Tilly’s the Queen of Dolphin’s Effort

From the Swindon Advertiser, first published Wednesday 9th Aug 2006.

TILLY Gray produced an outstanding series of swims for Dolphin in Sheffield .

The highlight came in the 200m butterfly final, where she now ranks 13th in the GB women’s rankings.

Firstly Gray, 14, eclipsed her personal best by 0.5 seconds in the 100m free, clocking 1.01.82 to rise 59 places in the national rankings.

On the second day, Gray managed a five-second personal best, breaking the club record at both 400m and 800m, en route to close in 9:22.67 seconds, finishing 50th in the national rankings.

Melanie Agius maintained her improvement, shaving a second from her previous best in the 800m, rising six places in a time of 9:31.14 seconds.

Gray continued her rich vein of form on day three with a steady first 50 in the 100m butterfly.

A fightback over the final length saw her set a new club record in 1.06.20 seconds to rank 14th in the 14/15 year’s age group.

The next day, she put on a barnstorming performance in the 200m butterfly, where a four-second personal best was enough to place her 13th in the GB women’s rankings and fifth fastest going into the 14/15-year’s age group final.

In the grand final, Gray followed the race plan to the letter, shaving another 1.5 seconds from her heat time, surpassing the qualifying standard for national senior women in a new county and club record time of 2:20.50 seconds to finish seventh in her age group and 13th overall in Great Britain.

She was unable to replicate her early meet form in her final event, the 400m freestyle, finishing five seconds outside her best.

Elsewhere for Dolphin, Jon Audis, 25, just missed his target of sub one-minute, touching out in 1:00.50 in the 100m backstroke.

He later suffered the agony of finishing as reserve finalist in the 50m backstroke touching home in 58.55 seconds.

Mark Tanner just missed out on a PB by a tenth but managed to climb six places in the national table in the 100 metres freestyle.

Georgia Dymoke’s split time of 33.83 seconds in the 14/15-year’s 100m backstroke ranked with the leading contenders, but she faded in the closing stages to finish just outside her best on her national debut.

Nicholas Southern marked his national debut in the three-kilometre freestyle event, setting personal best times at the 200, 400 and 800m markers to finish in 40:26.81 seconds.

On a glittering fifth day, Nigel Masters had a close-on personal best performance in the 50m breaststroke in 31.72 seconds.

But Dolphin records began to tumble with Andrea Alleyne smashing her 50m free mark with 27.72 seconds, catapulting her up the national rankings by 26 places (31).

The 17-year-old finished eighth in the national 17/18-year’s double age band but was edged out of the grand final by three overseas swimmers.

Tanner, 17, shaved nine-tenths of a second off his 50m free time to leapfrog seven places in the national standings to 53 with a new club record time of 25.01 seconds.

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

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