It might not have been the perfect start to the Tumut Swimming Club (TSC) season on Friday night, with a passing storm meaning the final two events could not be swum.
Still, according to club treasurer Kay Dodds, it was one of TSC’s most patronised opening nights in their history.
“I think it is probably a record for our first cub night, we had 35 swimmers, which is amazing,” Dodds said.
“To have 35 swimmers on the first night, in my time with the club, it’s unheard of.”
Dodds said the warmer water at Tumut Pools and good conditions was the main reason there were more swimmers competing and stronger numbers at training.
“Even at training, we don’t normally get these many kids and it is because the water is warmer and the kids are happy to get in,” Dodds said.
“It has made a massive difference.”
As far as the first night went, the club got through the 100m breaststroke, 50m freestyle, 100m freestyle and 25/50m butterfly events and there were some very impressive first up swims.
In the opening event, which was the 100m breaststroke, Jacob Ambrose was very fast in the water, swimming a best of the night 1.20:43, in turn breaking his personal best by four seconds.
Other notable efforts in the first event saw Andrew Dodds, Will Crawford, Emily Mudie, Lachlan Arentz, Jemma Wickman, Daniel Stiles, Abby Crawford, Sophie Ryan, Russell Guppy, Ashton Ambrose, Ashton Cooper, Jack Arentz, Aaron Wickman and Lucy Arentz all notch new personal bests.
In the 50m freestyle, local speedster Eddie Dodds has proven he is in for another big season, clocking 25.89 first up, which isn’t bad, considering his personal best that qualified him for nationals is 25.60 and he only started back training during the week.
Jacob Ambrose was again swimming fast, breaking 30 seconds for the first time when recording 29.92, while Andrew Dodds, Will Crawford, Ruben White, Macy White, Daniel Stiles, Elijah Saunders, Lachlan Arentz, Sophie Ryan, Abby Crawford, Sierra Roddy, Audrey Hanson, Lucy Arentz and Beau Ryan all recorded new personal best times.
In the 25m butterfly, Audrey Hanson clocked the time of 29.28, which was a nearly five second personal best, while Abby Crawford also broke her previous mark to record 30.68.
Again, in the 50m butterfly, Jacob Ambrose is hinting that he could be in for a breakout year, swimming the equal fastest time of 31.68, sharing the win with Duncan Smallwood whilst recording a new personal best.
Andrew Dodds, Will Crawford, Ashton Ambrose, Russell Guppy and Jemma Wickman also recorded new best times, while Macy White deserves a special mention, with the 11-year-old recording a 10 second personal best to get down to 45.22.
The 100m freestyle was the final event on the program and Eddie Dodds was again the fastest on the night, swimming 1:00.49.
Jacob Ambrose, Andrew Dodds, Emily Mudie, Will Crawford, Russell Guppy, Sophie Ryan and Beau Ryan all broke their personal bests, and again special mention must go to Abby Crawford, who went nearly 18 seconds faster to record a new best time of 1:56.26.
Swimming returns tonight, and competitors will be entering the 200m freestyle, 100m backstroke and the 25/50m butterfly, 25/50m backstroke, 25/50m breaststroke and 25/50m freestyle.
Guppy laps up freestyle awards
Friday night also saw the Tumut Swimming Club taking time to recognise some of their best and most improved swimmers during the 2019/20 season, awarding the winners of the Age Champions their medallions, whilst also acknowledging the most improved swimmers in the freestyle events.
14-year-old swimmer Russell Guppy had a night to remember, taking out the overall freestyle award and the 100m and 200m freestyle awards.
Guppy demonstrated the most improved times throughout the season, notching up personal best efforts in a consistent manner in all of the freestyle distances.
In the Age Championships, swimmers competed in race-like conditions in each stroke and distance, with the winners across each age group awarded their Age Champion medallions.
The Tumut Swimming Club will continue to present awards at Friday evening swim meets for the next three weeks, as they were unable to hold an end of season presentation due to the impacts of Covid-19.
2019/20 age champs and award winners
8 plus: Lucy Arentz and Jack Arentz
9-10 years: Macy White and Ashton Ambrose
11-12 years: Mia Buckingham and
13-14 years: Jemma Wickman
and Eddie Dodds
15-16 years: Megan Castle and
25/50m: Ashton Ambrose
100m: Russell Guppy
200m: Russell Guppy
400m: Cooper Ambrose & Jemma Wickman
800m: Megan Castle
Overall: Russell Guppy