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Ponds Forge preview

This week sees the start of the British Gas ASA National Swimming Championships (Youth, Open and Multi-Classification) at Ponds Forge, Sheffield.  Swindon Dolphin are proud to be flying the flag for Swindon at the event, with each of the qualifying competitors having their own individual objectives for taking part in the climax of the national youth swimming calendar.

James Clark (50m freestyle and 100m freestyle)

Clark made the 50m freestyle qualifying time for this year’s championship in last year’s heat with a swim of 24.33 although has since dropped his best to 24.04. Going into the championships ranked 11th in the event and knowing Clark’s ability to raise his game for an occasion, there is a real possibility that the 18 year old will at least make the final. The 100m freestyle will be a little tougher with a 21st placed ranking, but with several months of new gym work under his belt, he will be looking for improvements in strength endurance necessary to raise the quality of his 100m event to that of his 50.  For Clark, the championships is the culmination of 14 years with Swindon Dolphin.  From September he moves on to study and continue his training at the University of Bath.

Charlotte Pitts (400m freestyle)

Pitts qualified for the 400m freestyle in January and will be looking to put behind her the disappointment of a below par swim at the regional championships in May.  The 17 year old will find it tough competing at the younger end of the 17/18 years double age group, although this may also takes the pressure off which could result in an improved step up in performance from previous years at the championships.

Jonathan Audis (100m backstroke)

Audis has now qualified for the national championships for 11 successive years.  To make a significant improvement in his ranking will require a performance equal to that last seen from the 32 year old back in early 2012.  However with the determination seen from Audis to make it this far, he is staying positive and is well aware that it is not be beyond the realms of possibility for him to make the top twenty.

Lauren Matthews (200m butterfly)

This will be Matthews’ first individual national appearance having qualified by the skin of her teeth at Cardiff in June. The target for the 16 year old will simply be to improve on her entry time and ranking as well as gain some high quality meet experience that will put her in good stead for the future.

Lauren Matthews, Charlotte Pitts, Victoria Jennings, Georgina Pitts (4 x 200m freestyle team)

This is the second year running that Swindon Dolphin have produced a qualifying relay team, a testament to the clubs ability to produce youth swimmers in sufficient depth. Jennings will have the privilege of taking the lead off leg and will therefore be looking to use the opportunity to record a 200m freestyle personal best. The youngest member of the team, Georgina Pitts has recently undergone reconstructive surgery to her knee which has demanded more focus than before for the 15 year old to get back to race fitness. Pitts will be looking to put in a solid performance and support the team as they collectively aim to improve on their qualifying time set at the regional championships and their final ranking.

The British Gas ASA National Swimming Championships (Youth, Open & MC) 2013 take place at Ponds Forge, Sheffield from 30th July to 4th August.  


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