SWIMMING at grassroots level is strong in the Wimmera as more than 100 competitors showed at Horsham Swimming Club’s meet on Saturday.
The field of almost entirely Wimmera-based swimmers was one of the largest entries the club has received in several years and followed a large field at the Stawell swimming meet a week earlier.
Horsham Swimming Club coach Jenny Ough said the high number of entries – especially in younger age groups – showed the sport was thriving in the Wimmera.
She said the largest number of entries were in the nine to 10 and 11 to 12 age groups.
“We did have a range of swimmers and we also had a good number of older ones swimming, which was good to see,” she said.
“We’re really happy with the number of district swimmers who were there.
“There were only two swimmers who were from outside the district so to have more than 100 district swimmers come is a big increase in numbers compared to past years.
“It’s looking positive for swimming as a sport if we’ve got those big numbers in the district and especially young ones who will be here for a long time.”
Star junior swimmer Jed Prouse returned to Horsham for the meet and broke two long-standing club records.
Prouse bettered the club’s open men 400-metre freestyle record time – held by Altona’s Brad Short – by 11.62 seconds.
His best was still to come, as he smashed the open men 200-metre individual medley record – held by Cameron Dole since 1999 – by an incredible 16.92 seconds.
Prouse attends boarding school in Ballarat and swims for club Ballarat Gold but is originally from Horsham.
Horsham Swimming Club’s Chanel Scollary also claimed two records on the day.
She set a new record in the eight and under girls 50-metre butterfly event, which had never been contested and bettered her own record in the eight and under girls breaststroke by almost seven seconds.
Ough said it was great to see Scollary bettering her own mark from this time last year.
The eight and under girls 50-metre breaststroke record has been broken by a club member each year for the past four years.
The club’s eight and under, 12 and under and open mixed-relay teams also broke existing records in their relays.
Prouse also created four records in new categories for the club, which were in the open men’s 50-metre backstroke, butterfly, breaststroke and freestyle.
Inaugural winners in other categories were St Arnaud’s Kelsey Hendy in the 17 and over women’s 50-metre breaststroke and backstroke and club-mate Leanne Burke in the 17 and over 50-metre freestyle and butterfly.
Horsham Swimming Club claimed the first records in the 10 and under mixed medley relay, the 10 and under mixed freestyle relay and the 14 and under mixed freestyle relay.
Ough said the club’s attention would now turn to Warracknabeal Swimming Club’s annual meet on Saturday.
The meet is the final swimming event in the region before the Christmas break.