SWA medal haul

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South Western Aquatics' short course season continued in London at the Nothers Invitational, Nov. 22-24.

It was another great meet, said SWA head coach Roman Ramirez, with 40-plus swimmers competing, and a range of medals.

"Pretty good," said 10-year-old Amy Meharg, summing up her Nothers experience – her best meet of the season.

Meharg medalled in 800m free and 50m back, and just missed in 50m fly and 200m free.

Comparing the Tillsonburg Sprints to Nothers, Meharg said the Sprints were "not as good as this one, because I get too comfortable in this pool, so I don't swim as fast."

Swimming in London, she had good times in both long and short distance events.

"I think I'm better in long distance, but in fly, I'm better in short distance."

Meharg's goal this year is to qualify for as many Festival swims as she can. She doesn't have any Festival times yet, but she is close in 400m free, and is confident she will get some.

"Yes," she smiled.

Zan Papadakos, 12, said freestyle is his best event, but at Nothers he medalled in backstroke, earning a bronze medal and personal best in the 50m.

"I just wanted to beat everyone else," said Papadakos, who took time off in four events at Nothers. "The 50 back was my best place."

Papadakos is shooting for Regional times this year, specifically in 50m free.

"I haven't been to Regionals yet, so I'm trying to get there."

"I think it was a pretty good weekend," said Erica Klosler. "I didn't get all best times, but I still medalled."

Swimming in seven events, Klosler brought home medals in 50m free (silver), 100m fly (gold), 200m IM (silver), 100m free (silver), and 400m free (bronze).

"I wasn't expecting to do well because I was really, really tired. And sore, too. We've been having hard practices and I had a long weekend. It was just hard.

"It was pretty good competition – they were hard. Not as hard as the (Brantford) International, I think."

Hailey Granger excelled in her 100m and 200m fly events, and swam well in all of her 10 events, including preliminary and finals.

"I gained time in a couple swims, but it wasn't bad," said Granger. "I was a little bit tired too – it was the first meet I swam finals. It was tiring because it was really bad weather and we had to get up extra early... swim our prelims... and we'd stay in London, then come back and swim finals which was exciting. I was really nervous."

To reach Age Group Nationals, one of her goals, Granger needs to have three times. On target in two, she is not sure of her third.

"I guess 50 fly? Or maybe one of 200 free, or something like that. Freestyle's my second-best stroke."

Her biggest improvement has come in the 100, 200 and 400m free.

"In 50 (metres) it's kind of hard to tell because you're only taking a little off each time, because it's shorter."

Roxy Ramirez won two events at Nothers, 800m free and 400m free, both in best times, and earned silver in two others.

"I did really good in my 800 – it was mixed, different ages for the long distances. They went by times. I was competing against an older boy and I was 10 seconds off from Senior Nationals (qualifying time). He made the time, I didn't. He beat me in the last 800, and I was pretty upset.

"I think I get more competitive," she said, enjoying the different type of competition.

"I lost count and I didn't know it was my last 200, if I knew..."

Ramirez's goal is to make senior national times and she's gunning for times in 1,500m free, 800m free and 400m free.

"Ten seconds in 800 (metres), I don't think it's that much."

chris.abbott@sunmedia.ca

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