The ever popular Swindon Dolphin End of Season Open Meet took place at the Link Centre over the third weekend in July. Numbers of entries were up on last year and a higher than usual calibre of swimmers from visiting clubs ensured some good racing.
The City of Milton Keynes were the largest and undoubtedly the most successful visiting club, with their 9 year old Jason Ashley winning an unsurpassed seven out of seven events. Top finisher for Dolphin was James Clark with 6 wins and one second place which included two certificates of time in the 50m and 100m freestyle.
For most swimmers, this was the last chance to race this season and not only put into practice a year’s worth of training, but also to set new benchmarks for the start of the new season. There was an abundance of new personal best swims, and an increasing number of swimmers aiming for, and many setting regional standard swims as their minimum standard.
The British Gas ASA National Age Group and Youth Championships took place over the following two weekends at Ponds Forge Sheffield. Qualifying and competing at the national finals is an achievement in itself and representing Dolphin were James Watson, Samantha Berry, Charlotte Pitts and James Clark. Medal success and final appearances at county and regional level is however no comparison when attempting to convert the feat to national level and something that only the country’s fully resourced and developed clubs appear to be able to do repeatedly. In the age group competition, 11 year old Watson finished 13th in the 100m backstroke and 17th in the 200m backstroke. In the youths, Berry competed in the 100m and 200m butterfly, Pitts in the 400m freestyle and Clark in the 50m freestyle.