Swindon Dolphin End National Medal Drought

From the Swindon Advertiser, first published Wednesday 2nd Aug 2006.

Swindon Dolphin ended their national medal drought in style at Ponds Forge, Sheffield , as they returned from the Age Group championships over the weekend with two bronzes and a silver.

The Milton Road-based club had not won a medal at national level since Chris Mills claimed bronze in the 400metres individual medley in 2000 but duo James Clark and Cathal Westman re-wrote the record books.

Clark , 11, was the pick of the Dolphin team with two bronze medals while Westman, 13, became the club’s highest placed medallist with a silver in the 200m breaststroke.

On the opening day of competition, Clark paved the way for a magnificent four days of competition with a five-second personal best time to qualify for the final of the 200 metres individual medley in 2.38.97 seconds.

The youngster improved his time further in the grand final to secure bronze in 2.37.79 seconds.

Their success continued on day two with fine individual performances from Westman and Clark qualifying for the 200m boys’ backstroke sending Dolphin into seventh heaven.

Clark lined up in the final as third favourite while Westman clipped two seconds from his time to go in as second favourite to Warrington ‘s Timothy Almond.

Clark claimed his second bronze medal while Westman reduced his time further to gain the silver medal. Meanwhile nerves took hold on Rosie Wells on her national debut in the 200m backstroke and Peter Wasielewski fell short of qualifying for the final of the 200m backstroke.

After scrubbing the 200m butterfly, Clark saved his strength for the 100m breaststroke he qualified for the final in third spot.

Teammate Wasielewski bounced back with a stunning performance to reach the breaststroke final, Westman settled for 13th position while a much-improved Wells suffered the agony of finishing as first reserve in the 100m backstroke.

In the breaststroke final, Clark finished in fifth while Wasielewski finished in tenth, maintaining his record of making final appearances in three successive years.

On the final day of competition, the ever-present Clark held his own in the 400m individual medley to reach the final where he smashed his personal best by five seconds to finish sixth. He completed his campaign by finishing sixth in the 200m freestyle final.

From the Swindon Advertiser http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk © Newsquest Media Group 2006

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