Busy end to a busy season
Event: Swindon Dolphin End of Season Open Meet Venue: Link Centre, Swindon Date: 20th and 21st July 2013
Following a year that saw significant growth for Swindon Dolphin both in membership numbers and performance, their End of Season Open Meet attracted a record entry of almost 250 competitors for the two day competition at the Link Centre, Swindon.
As with most open meets, the host club had the most number of competitors although it was a privilege to have swimmers from clubs as far a field as Bexley and Greenwich in London. Other than the national qualifiers who were still focused on their training for Sheffield two weeks hence, the meet provided a target for all swimmers to put into practice the previous eleven months training. Subject to any changes in the previous year’s times, there was also the opportunity to record county and regional qualifying times for 2014.
Erin Henly has been showing promise in the training pool for some time and having only just turned 9, this was her first opportunity to compete in an open meet. Looking equally impressive in the competition pool, Henly recorded what should be her first county qualifying time in the 50m freestyle and also came close to county standard swims in the 100m individual medley and 200m freestyle. Other swimmers also making significant gains towards their first ever county time were Aleysha Easen, Grace Dabner, Anant Mane, Cieran Griffin and Oliver Eaton.
Erin Henly ~ open meet debut
At regional age group level (11 to 14 years), there appears to be no immediate threat to the dominance within the Swindon Dolphin ranks of Olivia Flack and Sophie Bartlett, both girls recording times in three swims each that should qualify them next year. Hot on their heels however, are 2013 regional qualifiers Annie Ward, Millie Jeans, Denice Gardo and Rebecca Matthews who all came close to the mark. Josh Fox looks to become an accomplished middle distance swimmer as he took noteworthy steps closer to his first regional standard swim in the 400m freestyle and 400m individual medley.
As usual, Dolphin’s strength lay at regional youth (15 years and over) level as over half their youth swimmers achieved what should be 2014 regional standard times, including first timer 39 year old Stuart Gibbs. Fraser Durston looked particularly impressive. Having qualified for one event at regionals in 2013, a step up to a full training programme over the past few months has clearly paid dividends as the 15 year old recorded regional standard swims in a further two events and came within striking distance of several others.
Fraser Durston ~ from strength to strength
Top Dolphin medallists at the meet were Beth Crouch (8 gold, 1 silver), Adam Coleman (7 gold, 1 silver), Fraser Durston (5 gold, 3 silver) and Olivia Flack (4 gold, 1 bronze), with a further 37 of their team-mates also enjoying podium finishes.