Members of the West Coast Swimming Club had the opportunity to update their long course (50m) personal best times at the Playford Aquatic Winter Carnival on the first Sunday of the school holidays (July 5th). The carnival was hosted at the Elizabeth Aquadome and focused on the provision of a full program of freestyle and backstroke events. The club then offers a second long course carnival in September focussing on breastroke and butterfly events.
Star performer of the meet was Arjay Isles (9 years) who medalled in each of his races. He has now dropped under the 40 second mark for the 50 freestyle finishing in 38.67 seconds, to record the second fastest time for 10 and under boys. He followed this up in the 100m freestyle with a bronze medal, recording a personal best of 1.34.15. Heading into the backstroke, Arjay completed the 50m race in 46.66 seconds to add another silver medal and knocked 5 seconds of his previous best in the 100m race to finish with his 3rd silver placing in 1.37.57.
Biggest improver was Jessica Mesecke, who at 11 years of age has demonstrated a much better understanding of race skills such as turns and starts and together with her dedication to training, has knocked some serious time off of her previous personal bests. Jessica started with a three second improvement on her freestyle to almost crack the 40 second barrier to finish in 40.66 seconds. She added another personal best in the 100m freestyle with a 1.39.20. Moving into the backstroke, she finished the 50m race in 51.03 seconds and wiped 8 seconds of her 100m previous best to record a finishing time of 1.48.36 seconds.
Tasmin Durdin (11 years) continued to show her talent as a longer distance freestyler recording a massive personal best of 3.00.16 in the 200m event. This removed 23 seconds from her previous best and is well under the Country Championships Standard Time of 3.20.00 for 12 year olds. Her 100m freestyle posted an improvement of 4 seconds to record a 1.25.51 which again is well under the standard required for 11 year olds at the Country Championships. Tasmin also performed extremely well in the 200m backstroke recording a 3.27.31 and it is fantastic to see a young swimmer expanding her repertoire of swims.
Stuart Mesecke (13 years) was all smiles in the 50m freestyle with a new personal best of 34.52 seconds and he maintained a very competitive performance in the 100m race finishing in 1.21.94. It was awesome to see him also improve his 100m backstroke by two seconds to record a 1.38.86, showing that his regular attendance at winter training is setting him up for a very successful summer season.
Jamie Ford (12 years) pumped out her best race of the day for the 50m backstroke 38.12 to take out the gold medal placing in this event. Jamie was also thrilled with her 200m backstroke performance recording a 3.09.82 which was three seconds better than her previous best. Fine tuning race skills performance has been an important focus for Jamie in the lead up to the SA State Age Short Course event in the second week of the school holidays.
South Australian State Team Member Bridie Mickan (10 years) also took advantage of the opportunity to practice her race skills in the lead up to the Pacific School Games held in November this year. Bridie added to her collection of swimming bling with a silver medal in the 10 and under 50m freestyle (37.99), a bronze medal in the 100m freestyle (1.27.48) and a bronze in the 50m backstroke (45.95).
Youngest members of the team; Evie Durdin (9 years) , Yarra Mickan (8 years) and Asta Mickan (6 years) all performed really well and enjoyed the opportunity to race in a new environment. Every pool presents the challenge to adapt to different starting blocks and check turning distances from the wall and for swimmers new to competition racing this add to pre-race nerves. Evie bettered both her 50m freestyle (48.18) and backstoke (56.06) times and created official times for her 100m races in both strokes. Yarra knocked two seconds off his 50m freestyle to record a 47.55, three seconds of his 100m backstroke (2.03.23) and five seconds off his 100m freestyle (1.53.23). At only 6 years of age Asta managed herself responsibly in marshalling and was able to set a new time in the 100m backstroke (2.27.94), record a personal best in the 50 backstroke (1.10.07) and come very close to her existing benchmark in the 50m freestyle (1.00.14).
The Playford Aquatic Club meet was certainly a worthwhile addition to the club’s competition calendar. It was well supported by many metropolitan and country swimming clubs, offered a very competitive field, attracted plenty of sponsorship from local businesses, included excellent food and catering and ran particularly smoothly. The meet enabled West Coast swimmers to evaluate their current winter training regime and re-evaluate their competition goals leading into the summer swimming carnival season.
Sonia Ford is our publicity officer and would love to hear of noteworthy news items from our swimming community!