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26 February 2020
By TIMOTHY SYROTA
They came, they saw, they ate, they laughed, they splashed, and more than anything, they swam like crazy.
This was the theme of the 2019-20 Wimmera Swimming Championships at Horsham Aquatic Centre on Saturday.
Blink and, well, that might have been your chance – just ask Lachlan Start who won the 50-metre boys 17-and-over freestyle final by 1-100th of a second. And Billie Donnan, who similarly won by the smallest margin imaginable in arguably the race – and upset – of the day, the 100m girls 11-12 breaststroke final, in which the first four girls all finished within 1.22 seconds of each other.
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Then there were Deacon Briggs and Tom Urquhart winning, respectively, the 100m boys 15-16 freestyle final and the 100m boys 11-12 breaststroke final by 3-100th of a second, a time too fast to even think of doing anything very fast.
It was the nature of swimming on the day: not for the faint hearted, in a competition in which winning by more than a second sometimes seemed like a ‘blow out’.
In fact, 50 percent of all gold medals were won with personal bests, and if excluding serial ‘non-PB getters’ Jorja Clode, Horsham, and Deacon Briggs, Horsham, who swam in so many finals they were seemingly never out of the marshalling area, then almost every finals gold medal on the day was won by a swimmer doing the absolute best they had ever done.
And to Jorja and Deacon – exemplary and inspirational efforts with both winning not only champion sashes in their age groups, but also the open age champion sashes.
It was a wonderful effort by all champion sash winners – Lauren Jones, Duncan Kirk, Heidi Start, Forbes Kirk, Jack Lanyon, Ebony Start, Jesse Amos, Claudia Lanyon, Montanna Connelly, Lachlan Start, Erin Kearns and Madee Townsend.
Congratulations also to individual trophy winners Dylan Ryan, Grampians, wining the Shane Hausler Perpetual Trophy for 400m male freestyle; Jorja Clode, the Eleanor McRae Perpetual Trophy 400m female freestyle; Jack Lanyon, the Alan Williams Memorial Trophy, 12-year-old old backstroke; and Deacon Briggs, the Rose Bowl for the highest individual points aggregate across all events at the Wimmera Championships.
Horsham Sharks won the Wimmera Amateur Swimming Association Shield for best performing club at the Wimmera Championships, and Grampians Swimming Club won the Barrow Field for performances averaged out over the whole Wimmera season.
But even with ‘grand final swimming day’ done and dusted, there is plenty ahead for Wimmera’s top young swimmers.
Many will be featuring prominently in the district and regional schools swimming finals where they will strive for places at Victorian State Schools finals.
There is also the Victorian Country All Juniors Competition in Melbourne. And, finally, winding up the summer season, a Wimmera team will travel to Melbourne to go head-to-head with other Victorian teams at the Victorian Country inter-district competition.
The entire February 26, 2020 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!
The entire February 26,, 2019 edition of AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!