James back on the National Stage

Event: Taunton Deane Long Course Open Meet Venue: Millfield Date: 17th & 18th April 2010

Last weekend a group of 24 Dolphin swimmers were at the Taunton Deane Open Meet at Millfield.  With the Regional Youth Championships just two weeks away, this was the last chance for competing swimmers to race, many with national qualifying times in their sights, before taking on the very best in the West.  For the younger BAGCATS, whose Championships are not until June, this was their final opportunity to bag some last minute regional qualifying times.

James Clark’s commitment in the training pool finally paid off as he hit the national qualifying mark in both the 100m and 200m breaststroke with impressively paced swims.  Clark also narrowly missed the 200m and 400m individual medley, but there is clearly a lot more to come from the 15 year old in all four events.  This sees a return to the national finals for Clark who had previously qualified from 2006 through to 2008, narrowly missing out last year.

James Clark ~ Sheffield bound


Elizabeth Beckett also showed good form, swimming comfortably under the national mark in the 100m and 200m breaststroke and converting her short course NQT in the 400m individual medley to long course.  Beckett also set new club records in the 100m breaststroke and the medley.

The distance freestyle events saw some superb encounters involving Dolphin swimmers.  In the 800m, Samuel Woolford found himself locked in a battle with Chris Perham of Tornadoes, leading the way up to the last few metres and just losing out on the touch by four one hundredths of a second.  The final heat however saw the tables turned for Dolphin, as a noisy and supportive poolside watched Joe Kerslake trail Millfield’s Bruno Banks for 700m and then put on his trademark final assault in the last 100m to take victory by just two one hundredths.  The 9:07.11 swim also lowered Kerslake’s own 800m club record and was within striking distance of the national qualifying time.  The 1500m freestyle saw some fine efforts from Alex Chantler-Mayne and Charlotte Pitts who are now looking likely to book their places to Sheffield in July.

Many of the BAGCAT swimmers picked up regional qualifying times, most notably Victoria Tainty in the 100m butterfly and 400m freestyle to give her a full set of event categories when she returns to Millfield in June.

Top Dolphin medallists over the weekend were James Clark (5 gold, 1 silver), Elizabeth Beckett (4 gold), Charlotte Pitts (3 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze), Liam Herbert (1 gold, 3 silver), Megan Jones (1 gold, 1 silver, 2 bronze), Alex Chantler-Mayne, Joe Kerslake and Victoria Jennings (1 gold each).

Full results are available on the Competition Page.

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