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SWIMMING ITEMS.

SUCCESSFUL PAST SEASON.

REVIEW OF PERFORMANCES.

G, BRIDSON'S SUPERIORITY.

Probably never before lias the sport of swimming been on such a firm footing in Auckland as it is now at the end of one of the most successful seasons yet experienced. It has been a season noteworthy for the good all-l'ound standard attained. In all three divisions, senior, intermediate and junior, there were really outstanding individual performers. At the New Zealand championship meetings Aucklanders competed most successfully, more titles being secured by them tjian by swimmers of any other centre. In the competitions for the interproyincial trophies the Auckland senior representatives scored an overwhelming victory for the Yaldhurst Shield with a total of 77 points out of a possible 142, but the junior and intermediate swimmers, although some of them performed splendidly, failed to wrest the War Memorial Shield from Otago. With a total of three, Auckland swimmers also occupied the premier position in regard to the number of new records, established. In spite of the fact that the season was a quiet one in thatr there were no attractions in the form of visits from, overseas champions, the sport commanded more public support. With one or two exceptions, clubs were unusually active in providing competition for swimmers, there having been an increase in the number of carnivals conducted. In addi-' tion to 'the two successful championship, carnivals staged by the Auckland Swimming Centre, nine club carnivals were held, two each by the Wailemata, North Shore, Mount Eden and Ponsonby Clubs, and one by the University Club. Although a few of these fixtures were poorly patronised by the public, the North Shore Club proved that, if the entertainment is of an attractive nature, enthusiasts will be willing to give their support. More Competitors.

Throughout the season large fields were the order at the various carnivals. In contrast to the position of previous years when there were enough competitors to make only a single heat of a race, there was a big increase in the number of competitors of both sexes in breaststroke events. The revival of a ladies' diving championship was another event of importance. This was a department of the sport which had for "a long time been neglected. V

For another season Ct. Bridson maintained his superiority. He again won all his engagements at both the Auckland and New Zealand championship meetings without being extended in, the slightest degree. He showed high-class form and added another record to his already imposing list, reducing A. Adamson's 100 metres figures of 64 2-ss, first to 645, and subsequently to 62 3-ss. This was a .particularly notable performance, inasmuch as it revealed the Dominion's all-round champion as the finest swimmer over the distance ever produced in either Australia or New Zealand.

Apart from Bridson the men as a class were mediocre. They fell short of the standard required for both sprints and distances. At sprinting they w«Sre comparatively stronger than over distances, for which there was not one of championship standard to oppose Bridson in Die local championships. This weakness of distance talent was a disappointing feature of the season and the failure of all except one of the clubs to make provision for longer distance events at carnivals is not to be commended. Promising Sprinter. The swimmer showing the most promise as a sprinter was R. Thomas. In his first season as a senior ho distinguished himself by being runner-up >to Bridson in the 100 yds. championship. He should be at his best next season and &ome fast times by him may be expected. Swimming infinitely better than before, the veteran J. Enwrigbt had another successful season. In fact, of all New Zealand's swimmers, only Bridson and Thomas rank ahead of him at sprinting. After being third in the Auckland 100 yds. championship, he was second to Bridson at the national meeting. His feat in recording times faster than any of his career is ample proof ot his Kemarkable abilitv.

Although not brilliant, A. Paper and R. Port eons shono among the rest of the local men. Raper gained prominence as an exponent of the backstroke.® He was second in the New Zealand championship, and he gives every indication of meeting with more than usual success at this style. Contestants in breaststroke events were of average class. This is a section from which some fine exponents are likely to be developed. J. Magee, the youthful Auckland champion, was easily in a class above the others, the next, best being T. Lowe. Among the intermediates and juniors, P. D. and M Shanahan, and T. Grey, all of, whom were regular competitors at carnivals, impressed the most. Improvement by Ladies.

The, standard of the lady swimmers showed improvement on that of last season,. when it was exceedingly poor. ■Nevertheless, the only really outstanding performer was Miss M. Farquhar. She experienced by far the best season of a lengthy career, her swimming being so creditable as to place her among the finest exponents of free, style and backstroke the Dominion has ever possessed. Her successes included victories in the 50yds., 100 yds. and 150 yds. free-style, and 100 yds. backstroko Auckland championships, as well as in the, 100 yds. free-style and backstroke Dominion title events.

Miss E. Champion also figured prominently, her most notable successes being in the 220 yds. and 440 yds. Auckland and New Zealand championships. Improved form characterised the swimming, of Miss N. Stratton, who was second in both th® Auckland and New Zealand 100 yds. championships, and Miss P. Robertson, who was third and in the Auckland 100 yds. and 440 yds. championship races. As a fitting conclusion to a long and outstanding career Miss G. Pidgeon succeeded in winning the 220vds. Auckland and New Zealand brcaststroke titles, for the sixth time. On account of her retirement from competition Miss Pidgeon,is sure to be missed from brcaststroke events. Other ladies who were responsible for creditable breaststroke performances were Misses J. Thomson, M. O'Meara and Walters. Miss O'Meara,' who performed very impressively in the Auckland championships, has excellent prospects of becoming Miss Pidgeon's successor. Intermediate Standard. Although she third place in the New Zealand championship, Miss Thorn son did not make the improvement ex pected. However, she progressed a good deal at free style, and although her times wore only fair for a senior, she won several events at this style at the Auckland University championships. She followed op these successes with a win at the annual inter-university tournament at Dunedin.

There was no outstanding talent among the intermediate girl free-style swimmers, but,- nevertheless, the standard was well up to that of previous years. Showing much improvement, Miss M. Levdon performed excellently to win the Auckland championships, but she was unplaced at the Dominion meeting. Misses M. Smith and B. Lewin also competed in the 100 yds. senior championship without being placed. Miss Smith, however, made the trip to the Dominion championships and secured third placo in the 100 yds. event,

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/NZH19310429.2.151.9

Bibliographic details

SWIMMING ITEMS., New Zealand Herald, Volume LXVIII, Issue 20859, 29 April 1931

Word Count
1,163

SWIMMING ITEMS. New Zealand Herald, Volume LXVIII, Issue 20859, 29 April 1931

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