Four swimmers from Makhanda (Grahamstown) attended the South African Senior National Aquatic Championships over the week of 8-14 April. Of the four swimmers, two were from DSG, namely Toni Rafferty and Emma Podesta, while Martin Wolmarans and Oliva Lange represented St Andrew’s College.
Toni Rafferty swam in four A Finals in the 50m (26,54) and 100m (58.15) freestyle and the 50m (28.39) and 100m (1.02.35) butterfly events, breaking her Eastern Provincial record set two weeks prior at the SA Junior Championships only to better it in the final of that same day. Rafferty was astounding and for the first time broke the Eastern Province 100m butterfly record with a time of 1.02.35 which placed her second overall and winning the silver medal (U18) in the Elite Youth Category.
Podesta’s first exposure to this competition at a Senior level came with some good times where she placed fourth in the Youth category in the 200m backstroke.
Lange, who has just turned 15, also swam in his first Senior Nationals as a Youth swimmer and swam a new St Andrew’s record in the 50m breaststroke, in 32.19 and the 200m Individual Medley in 2.21.78.
Wolmarans, who swam in the Youth Elite Category, swam in one A final swimming a new Eastern Province record previously set at the SA Junior Nationals. He came seventh overall in a time of 23.60 for the 50m freestyle.
Wolmarans was also a member of the 4x100m freestyle Men’s relay team which won a bronze medal. He also broke the 100m backstroke SAC record in a time of 1.02.04.