WEST Coast swimmers were on fire at the South Australian Country Championships this month winning 22 gold, 15 silver and three bronze individual medals, two relay gold medals, one silver and one bronze.
New state country records, one Australian Age National time and another swimmer on the cusp of achieving national times made for an exciting weekend in Port Pirie. The West Coast Swimming Club continued its tradition of achieving success with a small number of competitive swimmers, 14, finishing fourth overall.
The four-day weekend started with Superfish, an introductory carnival for young competitive swimmers. The club's nine young swimmers, ranging in age from six to 10, all produced outstanding personal best times with Yemeya Coleman-Smith, Tommy Ford and Xanthia Clark clear stand outs in the competition. Kalani Coleman-Smith, Jaimie Ford, Mackai Harridan, Somaiya Harridan, Ania Constantinopoulous and Sophie Traeger were strong and consistent participants.
Yemeya and Xanthia went on to compete in day one of the championship's 100 metre events. The championships, involving the top 3 per cent of country athletes, started with Jade Calverley winning gold and finishing with a total of five gold medals.
Brooke Traeger shone in her age group with gold medal performances and records in her pet butterfly events. Teammate Tash Hammond took the gold and record in the 50m freestyle event. Between them the girls made the majority of age group finals with Brooke finishing with two gold and two silver individual medals. Bri Veldhuyzen was her usual cruisey self, taking silver in the 16-year-old 50m breaststroke, while the Howell twins Sheridan and Kendall were consistent and invaluable in the relays.
The boys then stepped up and raised the bar. James Andrews, Nik Constantinopoulous and Bailey Harridan were never in doubt when combined with Henry Lambert to win the 13 and under boys freestyle relay, finishing 25 metres ahead of the field. Relays changed in the medley events to see Levi Proude, Luke Andrews, James Andrews and Henry Lambert win the 15 and under gold and Bailey Harridan, Tommy Ford, Max Lambert and Nik Constantinopoulous taking silver in the 13 and under event. Individually the boys swam outstanding times, dropping by up to ten seconds. James took two gold, Bailey two gold and one silver and Max two silver and one bronze. Henry Lambert, Luke Andrews and Levi Proude completed an amazing medal haul; Henry won three individual gold, three silver and three bronze medals, Luke won four gold and three silver and Levi won nine gold and one silver, along with the boys all setting new country records.
West Coast and former club Port Lincoln hold many records between Kyle Chalmers, Levi Proude, Luke Andrews, Brooke Traeger, Tash Hammond, Amelia Dahlitz and records from as far back as 1989 held by Rebecca Paterson and the records set in the 1990s by Danielle Lewis alongside Olympic swimmers from other
regional SA towns Sophie Edington, Ryan Mitchell and Hayden Stoeckel.
Levi Proude and Luke Andrews stepped up with major improvements in time to reach towards National Age Standards (top 3 per cent of age swimmers in Australia). Levi achieved a 50m freestyle time of 25.76 and is just outside the 16-year-old times, swimming 55.9 for the 100m freestyle. Luke is also now sitting one second outside of 14-year-old boys 100m breaststroke swimming 1.16. A huge achievement from both boys. The West Coast male onslaught continued throughout the meet going head to head with the other
Author - Sonia Ford
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