Event: ASA South West Regional Age Group Championships Venue: Millfield Date: 9th, 10th, 16th & 17th June 2012
A 17 strong squad of Swindon Dolphin’s top performing 10 to 14 year olds were at the South West Regional Age Group Championships at Millfield during June. Despite a particularly high standard of competition at this year’s meet, Dolphin managed to come away with two silver and one bronze medal. Liam Jefferies put on an impressive show in the 1500m freestyle, coming within just a few percent in of his national qualifying time and picking up one of Dolphin’s silver medals. The other silver went to James Watson in the same event and with the time just as close to a national time as Jefferies, both boys must now be considering whether to focus on the distance events next season. Watson also made two final appearances in the shorter 100m freestyle and 100m backstroke and narrowly missed out on a top eight spot in his previous season’s favoured event, the 200m backstroke. Olivia Flack, competing at her first regional competition, made finals in four events although her most successful swim in the top eight was the most unlikely. Having swum a three second personal best in the heat and qualified for the 100m backstroke as reserve finalist, the 10 year old had nothing to lose going into the final. Starting from an outside lane, Flack turned in second place and was only just touched out into third on the finish to take a well earned bronze medal, again in a new personal best time. As well as Flack, this was also a first regional outing for Denice Gardo and Sophie Bartlett, both of whom made finals on two occasions each. Bartlett’s 200m breaststroke looked particularly impressive as she improved on her fifth ranking going into the final to finish fourth. Georgina Pitts also made the top eight in four events, and with some good personal best swims came frustratingly close to her first national qualifying time in the 100m and 200m freestyle. Pitts also finished a creditable seventh in the overall Age Group Awards. All other Dolphin competitors; Abbie Hawkins, Abigail Ross, Adam Coleman, Ben Sarachi, Craig Harris, Georgia Dicks, Millie Jeans, Rebecca Flack, Rebecca Matthews and Victoria Tainty acquitted themselves well with every one swimming lifetime bests over the four days of competition.