41 Clubs from across country Victoria contested the 2017 Victorian Country Swimming Championships in Sale over the Australia Day weekend. 11 swimmers from Kilmore Swimming Club had posted qualifying times and entered the competition.
Mostly represented by the senior squad, swimmers were: Tamara Bess (18) and James Boland (18) (Team Captains), Olivia Boland (22), Emilie Cardamone (13), Dylan Cornish (18), Bailey Harriden (17), Mackai Harriden (13), Somaiya Harriden (11), Nathan James (18), Alesha McIntosh (13) and Emma Pendlebury (27). The team was guided by Coaches Jennifer Lonie and Noelene Pyle on pool deck, Coach Lynton Pyle checking in via Facetime for the finals, and Team Managers Lisa Bess and Andrea Boland.
Day 1 of competition saw some excellent performances with 7 members of the team posting solid personal best (PB) swims, including Somaiya splintering her 50m backstroke PB by 3.22 seconds raising 25 positions up the rankings and Bailey shaving 0.48 seconds off his 100m Butterfly to claim the Silver Medal in his age group final in the evening.
Day 2 was the biggest team day and opened with 6 swimmers again posting PBs. Emilie and James were the swimmers to watch. Emilie backed up her Day 1 100m freestyle (1.22 second PB) to take 2.81 seconds off her 100m breaststroke, whilst James moved an impressive 21 places up the rankings, taking 1.07 seconds off his 50m freestyle dash. Mackai was very competitive in his 100m breaststroke event chasing down competitors in his heat. Day 2 saw Tamara’s best performance of the meet, competitive in her 50m freestyle to jump two places up the rankings. Nathan followed suit with his best performance, dropping more than half a second over 50 metres in breaststroke. Bailey again represented the team during the evening finals session in 100m freestyle.
Alesha was in form on Day 3, showing good technique in her 100m butterfly to again improve her best time by just under a second. She backed up perfectly from her day 1 1.2 second PB in her 100m freestyle.
Dylan contested each stroke over 50m, posting three PBs totalling 1.85 seconds with jumps in rankings up to 5 places. Olivia jumped the rankings in each of her four races over the weekend, beating competitors from the major rival Club at the meet, whilst Emma jumped 5 places in her 100m freestyle with a strong finish. Emilie, Alesha, Somaiya and James PB’d each event they entered.
The Victorian Country Championships attract swimmers of the calibre of Ash Delaney (Olympic medallist) and Sam Ashby (World Championship medallist), and it was very exciting to watch Kilmore’s James Boland dive off the blocks alongside Ash Delaney in the same heat. Kilmore Swimming Club accrued 26 Championship points – a fabulous effort for such a small team.