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Best Time Bonanza at Club Champs

Event: Swindon Dolphin Club Championships and Age Groups Licenced Level 4 Meet Venue: Link Centre Date: 18th, 24th and 25th September 2011

The Swindon Dolphin Club Championships took place at the newly refurbished Link Centre over the past two weekends.  With standards continuing to rise, an impressive forty three age group best times (AGBTs) and seven championship best times (CBTs) were broken.

Liam Herbert led the charge with CBTs in the 100m backstroke, 200m butterfly and 200m freestyle.  Also setting bests were Lauren Matthews (200m backstroke), Megan V Jones (100m backstroke), Samantha Berry (200m butterfly) and Kath Baker (100m individual medley).  Baker also set an incredible eight AGBTs in the 19+ category spanning all stroke disciplines.

James Clark and Liam Herbert each took six of the junior and senior boys’ championship titles respectively whilst Charlotte Pitts was top female championship winner with four junior and five senior titles.  Top age group medallists were Matthew Sambrook with 12 gold and 1 silver and Kath Baker with 10 gold.

The championships included 25m swims specifically for Learn to Swim which gave the opportunity for swimmers in the programme to experience competing at an ASA licensed meet and also a chance to see the Club’s top swimmers in action.  Notable performances came from 8 year olds Libbi Crouch and Harvie Greenwood who also competed in the 50m events.

Although the 2012 county qualifying times have yet to be confirmed, swimmers looking likely to have made the grade for the first time include Alice Lockey, Calum Marriott, Jack Wilkes, Kieran Lawlor and Megan S Jones.  Also proving it’s never too late to start, masters swimmer Andy Garrett produced what should turn out to be his first county standard swim at the tender age of 50.

With the main competition season just weeks away, all swimmers were looking to set themselves benchmarks and giving themselves an indication of where they are against their overall goals for the season.  Many of last years new regional qualifiers look set to make the grade again with Tom Newbery looking particularly impressive in his backstroke events.

Although it is early days yet to make predictions on who will make the national grade, last year’s qualifiers all produced promising performances that should ensure a return visit to Sheffield next year.  Of the many swimmers seeking to make the national finals for the first time, Victoria Jennings, Georgina Pitts, Megan Jones and Emily Dixon all produced swims that kept the possibility alive.  Lauren Matthews, however, recorded times in the 200m and 400m individual medley that put her just a hair’s breadth away from a national standard swim and will surely be first in the queue when British Swimming publish the 2012 national qualifying times over the next few weeks.

Lauren Matthews ~ sights set on Sheffield

The mystery medley skins event added some extra excitement to the championships with the top six from each of the girls and boys 200m individual medley heats battling it out over five rounds of 50m races at 3 minute intervals.  The fascinating combination of luck and stamina played its part with the final round being decided on breaststroke for both contests.  In the final swims, Matthew Rose had the edge over James Clark and Kath Baker just touched out Charlotte Gardo on the finish.

Full results are available on the competition page.


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