The Lower Eyre Peninsula South Australian Primary Schools Amateur Sports Association Swimming team contested the SAPSASA State Country Championships at the South Australian Aquatic and Leisure Centre on Friday, March 23.
The team comprised swimmers from St Joseph’s School, Navigator College, Cummins Area School, Port Lincoln Primary School, Tumby Bay Area School and Lake Wangary School.
Captained by Year 7 St Joseph’s students Arjay Isle and Amali White, the team finished second overall by just 8.5 points behind the Mid North combined team.
Over the past four years the team has placed either first or second, which is an amazing accomplishment.
This year’s team was coached by Sonia Ford (West Coast Swimming Club) and supported by team managers Rachel Jolly (Kirton Point Primary School) and Beck Paterson (Port Lincoln High School).
Bryce Hammond continued his record-breaking performances by setting a new 11-year-old boys record in the 50m butterfly.
Bryce recorded a time of 32.57, beating the 2012 record of 33.12 seconds and now holds the 10 and 11-year-old records for this event.
He came home with four gold medals, also winning the 11-year-old boys freestyle (31.33), backstroke (36.22) and was part of the boys open 4x50m medley team (butterfly) that placed first.
Swimmers crowned SAPSASA Country Champions in their respective age groups were Arjay Isle who secured gold in 13-year-old boys 50m freestyle (32.11), backstroke (36.64) and was part of the winning boys open 4x50m medley relay (backstroke) and Tahni Kelsh, who won the girls 10-year-old 50m backstroke (45.42).
Other swimmers who were part of the boys 4x50m medley relay team were William Bawden (breast stroke) and Majoor Ackland (freestyle).
This year Lower Eyre Peninsula had two multi-class athletes. Angus Waller (S9, SB9, SM9) competed in his second SAPSASA competition and Joshua Boud (S10,SB9, SM10), who has recently undergone classification, entered SAPSASA as his first competition experience.
Joshua came home with a swag of gold medals for his efforts in the 10-11 age group finishing his 50m freestyle in 45.87, 100m in 1.40.34 and 50m breast stroke in 1.00.64.
Angus raced extremely well with an excellent result and personal best times in all three of his events, the 50m freestyle (36.80), 50m breast stroke (1.02.83) and 50m backstroke (53.99).
Silver medalists were Tyler Davidson, who recorded a 44.43 for his 50m butterfly in the 10-year-old boys age group, Majoor Ackland, who finished second to Bryce Hammond in the 11-year-old 50m freestyle (35.42), Rebecca Wood, who has made some amazing improvements in her 50m breast stroke to record a 48.94 in the 11 year old girls and Amali White, who swam incredibly well in both the 12-year-old 50m freestyle (31.50) and the 50m butterfly (35.73).
Bronze medalists were Tahni Kelsh in the 10-year-old girls 50m freestyle (37.26), Harrison Blight in the 12-year-old 50m breast stroke (43.73), Tyler Davidson in the 50m backstroke (44.26), Amali White in the 12-year-old 50m backstroke (38.74) and Edward Kutny in the 10-year-old 50m butterfly (49.08).
Many swimmers secured finalist berths after the initial heat swims and to be listed in the fastest eight swimmers in their age group across country South Australia is an excellent accomplishment.
At the end of the day regions were given the opportunity to enter age group freestyle relay teams.
LEP recorded top three finishes in the boys 10-year-old 4x50 freestyle relay, in a time of 2.42.38 - silver (Lucas Blight, Sullivan Isle, Edward Kutny, Tyler Davidson); girls 10 year age group 2.57.75 - bronze (Caitlin Cole, Tory Siviour, Nicola Morgan, Tahni Kelsh); boys 11 year age group 2.39.83 - silver (Yarra Mickan, Liam Akehurst, Sullivan Isle, Majoor Ackland); girls 11 year age group 2.40.76 - bronze (Nicola Morgan, Alinta Dingwall, Amity Mickan, Rebecca Wood); and the boys 13 year age group 2.32.96 - bronze (Yarra Mickan, Rueben Hill, William Bawden, Majoor Ackland).
Swimmers who finished in the top three can nominate to be considered for the state team to contest the National School Sport Swimming Championships in Hobart in July. Their results will be combined with a number of other key championship and performance meets for final team selections.