Ararat on top as Wimmera District 12 swim season ends

BIG WINNERS: After a big season of swimming, the Wimmera's champion swimmers in each age group were rewarded at St Arnaud on Saturday.
BIG WINNERS: After a big season of swimming, the Wimmera's champion swimmers in each age group were rewarded at St Arnaud on Saturday.

ARARAT Swimming Club ended the season on a high at the Wimmera District 12 swimming championships in St Arnaud on Saturday.

The club returned from the championships having taken out the Wimmera Amateur Swimming Association Shield after tallying the highest aggregate for the 2017-18 season.

Water Rats coach Jo Donnan said the club had not won the shield in 11 years.

“The club was struggling to keep running five or six years ago so to have now won the aggregate shield is really fantastic,” she said.

She said the club’s success came on the back of a lot parent and committee support.

“We made sure our swimmers could get to meets and were competing,” she said. “It’s about encouraging all of our swimmers to give whatever they can a crack. It’s just about trying to do their best on the day.”

There were 109 swimmers from across the district taking part in the championships which brought the 2017-18 season to a close.

Competitors must have represented one of the district’s six clubs in at least half of the season’s meets in order to be eligible for the championships.

It was an early start to the day with heats kicking off at 10am to determine who would be a part of finals actions in the afternoon.

Come the end of the day the 14 age champions were awarded. Horsham swimmers claimed seven of the 14 champion titles including Eloise Wills who swam her way to both the 11-12 year and open crowns.

St Arnaud’s Lachlan Start won the 17 and over boys championship as well as the open championship and the Rose Bowl after accruing the highest individual aggregate for the season. Grampians swimming club won the Barrow shield which is a standardised award based on club aggregate.

Grampians swimmer Dylan Ryan won the Shane Hauesler Perpetual Trophy in the men’s open 400-metre freestyle. Wills won the Eleanor McRae Perpetual Trophy in the women’s event.

Eoghan Purser took out the Alan Williams Memorial Trophy. The Ararat swimmer won the trophy as the 11-12 year old backstroke champion.

Age Champions

8 and under: Heidi Start, St Arnaud; Austin LoweSt Arnaud

9-10 years: Jorja Clode, Horsham; Kai Knight, Stawell

11-12 years: Eloise Wills, Horsham; Jacob Matuschka, Horsham

13-14 years: Maddix Hughes, Horsham; Deacon Briggs, Horsham

15-16 years: Montanna Connelly, Horsham; Marcus Donnan, Ararat

17 and over: Annaliese Spark, Stawell;  Lachlan Start, St Arnaud

Open: Eloise Wills, Horsham; Lachlan Start, St Arnaud