Youngsters dive into championship event

It was a big weekend for the Blue Lake Y Swim Club when it fielded nine swimmers at the 2022 SA Country Championships in Renmark.

Across four grueling days of competition the team collected a total of 30 medals, including three overall medals.

In addition to the special trifecta of overall medals, there were many impressive personal best times swum and many raced in finals over the course of the meeting.

Thomas Bignell has become a team leader in the pool and showed why during an impressive and tireless individual campaign.

Bignell struck gold in the 50m breaststroke event after winning the final to claim overall in fine style.

To complement his first place, Bignell built a large medal tally collecting eight silvers across a variety of strokes, distances and age groups.

To complete the impressive campaign he scored bronze in the freestyle races of the 17 and Over 200m and 16 and Over 400m races.

Bignell’s 1500m freestyle race was a highlight a new personal benchmark by beating his old time by 45.81 seconds.

Hayley Pearson also took the fight to the state’s best in the older age groups and was on fire in the butterfly discipline.

Pearson was unbeatable in the 50m 18 and Over fly and continued the good form by scoring silver in the corresponding 100m race.

She also finished second in the 50m free, while bronze medals followed in the 50m fly overall and the 18 and Over 200m Individual Medley.

Aleisha Pearson can hold her head high after claiming bronze medals in two backstroke events, while Keira Flowers did the same in the 15-year-olds 50m breaststroke race.

When the regional relays arrived, the Blue Lake Y team did not back down.

The Under 18 female squad of Keira Flowers, Hayley and Aleisha Pearson were on fire in the 200m freestyle relay.

The trio combined so well they won gold before falling just short of another victory in the 200m Medley and finished as runners-up.

Thomas and Nicholas also swam with speed to collect a pair of silver medals in the 18 and Under 200m Freestyle and Medley relays, while Haydn Lowe did the same in the 14 and Under 200m Medley relay.

Lowe and Mikayla Pearson both reached multiple finals, as did Darcy Hodges in her first countries appearance.

Maggie Hodges impressed in her first ever meeting competing in Superfish being the third fastest girl in 50m backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle in the 8 and Under age group.

Lowe Haydn (200 freestyle 18.03 seconds) Darcy Hodges (100 freestyle 14.92), Mikayla Pearson (100 butterfly 10.65) and Flowers (200 IM 10.57) all smashed their previous personal best times to complete a productive weekend.

Anyone interested in attending free Come and Try sessions on Monday nights during school term can contact Helen Bignell on 0432 635 972 or email blymembership@gmail.com for more information.

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