Dolphin Power Past their Rivals
From the Swindon Advertiser, first published Wednesday 8th Mar 2006.
Swindon Dolphin put in a series of formidable performances Wiltshire County Championships over two days of Youth Championship swimming at the Link Centre.
Chief coach Andi Manley set the tone, qualifying for the final of the 200 metres freestyle, which he went on to win ahead of David Dunford of Marlborough College.
Tilly Gray and Kimberley Fisher followed suit with a one-two in the women’s 100 metres butterfly,with Gray claiming both junior and senior championship titles.
Jon Audis settled for silver in the men’s open 100 metres backstroke, Dunford edging him into second by less than 2/10ths of a second and Sam Wells took bronze.
Melanie Agius produced two stunning performances, her first in the 400 metres individual medley where she lifted the junior title thanks to a new best time of 5:15.51.
Her second triumph came in the senior event where she grabbed silver behind championship winner, Tigersharks’ Hayley Wood from Tigersharks while Gray took bronze.
In the men’s open 50 metres breaststroke, Dolphin dominated as Nigel Masters, Manley and Audis finished within 3/10ths of a second of each other to claim gold, silver and bronze respectively.
Dolphin showed their prowess in medley relay swimming with the women’s 200 medley team using their slick takeover skills to good effect to knock Tigersharks A into second spot with Trowbridge finishing third.
Dolphin’s success continued with Kathryn Rees won the 200 metres freestyle senior title after her surprise qualification for the final.
Manley maintained the winning streak in the 100 metres butterfly while Beth Sowden won her first ever senior title after fending off the challenge from Tigersharks’ Natalie Montezuma to win the 100 metres backstroke.
In the next event, Dan Rose was locked in a fierce duel with Tigersharks’ Alex Jones in the 400 metres individual medley, eventually winning in a new club record time of 4:49.53 seconds.
Dolphin’s winning run took a brief interlude in the women’s 50 metres breaststroke with Alex Warren (Bradford on Avon), and Charlotte Barnes (Trowbridge) taking gold and silver respectively just ahead of Dolphin’s Kath Baker.
However, Dolphin immediately returned to winning ways with Manley qualifying as the fastest freestyler in the following day’s 50 metres skins.
And he closed the session with a second place finish for Dolphin B in the junior 4 x 50 metres medley.
The Dolphin A team were clear winners in the women’s 200 medley, but the real story came from the B team, who clawed their way back from fourth to snatch silver ahead of Tigersharks A.
Audis claimed his second silver medal of the weekend behind Dunford in the 200 metres backstroke before Agius stepped up to win the women’s 400 metres freestyle from Tigersharks’ Wood.
Gray claimed silver and bronze in the junior and senior championship respectively.
Dunford had the edge once again over Audis in the 50 metres butterfly while Baker and Elizabeth Beckett both won bronze in the senior and junior 100 metres breaststroke.
In the men’s 100 metres individual medley Manley, Audis, Mark Tanner and Masters dominated the top four positions in the senior race. In the junior event, Sam Wells took bronze.
Dolphin’s men’s medley B team had a resounding victory in 1:50.75 seconds over 200 metres.
Sowden ensured that her weekend was one of double delight by adding the 200 metres backstroke senior title to her 100 metres crown.
Gray doubled her championship tally with victory in the 50 metres butterfly to lift both junior and senior titles before Audis took gold and the senior title in the final of the 100 metres breaststroke ahead of teammate Masters.
Rees won the 100 metres individual medley with Kimberley Fisher keeping her close company all the way to take silver. Gray took bronze in the junior race.
Dolphin rounded off a successful weekend in magnificent style by winning both men’s and women’s freestyle skins finals.
Andrea Alleyne won every heat decider in sub-30 second times to tee up the showdown with race favourite Rebecca Smith from Bradford on Avon.
Club record breakers: Melanie Agius (400m freestyle), Kath Baker (100 m breaststroke), Tilly Gray (50m butterfly), Kathryn Rees (200m freestyle), Dan Rose (400m individual medley), Mark Tanner (50m and 200m freestyle).
From the Swindon Advertiser http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk © Newsquest Media Group 2006