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The event, the third last for the swimming season, gathered 112 swimmers from Horsham, Ararat, Stawell, St Arnaud and Warracknabeal clubs.
Meet secretary Belinda Taylor said Horsham members swam their way to victory, securing four out of the five trophies on the day. This included Jack Lanyon, open men’s 100-metre backstroke, Montanna Connelly, open women’s 100-metre backstroke and open women’s 100-metre butterfly, and Jorja Clode, who won the Jenkins Perpetual Trophy for earning the highest individual points at the meet.
St Arnaud’s Jordan Start won the remaining trophy, the Dickson Perpetual, for the fastest time in the open men’s 100-metre butterfly.
Saturday 8th February, the Horsham Sharks annual swim meet and to quote a legend, “The sun was shining and the weather was sweet.”
‘Sweet’ too was the pristine Horsham outdoor swimming pool which was hosting its first swim meet since the completion of its refurbishment.
“It was a great meet in the upgraded facilities,” says Horsham Sharks President Jenny Briggs. “And as organisers we loved seeing the camaraderie between the swimmers.”
112 happy swimmers from around the Wimmera competed at the meet, and with the Wimmera Championships – also to be held at Horsham – only two weeks away, they brought fast swimming and some top performances with them. Of particular note were the swimmers that walked away with multiple individual gold medals: Jorja Clode (Horsham) and Lachlan Start (St Arnauds) both won six gold medals, Claudia Lanyon (Horsham) won five, and Jack Lanyon, Deacon Briggs, and Heidi and Ebony Start each won four individual gold medals.
Congratulations also to the winners of the annual trophies (the big trophies!): Montanna Connelly (Horsham) for winning both the WH Shipham and the Owen Williams Trophies for the open Women’s 100m butterfly and 100m backstroke respectively, Jack Lanyon (Horsham) winning the McRae Perpetual Trophy for the men’s open 100m backstroke, Jordan Start (St Arnauds) winning the Dickinson Perpetual Trophy for the men’s open 100m butterfly, and Jorja Clode (Horsham) winning the Jenkins Perpetual Trophy for the individual swimmer with the highest points total at the meet.
To have swimmers of this calibre competing in the Wimmera meets is a tribute to coaches and clubs alike as well as providing immeasurable inspiration to younger swimmers.
Deacon Briggs, a state and national swimming finalist last year and Horsham Sharks Swim Captain (shared with Ella Walsgott), says, “I remember when I was 10, I used to look at the best swimmers at our club and hope that one day I would be as good as them.”
But just as the top swimmers walked away with the trophies, so too were there some marvellous individual performances which did not necessarily earn the swimmers medals. Crowd favourite and multiclass swimmer Madee Townsend (Horsham) recorded a 28 second PB (personal best) in the 100m freestyle, Ivana Donnan (Ararat ) recorded a 27 second PB in the Women’s 400m freestyle, and in what might have been the PB of the meet, 11 year old Aleara Madex (Ararat) recorded a 47 second PB in the 400m Women’s race.
“Overall there were some pretty strong results,” says Horsham coach Megan Hutchinson, “but, you know, there is always room for improvement.”
With the Ararat swim meet next week, followed by the Wimmera Championships, and then the Country All Juniors and finally, to end the season, the Victorian Inter district competition, also in Melbourne, now is certainly the time for swimmers to both pull out their strong results as well as demonstrate their improvement. So until next week, as the ‘legend’ would say, “keep moving those dancing feet.”
The entire February 12, 2020 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!