22 April 2016
Ten of Flyers top swimmers travelled to Adelaide over Easter for the start of the Australian Age Championships having qualified for the event during the course of the season. This is the largest team Flyers has sent to the National Age Championships in its history, so well done to all for qualifying.
The first day of racing was Easter Monday, and Flyers got off to a great start, with six swimmers in action - Kurt Hendrickson (100 Br), Sam Howe (50 Fr), Adam Howgate (50 Fr), Sarah Humphries (200 Bk), Jackson Lazzar (200 Fr) and Harry Waterfall (100 Fr). Out of the six of them, Kurt, Sarah, Jackson and Harry all swam PB's with Sarah reaching the final, where she managed another PB to finish 7th overall later that evening.
On Tuesday, Sam (100Bk), Adam (100 Bk), Jackson (200 IM) and Harry (50 Fr) all had their second swims for the meet, with season PBs from Adam and Jackson. Jackson reached the final where he swam another PB to finish 8th. Also in action at the finals session were the girls 4x 100 Fr relay (Sam, Sarah, Lucy Manton and Makayla Young). They also had a great swim to improve on their entry time by more than a second and finish 13th overall, creating another little bit of history for the club - this is the first time Flyers has had a relay team compete at Nationals level.
On Wednesday, we had 4 swimmers in action - Jackson (200 Bk), Roman Nestoryskji (100 Bk), Charlotte Simmons (200 Bk) and Harry (100Bk). This time all 4 achieved PBs with Harry completing his porgram on a high, just missing the final finishing 11th, and Jackson making his second final for the week, where he went on to swim another PB and finish 6th overall.
The team managed to fit in a lunchtime get together on Wednesday as well for the swimmers and their families to celebrate making the Flyers National Age team.
The second half of the program began on Thursday, with Sam (100 Fl), Sarah (100 Bk) and Jackson (200 Fl) in action. Once again we had PBs all round and this time it was Sam's turn to make a final. She went on to swim another PB to finish 8th overall.
On Friday we had Adam (200 Bk) in action again and Jackson (400 Fr) racing for a fifth day. While both were able to better their entry times, we had the first (and only) night without a finalist.
On Saturday though, we made up for it. We had Sam (100 Fr), Adam (100 Fr), Jackson (100 Bk, 400 IM) and Charlotte (100 Bk) racing in the morning, with all except Sam swimming seasons best times, with Sam making the final anyway and Jackson reaching the final in both his events, to set up a great last night for the club with 3 final swims. Sam improved on her morning swim to post a PB, finishing in 9th place, and Jackson pulled out 2 more PBs to finish 5th in the backstroke and 7th in the IM.
Whilst everyone swam incredibly well, there is no doubt that Jackson was the Flyers swimmer of the meet, with 4 final appearances from 7 events and a PB in every swim during the week.
That concluded a fantastic meet for the club. Out of 23 individual heat swims, 18 beat their entry times. On top of that, the club had finalists in 7 events (the most it has achieved) and every finals swim produced a PB, showing great resilience to be able to consistently back up at night. Well done to all the swimmers and to Coach Alex for mentoring them to produce such great results! The tally of 7 top 10 places and another 9 top 20 placings puts the club in a really strong position going into next season.
Following the Age competition, whilst most of the club were enjoying their season break, 2 of our senior swimmers headed back to Adelaide with Coach Alex to compete in the National Open Championships and Olympic Trials alongside the very best of the best. Adam Howgate is competing in the 100 and 50 Backstroke, while Sam Howe is swimming the 200 IM and the 100 Free. Well done to both of them in qualifying for the event, which is the highest level of competion domestically.
It was also great to see Nia Evans (Flyers junior swimmer) in the stands at the Olympic Trials in her Flyers shirt, there to provide moral support for former Flyers swimmer Sienna Makris who won a competition to help present one of the medals at the event. It is really encouraging to see our junior swimmers getting so involved and enjoying the sport at the highest level, as well as being there to cheer on our own representatives.