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Swindon Dolphin steps up it’s game at the Scottish Short Course Nationals

Date:13-15 Jan 2007 Location: Glasgow , Scotland Event: Scottish short course nationals

Swindon Dolphin bring home the medals after an extremely successful trip to Scotland . The weekend of the 13th/14th/15th January saw Swindon Dolphins take a small group of 10 swimmers up to Glasgow to compete in the Scottish short course nationals. Accompanied by three coaches and a team manager, for many this was the furthest they had travelled for a competition. Flying from Bristol Airport there was uncertainty from the beginning if the team would even make the starting blocks.

Day one saw most of the team in action with 5 swimmers reaching A or B finals and Hannah Chapman taking part in a nerve racking swim-off for a place in the B final for 50m backstroke. Tilly Gray achieved her national qualifying time for 200m butterfly as she finished just outside the medals in fourth place in the A final. Kath Baker faced some stiff competition as she finished 10th in the A final of the 100m Breaststroke behind three of Scotland ’s commonwealth breaststrokers. Chris Jones and Nigel Masters finished 4th and 17th respectively in the 50m Breast and Jon Audis managed 8th in the A final of the 200 back before swiftly returning to the pool for the B final of the 100fly where he placed 15th. The final race of the evening saw the men’s team (Jon Audis/Chris Jones/Andi Manley/Mark Tanner) compete in the 4×50 medley relay, chief coach Andi Manley suited up for the fly leg with Mark Tanner anchoring the team home to fourth, having flown up that afternoon after sitting one of his A level exams.

The second day of the meet saw more pb’s and club records fall as Chris Jones qualified into the A final’s of the 100 free and 100 breast in new club records. Kath Baker also qualified for the A final of the 50 breast with Louise Maynard just missing out on a spot in the B final. Nick Southern slashed 1 minute and 19 seconds off his 1500 free time in a fantastic afternoon swim to finish 28th. Tilly Gray and Jon Audis again found themselves up against quick opposition in the finals with Gray finishing 9th in the B final of the 100 fly and Jon Audis finishing 4th in the 50 Backstroke. Having qualified fastest into the 100m breast final Jones was upstaged by his commonwealth teammate Kris Gilchrist finishing in the bronze position despite setting a new county record. Kath Baker finished 10th in the 50 breast before joining the womens 4×50 medley relay team as they finished 14th.

The final day of the meet saw more pb‘s fall in the mornings heats as swimmers attempted to qualify into the evening finals. Only 4 swimmers made the grade with John Drake two tenths off a place in the B final of the 50 butterfly. A tough team talk from Chief Coach Andi Manley before the evening session started seemed to have the desired effect as Jon Audis raised his game to finish 6th in the 100 backstroke. Jones embarking on the first of three swims of the night finished 2nd in the 200 breaststroke, taking 4 seconds off his entry time and breaking another county record. Kath Baker swimming in lane 10 for her third successive A final managed 10th in the 200 breast along with Nigel Masters who placed 17th in the same event. The 100 metre medley finals saw extremely fatigued swims from Jones and Audis as they placed 10th and 14th respectively. The women’s relay team consisting of Chapman/Baker/Gray/Maynard were next up as they placed 14th in the 4×50 free relay. The final race of the evening saw the men’s team break the club record in the 4×50 free relay. Tanner lead off attempting to stay with Commonwealth medallist’s Robbie Renwick and Andy Hunter, followed by Audis competing in his third swim of the night. Chief coach Manley was third bringing the team into contention with the quickest split of the team before Jones anchored the team home from 4th into the bronze position.

The meet proved to be extremely rewarding for all of the team, be it travelling away from home for the first time alone or competing against some of Europe ’s best swimmers. The swims produced certainly indicate that Dolphins can look forward to performing very well at the upcoming county championships.


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