From the Swindon Advertiser, first published Wednesday 19th Apr 2006.
Crystal Palace, once the home of British swimming and the stage for many record-breaking performances, became the favourite venue for Swindon Dolphin’s Melanie Agius as she gained her first-ever National Qualifying Time (NQT).
The 15-year-old, who last season suffered a spate of near misses, fulfilled her early season promise with an outstanding performance in the 800 metres freestyle as she dipped under the entry barrier with two seconds to spare.
The Dolphin ace completed the first 100 metres in a fast pace of 1:07 seconds and then settled into the groove by clocking between 1:12 and 1:13 seconds over the next 600 metres.
However, at this pace the youngster was guaranteed a personal best time but would miss out on a ticket to Sheffield until her last gasp final 100 metres in 1:09 seconds secured her place to become the 13th Dolphin swimmer to qualify for this year’s National Championships.
Her finishing time of 9:32.13 seconds was enough to gain her silver medal in a quality field.
The Easter period is a busy time for Dolphin swimmers with the Weston-super-Mare Open Meet proving to be a happy hunting ground as Dolphin look to increase their number of entrants in this year’s forthcoming Regional Championships at Millfield.
Miriam Bermingham received just reward for her hard work in the training pool by bagging her first Regional Qualifying Time in the 100 metres butterfly by touching home in 1:17.20 seconds to claim a new personal best.
Both James Clark and Rosie Wells continued their run of excellent form by adding to their NQT success at the Wiltshire County Championships with new NQTs in the 400 metres freestyle and 200 metres backstroke respectively.
Cathal Westman added the 100 metres breaststroke NQT to his 200-metre time set in Sheffield with a pulsating performance to clock 1:14.89 seconds to win gold and take the notable scalp of Thomas Litten from Millfield into the bargain.
Dolphin finalists included: Tim Berry, Samantha Berry, James Clark, Georgia Dymoke, Jon Fouracre, Liam Herbert, Joe Kerslake, Craig Lofts, Charlotte Pitts, Beth Preston, Rebecca Richards, Mathew Sambrook, Joel Swann, Ailie Waite, Rosie Wells, Sam Wells, Cathal Westman and Niall Westman.
Dolphin Youth and Bagcat swimmers completed up to 40,000 metres at their base camp in Milton Road over the four-day break as final preparations begin for the Regional Championships at Millfield starting on April 29.
From the Swindon Advertiser http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk © Newsquest Media Group 2006