The Blue Ocean Aquatics Kulu Crete 2013/2014 Awards were recently held in Umtenweni, where the club’s swimmers were recognised for their hard work.
The year belonged to Samantha Labuschagne, who was selected for the KwaZulu-Natal Junior Elite Squad, and she deservedly walked away with the top award of the evening – the coveted Best Overall Swimmer award.
Labuschagne won three bronze medals in the South African National Level Three Championships held in Cape Town and broke countless records at the Club Championships.
She set new records i the Senior Women 1500m Freestyle, Senior Women 200m Butterfly, Senior Women 200m Backstroke, Senior Women 400m Freestyle, Senior Women 400m IM, Senior Women 800m Freestyle, U16 Girls 200m IM, U16 Girls 100m Breaststroke, U16 Girls 100m Butterfly and the U16 Girls 100m Backstroke.
The Best Junior Swimmer award went to the dedicated Ava-Mae Lilje, who was also the Junior Victrix.
Ricardo Carthew was among those who received a number of awards, making him even more motivated to break his age group record and ultimately realise his dream of becoming an Olympic swimmer.
Britney Pieterse had a fantastic year and broke two records at the Club Championships, namely the U16 Girls 200m IM and U16 Girls 100m Breaststroke.
The age group winners were Milla Drakopoulos (U8 Girls), Andre Steyn (U8 Boys), Cara Schlebusch (U10 Girls), Tayne Rudling (U10 Boys), Ava-Mae Lilje (U12 Girls), Ricardo Carthew (U12 Boys), Londi Busse (U14 Girls), Rudi Steyn (U14 Boys), Samantha Labuschagne (U16 Girls), Liam Reid (U16 Boys) and Kylene Schlebusch (Open Girls).
Junior Victrix: Ava-Mae Lilje
Junior Victor: Tayne Rudling and Ricardo Carthew
Senior Victrix: Samantha Labuschagne and
Senior Victor: Rudi Steyn
Special mention must be made of the swimmers who did the 2013 Polar Bear challenge at Margate pool in July 2013. Those who braved the cold and received Polar Badges were Michelle Kretzschmar, Carla Kretzschmar, Louise Kretzschmar, Kayla Heydricks, Erin Heydricks, Marzelle de Beer, Janine Oosthuizen, Mandy Koegelenberg, Rudi Steyn, Jay Dee Steyn, Ava-Mae Lilje and Tamara Venter.
Merit certificates were awarded to Erin Heydricks – Great Improvement in swimming, Olivia Hulley – Willingness to try, Lilani Pauley – Enthusiasm and improvement in swimming, Milla Drakopolous – Enthusiasm and competitive spirit in swimming, Skye Schlebusch – Improvement in Butterfly and great focus, Declan Wijburg – Competitive spirit, Ettiane Burger – Perseverance in Swimming, Sarah Wilkins – For always trying, Leah Wilkins – Giving 100 percent at every training session, Andre Nell – Great potential in swimming and an awesome racing spirit, Cara Schlebusch – Great potential in swimming, Matthew Greyling – For always trying his best, Reece Murray – For always trying his best, Jesse Nell – Great potential in swimming, Megan Strickland, Her enthusiasm at swimming, Robbie Strickland – For his attitude for always trying at swimming, Matthew Hunt – His enjoyment in swimming and Jay Dee Steyn – For his dedication to perservere in swimming.
A 100 percent attendance at club nights went to Ava-Mae Lilje, Reece Murray, Dillon Brymer and Joshua Brymer.
The swimmers that attended the Regional and national Galas received certificates for their outstanding performances.
In Level One Regionals: Rudi Steyn, who made eight finals and medalled in the 200m Freestyle, Tamara Venter, who made five finals, Kayla Heydricks, who made two finals and Marzelle de Beer, who made one final.
In Level Two Regionals: Britney Pieterse, who made six finals and managed to medal in the following events: one gold medal – 200m IM, one silver medal – 400m freestyle and two bronze medals – 50 and 100m breaststroke. Londi Busse, who made five finals and won a bronze medal in the 100m backstroke, and Michelle Kretzschmar, who made three finals and won the following medals: one gold medal – 100m backstroke, one silver medal – 50m backstroke and one bronze medal – 200m backstroke.
In Level Three Nationals: Samantha Labuschagne, who made four finals and won three bronze medals in the 50 and 100m freestyle and 50m backstroke. Denita-Sue Pieterse, who made one final.
In Senior Nationals: Samantha Labuschagne, who qualified to swim in two semi-finals.
The top five for improvement in club nights times were Andre Steyn, whose time improved by 94 seconds, Reece Murray, whose time improved by 102 seconds, Ava-Mae Lilje, who improved her times by 104, Ricardo Carthew, who improved his times by 109 seconds, and Joshua Brymer, who improved his times by an incredible 180 seconds.
The top five for improvement in KwaZulu -Natal Galas were Rudi Steyn, with 126 seconds, Janine Oosthuizen, with 127 seconds, Kayla Heydricks, with 129 seconds, Londi Busse, with 182 seconds, and Tamara Venter, with a whopping 236 seconds.
The year awards went to:
Best Open water Junior Female: Skye Schlebusch
Best Open Water Junior Male: Andre Nell
Best Open Water Senior Female: Londi Busse
Best Open Water Senior Male: Adrian Edwards
Most Dedicated Junior Female: Jade Busse
Most Dedicated Junior Male: Ricardo Carthew
Most Dedicated Senior Female: Janine Oosthuizen
Most Dedicated Senior Male: Dylan Foggan
Perseverance Junior Female: Hope Smith
Perseverance Junior Male: Schalk Burger
Perseverance Senior Female: Denita-Sue Pieterse
Perseverance Senior Male: Ross Carter
Most Improved Junior Mini Female: Samantha Pauley
Most Improved Junior Mini Male: Andre Steyn
Most Improved Junior Silver Female: Mbali Burnett
Most Improved Junior Silver Male: Tayne Rudling
Most Improved Junior Female: Carla Kretzschmar
Most Improved Junior Male: Joshua Brymer
Most Improved Senior Female: Britney Pieterse
Most Improved Senior Male: Liam Reid
Most Improved Master Female: Kylene Schlebusch
Most Improved Master Male: Hugh Strickland
Most Improved at Galas Female: Tamara Venter
Most Improved at Galas Male: Rudi Steyn
Most Promising Female Swimmer: Abigail Wilkins
Most Promising Male Swimmer: Dillon Brymer
Junior Spirit Female: Kayla Heydricks
Senior Spirit: Michelle Kretzschmar
Jeremy Lithins: Marzelle de Beer
Best Junior Swimmer: Ava-Mae Lilje
Best Overall Swimmer: Samantha Labuschagne