamnett continues to show her strength as a breastroker finishing second in the 10 and under event (53.25). Other West Coast swimmers competing in this age group were Harrison Izzo, Cooper Perham and Isabella Scott. Cooper went home with three improvements in time together with three bronze medals - freestyle (41.63), backstroke (56.92) and a whopping 5 seconds off his 50 butterfly (1.02.19). Issy Scott swam a fantastic 50m backstroke (56.48) and also made improvements in her freestyle and butterfly.
Next to take to the pool were our 11 and 12 year old superfish. Brother and sister, Kieren and Megan Stephens have made great progress in their freestyle with Kieran's 50m time down to 33.74 and 100m time down to 1.20.35 (both bronze medal swims). Megan also swam a personal best in her freestyle (44.19) and topped this with a two second improvement in her backstroke (56.71). Christopher Bawden smashed his nominated times in every event and was most competitive in the breastroke event placing 4th (49.39). Brookyln George finished with a silver medal in the breastroke (48.01) and is steadily working herself towards a 47.00 which will jump her performance up to a Silver JX standard. She finished the meet with 4 personal best times and very pleased with a massive improvement in her 200m breastroke time (3.39.63). The Short Course (25m) qualifying time at State Age (July) for this event is 3.36.45 (11&U) and will be well within her reach. Alleigh Hamnett had her best performance in the 50m breastroke (49.76) and finished 4th while Braeden Hammond improved three of his times by considerable margins almost breaking the minute mark in his 50m breastroke (1.01.73). Tommy Ford came out of his 50m freestyle energised after breaking the 37 barrier with a 36.39 and has now recorded an official State Age Short Course Qualifying time for the 200m backstroke in 3.10.13 and also his 50m backstroke (42.61). Ania Constantinopoulos was very pleased to come away with three improvements from her nominated times with a great freestyle performance, almost hitting the 36 second mark (37.10). Yemaya Coleman-Smith was stoked with her haul of medals on the day - 4 individual medals with her gold in the 50m butterfly (40.32) taking pride of place. She also had a super swim in the 50m freestyle to record a 34.03 placing her in bronze medal position. Kellie Dennis looked impressive over the 100m freestyle (1.24.09) finishing in 4th position and topped this off with a personal best in her 50m race of 37.78. Recently jumping up an age group Henry Nelligan had a tough gig up against swimmers in the 12 year old age category but he didn't let this intimidate him with a super 50m freestyle (36.36) and 50m backstroke (47.39). Moet McCathie and Ellie McInerney also performed really well both making significant improvements in their freestyle. Moet recorded a 38.91 and Ellie a 56.19 over 50m.
Older swimmers, still fresh from SASSA were thrilled to have the opportunity to update their current short course times. Gerard Meyer came home with three silver medals two of which were for his breastroke performances. Nik Constantinopoulos left with three gold medals around his neck from his 50m freestyle (31.89), backstroke (40.77) and breastroke (43.38). Coen George was competitive in each of his strokes coming home with 5 medals in total. He made up some significant ground in his breastroke - 50m (46.96) and 100m (1.41.18).with a clear win in the boys 13 - 14 years 50m butterfly (42.26). Maddy Izzo medalled in the 100m backstroke (2nd - 1.39.67) and 100m butterfly (1.49.09). Tash Hammond received 4 medals (two silver and two bronze) and posted competitive times for her breastroke (44.76) and freestyle (31.17). Brooke Traeger smashed the 50m freestyle (29.76), backstroke (36.02) and butterfly (33.19) and 100m butterfly (1.12.66) to finish first in all four events. Her times are all under the required 14 year old State Age Short Course Standards with the most significant margin being for her 100m fly where she is 11 seconds under. In this event she is within 2 seconds of the open standard (1.10.35). Henry Lambert's talent in the pool continues to astound, with medals wins in every event swum at Whyalla. He placed first in three and second in his other three events. His 50m freestyle time (26.61) is not only under the age group time but also under the open State Short Course Qualifying time. He almost broke the minute mark over the 100m event (1.00.84) and swam a solid 50m fly in 31.93 and backstroke 33.71.
Swimmers are now in final preparation for their participation in the 2013 State Country SAPSASA Carnival at the SA Aquatic and Leisure centre on Friday 22nd of March. We wish all Lower Eyre Peninsula team members a fantastic carnival - in 2012 the team finished in seventh place overall with a very close tussle from 5th place onwards. Many of our swimmers are travelling with extended family and have invited relatives and friends in Adelaide to celebrate their achievements with them.
Sonia Ford is our publicity officer and would love to hear of noteworthy news items from our swimming community!