FOR the third time in as many weekends, Swindon Dolphin were in action at Millfield in Somerset before Christmas as they competed in the Yeovil and District Level 3 Christmas Open Meet.

Twenty-seven swimmers from the county and regional squads were competing, all looking to secure qualifying times for next year’s competitions.

Nine-year-olds Henry Pearce and Maya Grounsell look to be ones to watch in the future as they each picked up a handful of county qualifying times in their first appearance at an open meet.

There was also a first outing for 11-year-old Zac Grounsell, who came agonisingly close to his first qualifying time.

Hannah Brown, Jake Lewis and Megan Jones achieved their first qualifying times for 2013 and a further seven swimmers secured new county times, with many others improving on existing ones.

Andrew Cox had threatened all last season to add his name to the list of regional qualifiers and came within two 10ths of a second of the 200m backstroke consideration time on the first day.

Cox also came close in three other events before finally realising his regional ambitions on the second day in the final event of the meet, the 50m freestyle.

Gemma Lucas’ return to fitness and form looks to be way ahead of schedule as she also added her name to the list of regional qualifiers in the 200m backstroke.

Following multiple successes in their 50m events at the Arena League final a week earlier, both Olivia Flack and Sophie Bartlett backed this up with regional qualifying swims in both sprint and middle distance events. Flack recorded two qualifying swims while Bartlett recorded regional standard swims in an impressive four events and looks to be a force to be reckoned with at next year’s championships.

In the medal positions, Georgia Dicks was Dolphin’s highest earner with two golds. Andrew Cox won gold, silver and bronze whilst Olivia Flack and Sophie Bartlett took home one gold each. Regan Jefferies picked up silver with Thomas Gase and Joshua Fox each earning one bronze apiece.