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County Championship Continues

Event:  Wiltshire County Championships Venue:  Link Centre, Swindon Date:  27th & 28thFebruary 2010

The Wiltshire County Swimming Championships continued last weekend at the Link Centre with 16 clubs competing at the first block of competition in the short course sprint and middle distance events.

Undoubtedly the top performing individual swimmers at the meet were Tigershark’s Alex Jones and Dean Williamson who between them won all bar one of the male senior championship titles as well as setting new championship best times (CBT) in the 200m backstroke and 100m butterfly. Both swimmers also made their way through to the final round of the 50m freestyle skins event which saw victory for Jones. Swindon Dolphin’s Jon Audis broke the monopoly of the duo with a clear win in the 100m backstroke, also setting a new CBT in the event. The weekend’s other new CBTs went to Tigershark’s Sophie Hawkins in the 100m individual medley and Dolphin’s Elizabeth Beckett in the 400m individual medley who also added the demanding event to her tally of national qualifying times (NQT).

Championship finals in all 100m and 200m events provided some thrilling and hard fought races, none more so than the girls 100m breaststroke that featured Dolphin’s Elizabeth Beckett, Kath Baker and Louise Maynard who had earlier won the 50m breaststroke. The trio were locked neck and neck for most of the race with Baker pulling away in the last length for a well deserved victory.

Kath Baker (right) off to a good start against Elizabeth Beckett

Dolphin’s 13 year old Samantha Berry went into the 100m butterfly final as second seed, pulling off an impressive victory in the closing stages, just beating Tigershark’s Sophie Hawkins to the finish and taking both the junior and senior titles.

Other Dolphin junior championship winners were Joe Kerslake in the 100m and 200m backstroke, and James Clark in the 100m and 400m individual medley. Kerslake also clocked his first NQT of the season in the 200m backstroke as well as setting a new age group best time.

Other Wiltshire clubs making their mark on the weekend were Trowbridge, with Stephanie Clutterbuck and Katie Pugh taking nine female junior and senior championship titles between them, and Warminster’s Stephanie Bremner taking four. Salisbury’s rise in form also looks to continue with sprinter Callum Bailey taking three junior titles and Gabriella Pountney the junior 50m breaststroke following a repeat of the dead heat with Dolphin’s Beckett in the final of the sprint competition a few weeks earlier.

In the relay events, Dolphin and Trowbridge shared the honours with Dolphin taking mens’ and womens’ senior titles and Trowbridge both the junior.

The final day of youth competition takes place on Saturday 6th March and the younger BAGCAT competition starting on the Sunday. With Dolphin youngsters ranked number one in more events than any other club and Trowbridge a close second, it looks to be a competition worth watching.

Full results are available on the Competition Page.


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