By Quintin van Jaarsveld
Blue Ocean Aquatics Swim Club enjoyed the fruit of their labour over the past 12 months with an outstanding collective showing at the KwaZulu-Natal Level One Championships at Kings Park swimming pool on Friday and Sunday.
The South Coast club placed 11th out of 24 clubs in last year’s provincial championships. This year, 25 clubs participated, with Blue Ocean Aquatics finishing sixth – a result that marks the promising progress the club has made over the past calendar year.
The highlight of the meet saw the club win gold in the 12 and under relay for girls. The club also scooped silver in the 11 and under mixed relay and bronze in the 14 and over relay.
There were also some excellent individual performances.
Ricardo Carthew swam six personal best times, broke two records, raked in five gold medals (50m, 100m and 200m breaststroke and 100m and 400m freestyle), one silver medal (relay) and one bronze medal (50m freestyle). He also qualified for Level Two in four events.
Emma Kuhn posted six personal best times, broke six records, won four gold medals (50m breaststroke, 50m and 100m butterfly and 200m individual medley) and two silver medals (200m freestyle and 100m breaststroke). She also qualified for Level Two in five events.
Kayla Heydricks swam five personal best times, won three gold medals (50m, 100m and 200m backstroke), one silver medal (400m freestyle), one bronze medal (200m freestyle) and was part of the medal-winning relay teams.
Leah Wilkins improved her times in all seven of her events and won a gold medal (freestyle relay), Mbali Burnett swam four personal best times and won a gold medal (relay) and Abigail Wilkins swam eight personal best times and secured a silver medal (relay).
Tamara Venter won two bronze medals (400m freestyle and 200m backstroke), Camden Wijburg swam three personal best times and bagged a bronze medal (100m butterfly), Andre Steyn swam two personal best times and won a bronze medal (100m breaststroke), JD Steyn swam two personal best times and Rudi Steyn swam one personal best time.