GREAT Britain swimmer Jazz Carlin returned to her hometown club Tigersharks to help them secure third spot in the Wiltshire Winter league final at the Link Centre on Saturday.
The freestyler, now based in Swansea, swam in the relay gala that pits Wiltshire’s six top swimming teams against one another for a frantic night of swimming. The final took place between the six teams that performed best over three qualification galas held over the winter months.
For Saturday’s final, all points accumulated over the previous three meets were reset to zero, meaning the club who performed best on the night was crowned Wiltshire Winter league champion.
This year Trowbridge were the county’s undisputed victors. Having qualified for the final in first position, they took their good form into the Link Centre pool and finished ahead of Bradford-on-Avon and hosts Tigersharks in third.
“We expected to finish third,” said Tigersharks head coach Lesley Leffers. “Trowbridge and Bradford have a lot swimmers missing in the early rounds and then all the swimmers come back in for the final.
“Certainly, Trowbridge are a lot stronger than us anyway at the moment.
“Tigersharks aren’t sprinters and we’ve never been known as sprinters, we just do it for a bit of light relief. We’re not a club of sprinters, we’re more an endurance club.”
To cap a good weekend for local clubs, a Swindon Dolphin development team finished behind Tigersharks in fourth, despite resting the swimmers who topped the medals table at the Wiltshire youth championships in March.
Dolphin coach Louise Clayton said: “As a club, for the last two years I’ve decided not to put out our performance squad, so the guys who did so well at the Wiltshire champs don’t swim, because otherwise their calendar is too busy.
“I think it’s fantastic, it really shows our strength in depth to be able to take that top layer out and still compete.”
For both coaches, the Winter League does not represent a priority, as the current training cycles are designed to allow their swimmers to peak at the South West regional youth championship in Plymouth in May.