Senior National Champs End On A High

Curtains came down on the National Senior Championships that took place at Les Brown from Thursday evening up to yesterday morning(Feb 24).

For the swimming event, Zimbabwe is divided into six provinces: Matebeleland, Masvingo, Manicaland, Mashonaland Country Districts, Midlands and Mashonaland played hosts this year.

The gruelling 1.5 km freestyle event marked the end of the Championships. Hollie Stander won silver for the 1.5 km race behind Mellisa Watt of Matland who claimed gold in a time of 21:37.12 minutes for the Girls 14 and under division. McAllister Courtney of Matland again took the top price for the Girls 15 and 16 division in a time of 21:57.22 minutes ahead of MCD’s Lorna Doorman who came second.

Sarah Hawgood was exceptional in the Girls 17 and over division, needing only 21:07.47 to finish the 1.5km event some 26 seconds ahead of her captain Natasha Lawson who finished second. Matland’s Avalon Bruce finished third.

Ashby Tink of Matland hands the Aggregate trophy to Mashonaland captains, Natasha and James Lawson
Ashby Tink of Matland hands the Aggregate trophy to Mashonaland captains, Natasha and James Lawson

For the first time since 2008 Matland lost the to Mashonaland based on team aggregate score. This aggregate score is worked out based on number of total points and number of swimmers as to give provinces with fewer swimmers a fighting chance. Masvingo placed sixth with 1.30 and Manicaland was fifth with 5.0. In fourth place was Midlands with 6.85 behind MCD who had 13.04. Matland scored 32.91 behind winners, Mashonaland who had 34.23.

Hosts, Mashonaland topped the overall scores table with 3252 and Matland was second with 1481.

President of the Zimbabwe Aquatic Union, Mary Kloppers commended all the provinces for successful weekend in the pool. “We’ve had some good times, very tight competition which is what we are looking for,” Mary told SSN in an interview after the event.

Despite having done well with the meet management software, electronic timing and the digital timing boards Mary says the aquatic union still has a lot of work to do. Major on their to do list is to build up the smaller provinces like Masvingo and Manicaland. Mashonaland Swimming Board chairperson Niroshia Abdulla was equally pleased with the weekends outcome.

Quest Motors sponsored the medals for the championships while the Creative Group was the programme sponsor.