2004/2005 Season Review

2004/2005 was another historic season for Merrylands Amateur Swimming Club. Heated Water, changes to Learn to Swim, an increase in club members and the farewelling of our long time coach were just some of the events in a long but enjoyable season.

With the heating of the Merrylands Swimming Centre in February 2004, the 2004/2005 season was the first full season of swimming in heated water. Combined with the warmer than usual October weather, club members returned in October and November in numbers not seen for years.

And it wasn't only the club members that were coming out of the wood work. The attraction of the heated pool also saw a huge increase in interest in the Club's Learn-To-Swim-Free program. The interest was so great that, for the first time in recent memory, two time slots were required to cater for the swimmers, who had increased in number by over 300% from the previous season. Changes to the program also saw weekly attendance increase and positive and encouraging feedback from the children's parents.

The 2004/2005 season also saw the running of the first Open 1500m Freestyle Championships for Men and Women. Held on a Friday night in February and contested by 11 swimmers, the Mens event was won by Todd Jenkin, the Womens by Brittany Johnson.

Apart from the addition of the 1500m, the season's events remained largely unchanged from the previous year but that is where the similarities ended. Two long running winning streaks were broken with the reigning champions in both the Relay Competition and the Senior Handicap being defeated. Firstly in the Relay Competition, Team Johnston's dominance was finally broken after six years by the Merrylands Mermaids in a tightly fought competition. In the Senior Handicap, Peter Johnston's five year winning streak came to an end as Glen Stanford won in convincing style.

Brittany Johnson was awarded the Champion of Champions Award for the second year in a row after winning both her Age and Open Championships, placing second in the Female Graded Pointscore, setting 9 club records and representing the club at the Cumberland and Metropolitan Championships. While at the other end of the scale, Dominique Bleeker was presented with the Jack Smart Encouragement Award after steadily improving over the season, progressing from 25m to 50m in different strokes.

In the Graded Pointscore, David Wang, was awarded the Michael Rossek Trophy for the highest placed Junior Boy in the Graded Races Pointscore while Amber Johnson received the Ronald Exley Trophy for the highest placed Junior Girl.

David Wang was also added to the wall of representative photos in the club room after a successful representative year. His achievements over the summer months included representing the club at Cumberland, Metropolitan & State Long Course Championships, 3rd place in the 100m Breaststroke at the Cumberland Long Course Championships and 2nd place in the 50m Breaststroke at the Speedo Sprint Series Finals. An unfortunate knee injury however prevented him from competing in any winter meets, which meant he was unable to add to these results.

With some swimmers no longer competing, having left the club, injured or not qualifying, our representative teams were some of the smallest in recent years. However we still had swimmers competing at all levels up to and including State Open Championships.

The 11yrs Boys Age Championship was the most hotly contested of the Club Championships with no fewer than 7 swimmers competing in the age group. A number not matched in over 15 years. 19 Championship records were broken over the season.

Stephen McFarlane
Mens 50m Breaststroke (Stephen McFarlane, 2001/02)
Meaghan Legge
Senior Womens 200m Freestyle (Nicole Smith, 1996/97)
Senior Womens 50m Breaststroke (Kristy Smith, 1997/98)
Todd Jenkin
16yrs Boys 400m Freestyle (A. Johnson, B. Lynch, 1977/78)
16yrs Boys 50m Breaststroke (Robert Griffey, 2000/01)
16yrs Boys 100m Breaststroke (A. Johnson, 1977/78)
Open Mens 1500m Freestyle New Event – No Previous Record
Brittany Johnson
14yrs Girls 50m Freestyle (P. Walters, 1981/82)
14yrs Girls 100m Freestyle (P. Walters, 1981/82)
14yrs Girls 200m Freestyle (Linda Liepins, 2002/03)
14yrs Girls 50m Breaststroke (Natalie Green, 1997/98)
14yrs Girls 100m Breaststroke (L. Matthews, 1972/73)
14yrs Girls 50m Butterfly (A. Exley, 1982/83)
14yrs Girls 100m Butterfly (A. Exley, 1982/83)
14yrs Girls 200m Individual Medley (A. Exley, 1982/83)
Open Womens 1500m Freestyle New Event – No Previous Record
Steven Nguyen
14yrs Boys 50m Butterfly (B. Turner, 1977/78)
David Wang
11yrs Boys 50m Freestyle (Mitchell McFarlane, 2001/02)
11yrs Boys 100m Breaststroke (C. Sinteur, 1983/84)

2004/2005 saw the running of our annual swimming meet, the Merrylands SwimFest, at Merrylands for the third time. The weather was good again and the meet ran very smoothly. The meet again featured the use of AOE & SAT timing equipment and entries were well up from the previous season - the second highest number of entries over the last 7 years. Our club had 48 swimmers competing - the highest number since 2001. Our members won 61 medals and our club also topped the club pointscore.

The past season also saw our Winter Competition being held for the second time. The 1500m and Mystery Medley again proved popular and the competition was again very tight with Malcolm Bleeker taking out the male competition and Amber Johnson the female competition.

Finally, the 2004/2005 season closed an eleven year chapter in the club's history with the resignation of Kristen Sunner as the club's coach at the end of June. Kristen had been the club's coach since being appointed at the start of the 1994 season.

See Also
  • 2004/2005 Rankings

  • 2004/2005 Presentation Evening

  • Club Coach Resigns
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