But first of all - the Club Champions for 2006. These are the swimmers who, within their age group, gained the most points from all events added together. They will be presented with their trophies at the Presentation Evening on Feb 17th.
8yrs & under: Isabelle Dean
9yrs: Akari Ishida
10yrs: Harumi Yagi
11yrs: Megan Bodison & Maddy Tichborne
12yrs: Jo-Anne Zambelli
13yrs: Lauren Chapple
14yrs: Lottie Hudson
15yrs: Jessie Porter
16yrs & over: Charlotte Creager
8yrs & under: Hamish Hudson
9yrs: Zach Shalovsky
10yrs: Jamie Richter
11yrs: George Carter
12yrs: Oliver Keegan
13yrs: Ghasem Fathi
14yrs: Charlie Boldison
15yrs: Randal Cliff
16yrs & over: Martyn Bermingham
It was nice to see so many of our younger, 8 and under, swimmers taking part - they are unable to swim in our Open Meets because of ASA laws and the Club Championships are a good opportunity for them to get competition experience. Medals in this age group were won by Fabio Arricale, Haris Bandey, Poppy Chapple, Isabelle Dean, Hamish Hudson, Elisha Kramer and Joey Shalovsky.
At the other end of the scale, there were two fantastic races (100 fly and 100 free) in the Boys 16+ age group between Martyn Bermingham and Chris Eddon. Chris won both races by a fingertip but pushed Martyn to PBs on both occasions - Martyn went under 54 seconds for the first time in the free.
The final heat of the girls 100 backstroke produced a similarly exciting race between two 13 yr olds - Karolina Siwiec and Lauren Chapple. Karolina just won (in 1:07.15 to Lauren's 1:07.37) despite a fighting last 25m from Lauren . Karolina is off to Poland shortly to compete in their National Championships and we wish her the best of luck.
Congratulations go not only to the medals winners but to all the swimmers who swam PBs at the gala - and there were some excellent PBs this weekend. Randal Cliff (15yrs) produced a 5 second PB in the 100 back to finish in 1:02.14 - where did that come from? PBs become harder and harder to find as the swimers get older and a 5 second reduction is huge. Swimmers who swam PBs in all 7 events were: Megan Boldison, Hugo Cliff, James Creager, Emily Dean, Georgia Jackson-Virk, Oliver Keegan, Kim Lam Liu, Panayiotis Panteli and Maddy Tichborne.
There was fierce competition in the 11yr girls category with Megan Boldison and Maddy Tichborne both ending on 51 points and sharing the title of Club Champion. Megan won 50 free, 200 IM, 100 fly and 100 free and also got 1 silver and 2 bronze medals. Maddy won gold medals in 400 free and 100 breast and silver in all the others.
'Perfect' scores - that is, 56 points out of a possible 56 - were achieved by new Club Champions Zach Shalovsky (9yr boys), Harumi Yagi (10yr girls), Jamie Richter (10yr boys), George Carter (11yr boys), Jessie Porter (15yr girls) and Randal Cliff (15yr boys).
Some of the swimmers reached special milestones. Under 30 seconds for 50 free for the first time were Alice Pearson, Edward Allchorne, Henry Yau and Ghasem Fathi. In the 400 free Megan Boldison and Georgia Jackson-Virk both went under the magic 5 minutes.
Congratulations to all these swimmers. We hope that ALL the swimmers enjoyed the gala and that they achieved their personal aims for the meet.
Enormous gratitude must go to all the volunteers who helped out at the meet with special thanks to those - Fred, Ian, Andy, Sarah and Richard - who had no children swimming but still gave up their time to help. Thanks also to Jeanette who in theory had a weekend off but who spent Saturday morning making sure we had the tea urn, tea, coffee, milk, biscuits etc we needed. It was great to see so many new parents helping - I hope they felt that this added to their enjoyment of a gala and and that they continue to volunteer for our open meets.