A HOST of Swindon Dolphin swimmers achieved county qualifying times and podium finishes when they headed to Weston-super-Mare earlier this month to compete in the Severnside Tritons Level Three Open Meet.

In total, 16 Dolphin youngsters aged nine to 13 were in action, and for many, it was their second visit to the pool in as many months.

With all having competed several times already this season, both long and short course, they were no strangers to the disciplines of attending open meets.

The confidence shown by the swimmers was evident throughout the weekend, reflected in their performances in the pool as all swimmers recorded personal bests.

Six swimmers achieved new county qualifying times, five earned podium finishes, and S13 swimmer Ella Williams also picked up a time that qualifies her for the National Summer Meet at Sheffield in July.

Williams, aged 11, has only recently been classified as an S13 due to her impaired vision, and has already qualified for the National Summer Meet in the 50m freestyle, 400m freestyle and 100m breaststroke.

The 200m individual medley that added to this tally was one of seven PB swims over the weekend.

Maya Tait was one of Dolphin’s overall top performers across the two days of competition.

The 10-year-old achieved PBs in seven swims, picking up county qualifying times in the 100m breaststroke and 50m backstroke, as well as winning a silver medal in the 200m backstroke.

Finlay Holder went one better on the PB tally, achieving an impressive eight new best times, with a superb effort in the 200m individual medley earning him a new county qualifying time.

Evan Kane, aged nine, added to the three county qualifying times he picked up a few weeks ago with another in the 200m backstroke.

Thomas Essam and Alfie Workman also gained new county qualifying times – Essam in the 200m backstroke and Workman in the 100m individual medley and 200m individual medley.

Essam’s 100m freestyle earned him a bronze medal, while Workman won 100m breaststroke bronze.

Rakshave Kathirvel and Amelia Naisby took gold and silver medals respectively in the 200m butterfly, with Kathirvel picking up a new county qualifying time. Jacob Cremin also picked up a bronze medal in the 200m breaststroke.

Other swimmers picking up PBs were Anika Bhartiya, Olivia Dunn, Ebony Linstead, Amelia Owens, Ricardo Paul, Thomas Qiu and Thomas Spibey.

Dolphin coach Anthony Clark said: “It is always good to see such an abundance of personal bests, county qualifying times and medals, but more important to me was the way the swimmers conducted themselves over the weekend.

“It was great to see swimmers as young as nine and 10 behaving confidently in an open meet environment and working as a team; attributes that will put them in good stead for the years ahead as their swimming performances start to gain importance.”