The Annual Aquabear gala took place over four days in Port Elizabeth over the past weekend. There were 25 local swimmers from Diocesan School for Girls (DSG), St Andrew’s College Prep (SAC), Kingswood College and Graeme College participating.
While most of the swimmers were swimming out of their age groups, they swam unbelievable times, with some managing SA qualification standards.
A total of five gold, three silver and six bronze individual medals were won, with some silver and bronze relay medals from various relays also being won by local swimmers. Toni Rafferty set three new Eastern Province records in the girls Under 17 50m freestyle (27.38) and 50m butterfly (28.87) and 100m freestyle (58.86), while Martin Wolmarans set an Eastern Province record in the 50m freestyle with a time of 24.17.
Rafferty, Emma Podesta, Wolmarans and Oliva Lange swam Junior National Age group qualification times with Wolmarans and Podesta qualifying for the South African Youth side and, Rafferty qualifying for SA Seniors, over and above their age group qualifying times.
Catherine Williamson won two bronze medals in the 50m and 100m breaststroke and Courtney Repinz added another bronze to the tally in the 200m freestyle. Qualifiers for level three, which is just as prestigious, were plentiful, with a few Senior and Junior swimmers just missing the mark for qualifying times for SA. However, they still have the whole season ahead to do so.