© Dave Mathieson - Amherst Daily News
Spartans swimmers hold an abundance of ribbons from recent meets they have competed at. Several Spartans finished in the top-ten and achieved personal best times. They include: (front, from left) Ella McGuigan, Madeline Bristol, Thomas Bristol, George Clark, (back, from left) Kaitlin Baker, Katelyn MacNeil, and Daphne Fawthrop. Missing from photo: Abbie Smith, Ariel Betts.
AMHERST - The Spartans have dived head first into their 2012-2013 season, and several swimmers achieved top ten finishes and personal best times at two recent meets.
"Swimming is about personal accomplishment," said coach Jan Matthews. "Achieving personal bests allows the swimmers to recognize their own accomplishments and the results from these meets creates a baseline for measuring their performance during the rest of the season."
Four swimmers attended an invitation meet in Sackville, N.B., earning multiple personal bests and top ten finishes.
Katelyn MacNeil swam all best times, as she placed second in the 50-metre fly, third in the 200-metre freestyle and sixth in the 50-metre free.
Daphne Fawthrop recorded personal bests as she placed fourth in the 50-metre backstroke and ranked 10th in the 50-metre free.
New swimmers George Clark and Kaitlin Baker recorded personal bests in each of their events.
Clark placed fifth in the 50-metre breaststroke and sixth in the 50-metre free and 50-metre backstroke events. Baker ranked fifth in the 50-metre backstroke.
"The fact that we have new swimmers placing in the top ten for their age group is very impressive," said Matthews. "Anyone who stops by the pool to watch a practice would attest to how hard these young athletes are training."
A week later, seven young swimmers attended the season's first NovaTech meet in Antigonish.
"NovaTech is a program unique to Nova Scotia," said Matthews. "It's designed to focus on stroke development and technique and provide a supportive introduction to competitive swimming."
Fawthrop returned to the water to place first in the 50-metre back, second in the 50-metre kick, third in the 50-metre free and fifth in the 200-metre Individual Medley.
Clark also returned to the pool, earning a fourth in the 25-metre free and recording best times in every event.
Abbie Smith earned personal bests as she place second in the 50-metre and 200-metre free, third in the 50-metre kick and fourth in the 50-metre backstroke.
Thomas Bristol took the plunge and came out ranking second in the 25-metre back, third in the 25-metre free, fifth in the 100-metre IM and sixth in the 50-metre kick. He recorded personal bests for each of his swims.
Ariel Betts swam all personal bests, ranking third in the 100-metre IM and 10th overall in the 25-metre free.
Madeline Bristol placed eighth in the 100-metre IM and recorded best times in each of her events.
Ella McGuigan achieved personal bests in all of her swim events.
"Not only did these swimmers achieve almost all best times but they also placed very well within their age groups and performance levels," said Matthews