Regional Champs get Olympian approval
Event: ASA South West Regional Short Course Championships Venue: Millfield School Date: 1st and 2nd December 2012
With all major swimming championships taking place in long course (50m) pools, it has sometimes been held as somewhat of an anathema to hold a Regional Championships over the shorter distance. Is it widely recognised however, that short course racing can improve vital skills, and so the fixture is a firm favourite amongst the top performing clubs in the region. This year’s event also drew endorsements from Olympians Michael Jamieson, Andrew Willis, Lizzie Simmonds and Antony James as they used the event as part of their early season training programme.
A squad of 22 from Dolphin were competing, with only the might of Plymouth Leander, Millfield, Kelly College and Bath University each outnumbering the Wiltshire based club. An increased show from Bath University had clearly helped to up the ante, and it was clearly going to be a challenging meet, with final appearances likely to be the highest achievable target, particularly in the senior championships.
The first day’s racing proved particularly tough with just one championship final appearance by Charlotte Pitts in the 200m butterfly. Lauren Matthews however, with an impressive personal best effort in the heats, won junior bronze in the same event. The final event of the day, the 800m freestyle, saw Danielle Lewis go one further and in her first ever regional championship appearance won the junior championship title. Craig Harris, competing in the S14 multi-discipline category won an impressive five gold medals for his efforts.
The second day was a little more fruitful in terms of final appearances with James Clark reaching the last eight of the 200m backstroke and 100m freestyle, Charlotte Pitts in the 200m freestyle and Jon Audis in his favoured 50m backstroke. Like the first day, long awaited medal success came again in the final event of the day; the boys’ 1500m freestyle. Adam Coleman produced a superb swim to earn him the junior championship title, with Liam Jefferies just a few seconds behind picking up silver. Craig Harris also enjoyed medal success with gold and silver in the 100m breaststroke and 100m freestyle.
Dolphin’s Regional Championship gold medallists ~ Adam Coleman (top left), Craig Harris (bottom left) and Danielle Lewis (right)