Look how our team has grown from the swimmers who participated in the 2012 Country Championships in Port Pirie, 2013 Country Championships in Gawler
to our 53 impressive looking team members that
represented the West Coast Swimming Club at the
2014 Country Championships in Murray Bridge.
"I love teamwork. I love the idea of everyone rallying together to help me win. ”
"Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships"
Returning from an extremely successful 2014 Country Swimming Championships held from the 10th – 13th of January, the West Coast Swimming Club have plenty to celebrate. 53 swimmers and just as many enthusiastic parents travelled to the city of Murray Bridge for the four day championship meet, from as far afield as Ceduna, Cummins, Tumby Bay and Port Lincoln and managed to bring home an impressive tally of 22 bronze, 27 silver and 44 gold medals – 93 medals in total. This was West Coast’s biggest team to ever participate and they proudly finished a close second to Onkaparinga on the overall point score results sheet (1758 to 1606 points). Next year’s championship will be held in Mount Gambier and West Coast have already started plotting out a winning strategy!
Friday afternoon saw the colourful team march on, with West Coast being lead onto pool deck by recently announced team captains Luke Andrews and Jade Calverley together with vice-captains Yemaya Coleman-Smith and Nik Constantinopoulos. The competition was then officially opened by Bob Fox – Chairman of Swimming SA with the support of patron His Excellency Rear Admiral Kevin Scarce AC CSC RANR Governor of South Australia. First to hit the water were swimmers participating in the Superfish competition which is conducted in line with Swimming SA’s Ready Set Race protocols. West Coast Swimming Club saw excellent performances from Bridie Micken who recorded her most competitive time in the 8 and under 50m breastroke (1.00.49) and Kyle McInerney (9) who was the fastest 50m breastroke competitor in his age group (55.15). 7 year old Molly Baldwin has quickly adapted to competition swimming and recorded times of 1.14.55 (breastroke) and 54.86 (freestyle). It was great to see Jessica Mesecke (9) complete three races, Seb Henderson (8) make his debut in the pool and William Bawden (8) enthusiastically invest his best efforts into each of his races. Most memorable performance goes to 6 year old Bryce Hammond who despite losing his goggles in the 50m freestyle, returned to the wall to restart the race and still managed to overtake fellow competitors. Other swimmers to enter the superfish competition were Sophie Traeger, Isabella Scott, Jasmine Clark, Stuart Mesecke, Isabella Baldwin, Liana Baldwin, Django Elliot and Emma Hamnett.
Saturday saw the commencement of the Country Championships with a large number of outstanding results being recorded over the following three days of intense competition. Numerous changes were made to the program to accommodate the increasing heat and this saw additional challenges presented to the swimmers and team managers alike.
New individual Country Championship records were created by Luke Andrews in the open 200m breastroke (2.42.05) beating his own record and in the 50m breastroke 32.98. This is a record he has broken each year since the age of 14. Brooke Traeger established a new 14 year old 50m freestyle record of 29.93 and then went one further breaking it again in her swim in the finals (29.09). Levi Proude added the 17 year old 50m freestyle record to his tally (25.26). Levi now holds this record in every age group since he was 14. Our effort in the teams relays which award double championship points will be long remembered. Teams who broke existing records were the 12U girls 4x50m freestyle team comprising Yemaya Coleman-Smith, India Copland, Demi Lynch and Xanthia Clark (2.14.96), 14U boys 4 x 50m freestyle team; Nik Constantinopoulos, James Andrews, Max Lambert and Tyson Lynch (1.59.45) who also claimed the 4 x 50 Medley relay record by improving the existing record by a massive 9 seconds (2.17.63) and the 14U girls 4 x 50m freestyle team who nailed the finish by a fraction of a second. Congratulations Brooke Traeger, Mia Meyers, Natasha Hammond and Kellie Dennis (2.08.17).
