Event: City of Bristol Level 3 Open Meet Venue: Hengrove Park, Bristol Date: 2nd and 3rd November 2013
One of the key elements of the ASA South West region strategy for 2014 is to “work to improve the retention of older club swimmers”. Swindon Dolphin’s commitment towards this was clearly underlined as last weekend a team of 62 swimmers spanning an age range of 9 to 48 were competing in the City of Bristol Open Meet at Hengrove Park. All swimmers efforts were rewarded with Dolphin being awarded Top Boys Team and Top Girls Team as well as girl’s team captain Charlotte Pitts winning the Top Girl award.
The level 3 meet provides a superb long course season opener for swimmers looking to achieve either county or regional times. Whilst the meet level means national times achieved cannot be officially recognised, those looking to achieve this standard are at least able to make an early season attempt at the qualifying marks. Olivia Flack impressively dipped under the national standard in the 100m freestyle and came close in the 100m backstroke. The 1:04.18 swum in the freestyle currently ranks the 12 year old third nationally against those in her age group for the national championships in August 2014.
Olivia Flack ~ national standard 100m freestyler
The 50m breaststroke showed signs of being a lucrative event for Dolphin as both Charlotte Gardo and Rebecca Flack came within a few percent of the national mark. Gardo also made further inroads on her 200m breaststroke national time as did 2013 200m butterfly national qualifier Lauren Matthews in the 100m butterfly.
Fraser Durston’s rate of progress continues to impress as he swam personal bests in all seven of his swims, recording regional standard swims in four of them. A further 17 swimmers also swam under the regional standard in a total of 60 events whilst a total of 48 swimmers achieved over 200 county qualifying times. William Davies also recorded a full house of personal best swims and made a significant step towards achieving his first regional qualifying time in the 400m freestyle.
Medals came thick and fast for Dolphin with Davies having the biggest haul of 5 gold, 2 silver and a bronze. Top girl medallist was Charlotte Pitts with 4 gold, 2 silver and 2 bronze. A further 28 Dolphins won medals over the weekend including Olivia Flack (3 gold, 1 bronze), Mathew Sambrook (3 gold, 2 bronze), Rebecca Flack (2 gold, 1 silver), Fraser Durston (2 gold), Ellen Hicken (gold, 2 silver), Lauren Matthews (gold, 2 silver), Georgina Pitts (gold, silver, 2 bronze), Charlotte Gardo (gold, silver, bronze), Victoria Jennings (gold, bronze).