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Dolphin Youngsters Peak On Cue at Bagcats

Liam Herbert – NQT in 100m backstroke

Event: Wiltshire County BagCat Age Group Championships 2008

Venue: Link Centre Swindon (25m)

Date: 9th, 29th & 30th March 2008

There were many fine performances for Swindon Dolphin over the two weekends of the 2008 Wiltshire British Age Group Award Categories (BagCats), but it was the combined effort of the squad in achieving an incredible 184 personal best times (PBs) from 200 swims that brought most satisfaction to the club coaches. All of the qualifiers – from those competing for the first time through to those experienced at regional level and beyond – responded in the best possible way, by swimming faster than ever before in their life. Swimming Development Officer, Steve Cryer, was, in his words, “absolutely delighted” with the team. These performances gave Dolphin a total of 95 medals from the individual and team events, including 33 golds, 50 Regional Qualifying Times (RQTs) and a second National Qualifying Time (NQT) for the in-form Liam Herbert. Herbert and Charlotte Pitts completed an excellent three days of competition for the club with first place finishes in the Boys’ 14 year and Girls’ 11 year groups respectively.

It was Herbert and Cathal Westman who dominated the Boys’ 14 year group, amassing a total of 11 first place finishes in the individual events on their way to first and second place in the overall ratings. The highlight of Herbert’s campaign was a second NQT of the season, this time in the 100m backstroke, whilst Westman saved his best to last with a thrilling win in the 50m fly, the final event of the contest. Dolphin also had two podium finishers in the Boys’ 13 year competition, a late run from Joe Kerslake securing him second place, just 5 points ahead of team mate James Clark. Both were some distance behind the excellent Harry Ash from Bradford-on-Avon, although Kerslake had the satisfaction of being the only 13 year old to deny Ash a gold medal, beating him into runners up spot in the 100m backstroke. Clark secured a massive ten RQTs over the 3 days, and there were first time RQTs for the improving Liam Tubb. To underline Dolphin’s strength in the 13 and 14 year old age group, there was also success for Herbert, Westman, Clark and Kerslake in the relays, winning both the 4x100m freestyle and medley events by large margins.

The Girls’ 13 year old competition was fiercely contested with Megan Jones achieving a very creditable fourth place behind the impressive trio of Stephanie Clutterbuck from Trowbridge, Warminster’s Stephanie Bremner, and Tigersharks’ Rosemary Broad. Jones accumulated six RQTs and, thanks to a massive PB in the 200m backstroke, came very close to her first NQT. In the Girls’ 11 year group, Dolphin again dominated. Charlotte Pitts collected six RQTs and six gold medals on her way to first place in her age group, again demonstrating her excellent technique in all strokes, whilst Sam Berry, despite competing on only one day of the championships and consequently not scoring points in all categories, did enough to hang on to third place, thanks in no small part to Wiltshire Age Group Best Times in the 200m Individual Medley and 100m freestyle. Unluckiest swimmer of the competition was Charlotte Gardo who, in the Girls’ 12 Year 100m fly missed her RQT by one hundredth of a second. It surely won’t be long before Gardo is rewarded for her hard work.

Jack Janicki and Niall Westman finished second and third in the Boys’ 11 Year competition, failing to catch Warminster’s run away winner Miles Stanton, both swimmers notching up two RQTs. In the 10 Year contest Dolphin collected silver in both the Boys’ and Girls’ events, the medals going to Noah Kirby and Lauren Matthews. Despite not winning any of the individual events, Kirby showed great consistency in the pool and his six second place finishes and two first time RQTs kept him in contention throughout. Matthews also picked up two RQTs, including a typically gritty swim in the demanding 400m Individual Medley, helping her finish within 30 points of first placed Daniella Whiting from Warminster.

In all Dolphin achieved a total of ten top three finishes in the overall BagCats, and a further nine top six places for Victoria Tainty, William Pilsworth, Maddie Easter, Georgina Pitts, Megan Jones, Sam Hunter, Liam Jeffries, Charlotte Gardo and Matthew Sambrook. With local rivals Tigersharks also accumulating seven top three finishes, the two clubs can look forward with considerable optimism when they compete together under the SX3 banner in the forthcoming Southern Junior and Speedo leagues.



· 10 yrs – L Matthews (4) A Chantler-Mayne (1)

· 11 yrs – C Pitts (6) S Berry (4) N Westman (2) J Janicki (1)

· 13 yrs – J Clark (2) J Kerslake (2)

· 14 yrs – L Herbert (6), C Westman (5)

· Relays – boys’ 4 x 100 freestyle; boys’ 4 x 100 IM;


· 9 yrs – S Hunter (2)

· 10 yrs – L Matthews (3) M Easter (1) N Kirby (6) A Chantler-Mane (1)

· 11 yrs – C Pitts (4) E Bilko (1) J Janicki (6) N Westman (2)

· 12 yrs – C Gardo (1)

· 13 yrs – J Clark (6) J Kerslake (4)

· 14 yrs – L Herbert (1) C Westman (1)


· 9 yrs – V Tainty (3)

· 10 yrs – L Jolliffe (1) L Matthews (1) M Easter (1) G Pitts (1) L Jefferies (2)

· 11 yrs – J Janicki (2) N Westman (2) C Lofts (1) A Butler (1)

· 12 yrs – C Gardo (1) V Jennings (1) M Sambrook (1)

· 13 yrs – M Jones (4) J Clark (2) J Kerslake (1)

· 14 yrs – C Westman (1)

· Relays – girls’ – 4 x 100 freestyle; girls’ 4 x 100 IM

Bagcats 2008:

· C Pitts – (11 yrs) -First

· L Herbert – (14 yrs) – First

· L Matthews (10 yrs) – Second

· N Kirby (10 yrs) – Second

· J Janicki (11 yrs) – Second

· J Kerslake (13 yrs) – Second

· C Westman (14 yrs) – Second

· S Berry (11 yrs) – Third

· N Westman (11 yrs) – Third

· J Clark (13 yrs) – Third

· V Tainty (9 yrs) – fourth

· W Pilsworth (9 yrs) – fourth

· M Easter (10 yrs) – fourth

· M Jones (13 yrs) – fourth

· S Hunter (9 yrs) – Fifth

· G Pitts (10 yrs) – Fifth

· L Jefferies (10 yrs) – Fifth

· M Sambrook (12 yrs) – Fifth

· C Gardo (12 yrs) – Sixth

Source: Swindon Dolphin Press Team


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