Healthy show for Dolphin at County age group competition
This year’s county swimming championships concluded last weekend with the Age Group (9 to 13 year old) competition at the Link Centre. About 300 swimmers from 18 clubs took part over the three days of competition, all still very much in their early days of swimming development and looking to gain valuable racing experience in what is still a fun and relaxed environment.
Dolphin’s young protégés were very much in evidence, with first time appearances from Henry Pearce, Oscar Pearcey, Sriram Iyer, Matty James and Maya Grounsell. 9 year olds Pearce and Pearcey demonstrated the core principals of Age Group swimming by competing in multiple events across all distances and stroke disciplines. Both enjoyed significant improvements in their entry times and Pearce, as well as picking up one individual gold, three silver and three bronze, showed consistency across all events resulting in a second place in the overall age group awards. Similarly Pearcey’s consistency also assured him of overall fourth, despite narrowly missing out on individual medal places. Grounsell performed well in the relatively few events entered and despite not competing in a 200m form stroke swim, finished a respectable sixth in the overall girl’s 9 year old competition.
Also making the top six in the age group awards were Samuel Elliott (3rd), Ella Wardale (3rd), Olivia Flack (4th), Rebecca Flack (4th), Jake Lewis (5th), Rebecca Matthews (5th), James Watson (6th), Josh Fox (6th) and Alice Lockey (6th).
In order to come more into line with national competition and to help encourage one of the ideals of long term athlete developments in not over-competing at an early age, the entry age for regional qualification has from this year been raised by one year to 11. Hitting the mark for the first time ever for Dolphin was Annie Ward with an impressive looking 100m freestyle. Denice Gardo also picked up a seasons first RQT in the 100m backstroke and there were new qualifying events for Ella Wardale, James Watson and Rebecca Matthews.
All Dolphin swimmers performed well over the three days achieving many healthy personal bests throughout the competition. Individual event medallists were James Watson (4 gold), Henry Pearce (gold, 3 silver, 4 bronze), Samuel Elliott (gold, 3 silver, 3 bronze), Ella Wardale (gold, 2 silver, 3 bronze), Rebecca Matthews (gold, 6 bronze), Georgia Dicks (2 silver, 3 bronze), Olivia Flack (2 silver, 2 bronze), Aaron Knight (2 silver, bronze), Annie Ward (silver, bronze), Josh Fox (silver, bronze), Alice Lockey (silver), Regan Jefferies (silver), Jake Lewis (bronze).