The Horsham Sharks' annual swim meet was held on Saturday, February 8.
To quote a legend, "The sun was shining and the weather was sweet." Sweet, too, was the pristine Horsham outdoor swimming pool, hosting its first swim meet since the completion of its refurbishment.
"It was a great meet in the upgraded facilities," Horsham Sharks president Jenny Briggs said.
"And as organisers, we loved seeing the camaraderie between the swimmers."
A total of 112 happy swimmers from around the Wimmera took part, and with the Wimmera Championships - also to be held at Horsham - only two weeks away, they brought fast swimming and some top performances with them.
Swimmers walking away with multiple individual gold medals included Jorja Clode (Horsham) and Lachlan Start (St Arnauds), who each won six gold medals.
Claudia Lanyon (Horsham) won five, while Jack Lanyon, Deacon Briggs, and Heidi and Ebony Start picked up four individual gold medals each.
Winners of the annual trophies included Montanna Connelly (Horsham), who won both the WH Shipham and the Owen Williams trophies for the open women's 100m butterfly and 100m backstroke; Jack Lanyon (Horsham), the McRae Perpetual Trophy for the men's open 100m backstroke; Jordan Start (St Arnauds) the Dickinson Perpetual Trophy for the men's open 100m butterfly; and Jorja Clode (Horsham), the Jenkins Perpetual Trophy for the individual swimmer with the highest points total at the meet.
To have swimmers of this calibre competing in the Wimmera meets is a tribute to coaches and clubs alike, as well as providing immeasurable inspiration to younger swimmers.
Deacon Briggs, a state and national swimming finalist last year and Horsham Sharks Swim captain with Ella Walsgott, said: "I remember when I was 10, I used to look at the best swimmers at our club and hope that one day I would be as good as them."
But just as the top swimmers walked away with the trophies, so too were there some marvellous individual performances which did not necessarily earn the swimmers medals.
Crowd favourite and multiclass swimmer Madee Townsend (Horsham) recorded a 28-second personal best in the 100m freestyle.
Meanwhile, Ivana Donnan (Ararat) recorded a 27-second personal best in the women's 400m freestyle. In what might have been the personal best of the meet, 11-year-old Aleara Madex (Ararat) recorded a 47-second PB in the 400m women's race.
"Overall, there were some pretty strong results," Horsham coach Megan Hutchinson said. "But, you know, there is always room for improvement."
With the Ararat swim meet next week, followed by the Wimmera Championships, the Country All Juniors and finally, to end the season, the Victorian Interdistrict competition, now is certainly the time for swimmers to both pull out their strong results as well as demonstrate their improvement.