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Sambrook shines in Dolphin champs
6:00am Saturday 26th October 2013 in Sport
FREESTYLE starlet Mathew Sambrook set two short course club records as 160 swimmers entered Swindon Dolphin’s club championships at the Link Centre and Marlborough College.
Sambrook and the experienced Jon Audis won an equal share of the 14 titles on offer, with the former’s best performances coming in the 400m and 1500m freestyle as he sent records tumbling.
The top male junior was Liam Jefferies with five titles, with the other two going to Fraser Durston and Adam Coleman.
The battle for the majority of the female championship titles was between national qualifiers Charlotte Pitts and Lauren Matthews.
As expected, Matthews dominated the backstroke and butterfly events, winning the 100m and 200m events in each.
Pitts, despite being pushed all the way by Matthews, won both the 200m and 400m individual medley as well as the 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle.
Surprisingly Pitts was also victorious in the 200m breaststroke, just touching out Charlotte Gardo at the finish. Gardo also just missed out in the 100m with the in-form Rebecca Flack taking the title.
Other championship wins went to Georgina Pitts, Ella Wardale and Victoria Jennings.
The mystery medley skins produced some added excitement with the top six male and female swimmers competing over five knockout rounds of 50m swims.
Some close-fought battles through the early stages saw Audis and Sambrook reach the boys’ final, with Charlotte Pitts and Gardo making it through for the girls.
With freestyle drawn for the boys, a Sambrook win was inevitable but with backstroke for the girls, a much closer contest ensued as Pitts touched out Gardo by just 0.01 seconds.
Based on the short course youth consideration and age group qualifying times, Swindon Dolphin have 19 swimmers within this standard, although performances will need to be repeated in at least a level three meet to confirm qualification.
Subject to confirmation, 67 swimmers achieved times within the county standard including nine-year-olds Tyler Hillier, Finlay Eaton, Charlotte Mooney and Erin Henly.
Henly looked particularly impressive in her 200m breaststroke swim, finishing more than 20 seconds under the qualifying time and only a few seconds short of the 10-year-old standard.
Competitor numbers from the club’s Learn to Swim programme continue to grow and in the 25m events there were noteworthy performances.
Lyra Sheppard and James Hawkins put on particularly good displays in the breaststroke events as did Abby Birchall, Madeleine Maysey and Aimee Masters in the butterfly.
Dolphin’s Masters were well represented at the championships with Audis, Stuart Gibbs and Andy Garrett dominating their respective age groups, each winning four gold medals.
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