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Gray Shines as Dolphin Finish Top English Club at Open

From the Swindon Advertiser, first published Wednesday 24th May 2006.

The 2006 Swansea Open meet saw Swindon Dolphin swimmers return to their Milton Road camp with a catalogue of National Qualifying Times, club records and medals.

Collectively, Dolphin were the highest placed English club in the medal rankings and third overall behind winners Bridgend County and Llanelli.

Dolphin’s most successful swimmer was Tilly Gray, who clocked four National Qualifying Times (NQTs) to bring her tally for the season to seven.

The 14-year-old kick-started Dolphin’s campaign with an NQT in the 50 metres freestyle in a personal best time of 28.82 seconds before taking bronze in the final.

She went on to claim the 400m freestyle NQT in a club record of 4:37.20.

Gray stepped up to the 800m to finish 11 seconds inside the NQT.

In the 200m freestyle she stepped up a gear to slice a further four seconds off her entry time and set a new club record.

Mark Tanner claimed Dolphin’s fifth new NQT of the meet in the 100m freestyle. He timed his strike for home with perfection to take the gold in a club record 54.82.

Cathal Westman confirmed his NQTs in the 100m and 200m breaststroke with significant improvements.

With a new best time of 2:44.58 seconds over 200m, Westman was favourite to take gold with a 19-second advantage over his closest challenger.

The 13-year-old showed no signs of complacency in the final and sliced another three seconds off his PB.

Westman went on to make it a brace of golds in the 100m, before a fine performance in the final of the 200m individual medley with silver medal and a personal best time.

Rosie Wells, who already has the short course NQT in the 100m backstroke, added the long course time to her collection. She took the gold medal in a new best time of 1:10.49 seconds.

Melanie Agius missed her NQT in the 400m freestyle despite a gallant effort.

Andrea Alleyne came within a whisker of adding the 100m freestyle NQT to her 50m time but did set a new Dolphin record in 1:01.55 seconds.

Sam Wells continues to improve over both 100m and 200m butterfly but will go to the Sheffield Open in the last chance saloon to gain entry on the national stage after just missing out at Swansea .

The Swim of the Meet’ belonged to Jose Prunty, who is blossoming into an accomplished freestyler and brought the crowd to their feet with an outstanding display in the 200m to gain gold in a new best time of 2:20.79 seconds.

The 12-year-old was always in the reckoning over the three-day event and set personal best times in five events together with two gold and a silver medal.

Tim Berry also took gold and a PB in the 200m individual medley and Nick Southern smashed his best over 1500m and Dolphin completed their campaign with a clean sweep in the boys’ 200m individual medley with Berry, Westman and Joel Swann winning gold, silver and bronze respectively.

 Dolphin juniors made the final of the Southern Junior League after a convincing 30-point winning margin in round two at Keynsham.

The boys’ under nine and under 11 teams maintained their 100 per cent record in freestyle and medley relays, while at individual level, Katie Carter, James Clark, Charlotte Gardo, Jack Janicki and Niall Westman racked up maximum points. The grand final will take place on June 24.

From the Swindon Advertiser © Newsquest Media Group 2006


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