This competition saw the awarding of numerous perpetual trophies to West Coast swimmers. The 4 x 100 men’s medley relay team (Luke Andrews, Levi Proude, Gerard Meyer and Henry Lambert) bought the “Jewaskiewitz Trophy” home to Port Lincoln (4.38.78). This is the first time this trophy has ever been held by West Coast swimmers. This team was an unstoppable combination also bringing home gold in the 4 x 100 freestyle (3.59.23), 4 x 50 medley (2.03.70), 4 x 50 freestyle (1.46.78) – a new South Australian Country Record, 4 x 200 freestyle (9.09.82) and the 18U 4 x 50m Medley relay (2.01.17) also breaking the existing record. Levi Proude took out the Kassebaum Trophy for the fastest 100m freestyle at the championship (56.64) whilst 11 year old Harrison Adams bought home the Bryant Trophy rewarding the best overall performance by a male 11 and under swimmer at the meet. Previous winners of this trophy at the same age were Kyle Chalmers and Levi Proude. Harrison secured gold in three individual events together with a gold standard Junior Excellence time in the 100m backstroke (1.31.71). Also awarded for her incredible run of personal best times in every event was Brooke Traeger (14) who received the Fairweather Trophy for the most points gained by a 14/15 year old. She was crowned Country Champion in a staggering 7 events. Based upon her exceptional personal performances Brooke, along with India Copland, Luke Andrews and Levi Proude were awarded wild card entries into the South Australian State Age Championships at the SA Aquatic and Leisure Centre in Adelaide which is held from the 21st – 25th of January.
Swimmers who were awarded Gold medals and recognition as the 2014 ‘Country Champion’ were Kalani Coleman-Smith (11) 100m breastroke 1.44.28 and 50m breastroke 48.43; Levi Proude (17) 100m breastroke 1.14.02, 50m freestyle 25.85, 100m freestyle 56.64 and 50m butterfly 28.14; Jade Calverley (14 – S6) 50 freestyle 45.86, 100m breastroke 2.13.84, 100m backstroke 2.13.77, 50m butterfly 1.03.39, 200m individual medley 4.23.59, 50m breastroke 1.00.82 and 100m freestyle 1.44.47; Ellie McInerney (12 – S7) 50 backstroke 1.00.94; Brooke Traeger (14) 50 freestyle 29.09, 200m individual medley 2.43.75, 200m freestyle 2.21.26, 50m butterfly 32.40, 50m backstroke 35.08, 100m freestyle 1.06.38 and 100m butterfly 1.15.55; Henry Nelligan (11) 50 freestyle 34.45; Harrison Adams (11) 50m butterfly 39.75, 100m freestyle 1.16.53 and 100m butterfly 1.29.87; India Copland (12) 50m breastroke 43.84; Luke Andrews (16) Open 200 men’s breastroke 2.42.05 and 50m breastroke 32.98. It is an honour for all of these swimmers to be awarded the title of 2014 South Australian Country Champion and a testament to their hard work in the pool. In total 386 swimmers competed at these championships including athletes from 6 visiting interstate clubs.
The race of the meet was the 11U 50m breastroke with West Coast dominating the race and finishing with a hat trick in first, second and third position. Congratulations to Kalani Coleman-Smith (48.43), Stuart Mesecke (50.06) and Henry Nelligan (50.65) who proudly accepted their championship medals. Many of our swimmers faced stiff competition in their respective age groups and managed to rise to the occasion breaking personal best times. Congratulations to Henry Lambert who set a cracking pace in the 400m freestyle (5.02.05) and James Andrews who broke the 30 second barrier in his 50m freestyle swim to record a 29.65. Chris Bawden has shown enormous improvement in all strokes particularly in his 50 freestyle (33.94) and 100m breastroke (1.35.76). The team would also like to thank all of those swimmers who returned to the water after finishing their studies in Adelaide or taking the time to attend training to support our relay efforts – our success at this year’s championships would not have been possible without your dedication.
At the conclusion of the meet each team has the opportunity to acknowledge swimmers who have demonstrated a great sense of team spirit and support of their fellow competitors – this year Nik Constantinopoulos and James Andrews were presented with these awards. The Championships also provide an opportunity for new friendships to be made and old ones revisited. The swimmers would like to express their thanks to all of the pool deck volunteers who filled the essential officiating duties which are essential to the running of a fair and equitable swimming meet.
The West Coast Swimming Club would like to show their appreciation towards head coach Carol Veldhuyzen whose ongoing dedication and coaching expertise has prepared swimmers for the competition. She has worked in collaboration with other coaches undertaking their bronze licence training. Matt Hamnett took on the role of team manager and worked through a number of difficult technical issues and reorganisation of the event schedule to successfully marshal all swimmers to their various events. Club nominations officer Nardine McInerney completed the incredible job of creating the team manager file – entering each swimmer in up to 12 events!
Author - Sonia Ford
Sonia is our publicity officer and would love to hear of noteworthy news items from our swimming community!