In line with the new timings within British swimming Wiltshire is now holding its county championships earlier in the year which means the swimmers are back in competition very quickly after their short Christmas break.
Andrew Smith has carried on in 2016 where he left off in 2015. Competing at the senior championships as a 13 year old he tested himself against the older swimmers with great aplomb. In his 100m Fly he recorded a time faster than the age group record that has stood since 2008 but cannot claim the record as it was not done in the age groups events. He performed so well that he also won the Junior (15 and under) title beating all the swimmers in the 2 age groups above him and puts himself number 7 on the UK rankings at this time.
Gabriella Doughty (also 13 yrs) was in the same position as Andrew looking to make some inroads into the Junior ranks within Wiltshire and like Andrew she was in top form over the weekend. The 200m backstroke is not always Gaby’s preferred event but the winter training has given her some new strength as she dominated her heat to record a new personal best time by 4 seconds. Like Andrew this time was good enough for Gaby to not only win the Junior title but comer 3rd overall in the Championships. Gaby followed this up with another personal best in the 100m back where she took bronze in the Junior age group and was 4th overall in the championships. Gaby is still 12 and her time took her to the top of the Wiltshire all-time rankings for a 12 year old girl (age on day). Both Gaby and Andrew will have their age group swims in these events in late January and early February.
Laura Edwards put in a great weekend of swimming showing her ability as an all-round IM swimmer. After picking up a silver in the shortest IM event over 100m she showed great strength and determination over the 200m event to record a new PB and take the gold medal in the 15 years age group and also picked up PB’s in the 50 FC
Marshall Fitchett also swam strongly over the weekend picking up a bronze in the 400m FC and PB’s in the 50m Fly. Becky Cook picked up bronze medals in the 100m breaststroke and the 100 Fly. There were a number of other good swims with Harvie Greenwood, Sam Dubarry, Sam Hockin and Jasmin Poole all recording PB’s over the weekend.
The previous weekend saw Tigersharks take on the longer distances in the programme as the Wiltshire hosted its long distance county championships. Once again Tigersharks put in some great swims. In the girls 12 years age group Leia Griffiths dominated taking the gold medal in a new PB. Leia was joined on the podium by her 2 team mates as Grace Osman took silver and Lauren Curtis took bronze with her first regional consideration time.
In the 13 years age group Dina Nejkic took the gold despite having 8 weeks out with a double fracture just before Christmas as she retained the title she won last year. Sophie Walker took a well-earned bronze medal in the same age-group with Matlida Hart and Poppy Turner hot on Sophie’s heels.
Andrew Smith led the way in the boys 13 years age group taking the gold medal by 22 seconds as he continues his good form. His swim also won him the bronze medal in the Junior championships. James Andrew also took the 12 years age group with a confident swim and a new PB. Ryan Lawrence was not far behind him with a great bronze medal.
Marshall Fitchett wrapped things up for Tigersharks with a really solid silver medal which was just outside his PB.
The championships have started well for Tigersharks so far and we look forward to rest of the events as the younger swimmers begin their campaign for success at the Wiltshire championships. Judging by some of the performances so far there will plenty more success for the club. We wish all our swimmers the best of luck.