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Dolphin Make their Mark on the National Youth Championships

Event: British Gas ASA National Youth Championships (50m) 2010 Venue: Ponds Forge, Sheffield Date: 3rd to 7th August 2010

Last week Dolphin’s five National Youth Championships qualifiers were in Sheffield to compete amongst the best of Britain’s 14 to 18 year olds, some of whom will undoubtedly become Olympians in the not too distant future.

As Dolphin’s highest ranked swimmer going into the championships, Elizabeth Beckett had the Dolphin contingent on tenterhooks as she eased her way through the heat stages of the 200m breaststroke in personal best and new club record times in both 200m and 100m split times, and later in the day went faster still in the semi-final.  Her 2:35.31 second swim secured a second ranked place in the 16/17 years final just half a second behind first ranked Francesca Marr of Hillingdon.  However, the challenge in the final came not from Marr, but from Avril Kiritschenko from City of Leeds who took command of the race at the 100m mark and powered her way to victory with Beckett finishing in 6th place.

Liam Herbert had qualified for the 100m butterfly as well as his more usual 100m and 200m backstroke events.  Despite a personal best in the 100m event, overall performances in the backstroke events were not as expected. However, this did not deter the 16 year old when going into the butterfly later on in the week.  A determined heat swim in an unfavourable outside lane secured a semi-final place as well as breaking the club record for the 50m and 100m distance in times of 27.18 seconds and 59.63 seconds.  Herbert went faster again in the semi and finished a creditable 18th place overall.

Dolphin's National Youth Competitors ~ Liam Herbert, Joe Kerslake, James Clark, Elizabeth Beckett, Samantha Berry

Samantha Berry’s best performance came in the 100m butterfly with a personal best swim of 1:06.83 and also competed in the 200m butterfly and 200m freestyle.

Other competitors for Dolphin were Joe Kerslake in the 200m backstroke and James Clark in the 100m and 200m breaststroke and 400m individual medley. Despite disappointing performances from both the whole experience served, as it does for all competitors, a valuable learning experience in their continuing development as swimmers.

Next week sees the conclusion of the ASA Championships season with the National Open Championships at the magnificent Sunderland Aquatic Centre where Swindon Dolphin’s Jon Audis will have the honour of being the Town’s only competitor.


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