Dolphin Teamwork Wins the Day
A busy weekend for Swindon Dolphin saw a group of 23 swimmers head to Ponds Forge Sheffield for the City of Derby Open Meet whilst back in Wiltshire the A and B Teams were competing in the second round of the Moonraker Winter League.
The weekend action started on Saturday morning at Sheffield which saw numerous new personal best times set notably in the girls 9-12 years 200 individual medley. Throughout the day, seven Dolphin swimmers made finals including girls team captain Kath Baker who improved on her heat time in the final of the 100 breaststroke to finish a creditable ninth overall. Other finalists included Elizabeth Beckett, also in the 100 breaststroke, Georgina Pitts and Victoria Tainty in the 200 individual medley and Liam Herbert who only just fell short of his NQT in the 100 backstroke. The men’s open 100 butterfly included two Dolphin swimmers; Jon Audis and Mark Tanner.
Whilst the Derby Meet swimmers were enjoying some well earned rest and recuperation on Saturday evening, the Moonraker A and B teams were resuming their campaign in the Wiltshire relay competition. Following a shaky start in round one and precariously in sixth place overall, the A team had their work cut out at the Link against some good opposition including current Division 1 title holders Tigersharks. Despite being down on numbers, some fine teamwork and organisation ensured that the side stayed on top throughout the encounter and finished in second place behind a strong Tigersharks A team.
The B Team, competing at Trowbridge, came up against four other Wiltshire A teams and were forced to battle hard, mainly for the lower placings. Top performing Dolphins were the U/13 boys team of Jon Fouracre, Teddy Pilsworth, William Pilsworth, Adam Coleman, Andrew Butler and Liam Jefferies who managed third places in all their events. Although finishing in 5th place on the night, a strong Round 3 and Final performance should still see the B Team retain their division 1 status next year.
Back in Sheffield, racing continued on the Sunday morning with what was probably the top performance of the weekend from Elizabeth Beckett. More experienced in breaststroke and distance freestyle, Beckett swam a superb 200 individual medley to earn herself a place in the final as tenth fastest swimmer. With a lane end packed with Dolphin team-mates, Beckett turned on the style in the final to drop 5 seconds off her heat time and finish fifth, just 0.3% outside her national qualifying time. Another magnificent swim later on in the day saw the 15 year old claim her third NQT of the season in the 400m freestyle. Jon Audis also claimed a new NQT in the 50m backstroke, dipping just 1/100s under the mark in 28.44s.
Elizabeth Beckett ~ third NQT and so close to a fourth!
Top medallists over the weekend were Sam Berry with three gold, Alex Chantler with one gold and one bronze, and Tilly Gray with one bronze. James Clark picked up first place in the boys 13 years BAGCAT rankings with Sam Berry taking third in the girls 12 years category. Arguably the best accolade, however, came at the end of the presentations with Swindon Dolphin picking up the award for Best Supported Club. A just and fitting award; not only apt for the Derby Meet swimmers, coaches, team managers and parents but also for their counterparts racing, coaching and supporting at the Moonraker Winter League in Wiltshire.
Moonraker Division 1 Gala 1 Result: Tigersharks A 193 Swindon Dolphin A 179 Bradford on Avon 159 Chippenham 139 Marlborough Penguins84 Trowbridge B 62
Moonraker Division 1 Gala 2 Result: Trowbridge A 172 Corsham A 132 Salisbury Stingrays 125 Warminster 92 Swindon Dolphin B 54
Click here for full results from the Derby Open Meet.