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Regional Age Champs: REPORT

Once again the late May Bank Holiday Weekend saw 3 days of outstanding and highly competitive swimming races at the Age-Group Regional Championships which, this year were held in Luton at the Inspire Sports Village.

West Suffolk Swimming Club took a team of 13 down to the meet comprising of 6 girls & 7 boys who represented the club in a wide range of events.

Charlotte White (Girls 13 years) was West Suffolk’s most highly decorated swimmer coming away with 4 Medals. Charlotte took a clean sweep of Golds in the Breaststroke events. She swam brilliantly on day one in the 100 Breaststroke winning the final by over 4 seconds in a new long course PB of 1.17.60. She was also in solid form on day two where she won the 200 by over 6 seconds in a time of 2.46.52. The third gold came on day three where a determined Charlotte powered through from lane 2 in the final to claim victory in a time of 36.54. Charlotte also came away with a Bronze Medal and new long course PB of 5.26.30 in the 400 IM on day 2.

Furthermore Charlotte impressively made more regional finals over the weekend in the 200 IM (5th), 100 Butterfly (5th), and 200 Freestyle (8th). She also achieved new long course PB’s in all 3 of these events from either the heats or finals.

Another West Suffolk swimmer that qualified for 5 finals over the course of the weekend was Edward Merhan (Boys 13 years). Edward placed 6th in the 50 Butterfly with a new long course PB of 30.63, 7th in 100 Backstroke with a PB from his heat swim of 1.10.02, 5th in 100 Breaststroke & 6th in 50 Breaststroke. It is however fair to say that Edward saved his very best till last as in the final of the 50 Backstroke Edward stormed down the pool and in one of the tightest races of the whole championships he performed an outstanding finish to out touch all of his competitors and win a Gold Medal and new long course PB of 31.01

In his first ever Regional Championships Matthew Baker (Boys 11/12 years) should be extremely happy with his achievements. Matthew competed in 10 events, of these he gained new long course PB’s in 9 events and qualified for 2 finals. The most successful of these was the 200 Butterfly where after already knocking over 5 seconds off his previous best time in the heat swim, Matthew went on to knock a further 6 seconds off in his final with a time of 2.49.40 which was enough to earn him a Bronze Medal. Matthews other final was in the 100 Butterfly in which, after a moment of madness and nearly missing the race completely, Matthew impressively composed himself and again stepped up, improving on his heat time by over 2 seconds which placed him 5th in a time of 1.14.40.

Lucy Hudson, Cerys Williams & Marni Sillitoe (Girls 14 years) also all had good championships. From Lucy’s 9 events she gained 4 new long course PB’s. 200 Breaststroke 3.03.52, 100 Backstroke 1.13.05, 50 Freestyle 28.33 & 50 Backstroke 33.52. Lucy also made finals in the 50 Freestyle (6th), 100 Freestyle (6th) & 200 Freestyle (7th).

Cerys swam in 7 events from which she picked up 4 new long course PB’s. The best of her swims was on day one in the 200 Butterfly where Cerys qualified and placed 7th in the final. Cerys also achieved a PB in the heat swim of this event in 2.36.37. Her other PB swims were in the 100 Freestyle 1.04.12, 50 Freestyle 29.06 and 400 IM 5.37.34.

Marni was competing on both Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon in the 200 Butterfly, 100 Breaststroke and 400 IM. From her 3 events she achieved 3 new long course PB’s and even smashed her previous 100 Breaststroke time by over 10 seconds.

Tom Page and Robbie Brindley (Boys 14 years) also had a successful weekend of racing and both boys managed to make finals. Tom competed in 7 events and gained PB’s in all 7 making the final in the 200 IM with a time of 2.29.50. Additionally in 50 Fly he went 29.64, 50 Freestyle 27.58, 100 Freestyle 1.00.17, 50 Breaststroke 35.66, 100 Butterfly 1.06.74 and 200 Freestyle 2.13.34.

Robbie swam in 4 events. His favoured 50 Butterfly was first up and despite a heat swim which was slightly off his best he still managed to make the final. He was however able to step up his performance in the final and achieved 7th position with a new long course PB of 28.75.

Robbie also managed to gain new long course PB’s in 100 Backstroke 1.09.43, 100 Butterfly 1.08.16 and 50 Backstroke 32.47 which also resulted in 4 out of 4 PB’s for him.

Tobin Sari (Boys 13 years) competed in 3 events and once again impressively gained long course PB’s in 100% of his swims. He swam 200 Breaststroke on Saturday morning nearly 18 seconds faster than his previous best time in 3.06.97. He swam 200 Butterfly on Sunday morning nearly 11 seconds faster than his previous best in 2.55.23. Finally he swam 100 Butterfly on Monday afternoon and gained a PB by over 4 seconds with a 1.15.93.

Barty Tozer (Boys 13 years) popped over to represent West Suffolk in the 200 Backstroke on Sunday afternoon in his first time swimming this event in a long course pool and it is fair to say he certainly made the most of his opportunity to swim. He attacked his race right from the start and positioned himself nicely down the 1st 100m. He then maintained a nice tempo and held on really well down the last 50 meters to record a new long course PB of 2.41.33.

Katie Rogers & Evie Pyle (Girls 13 years) both competed in the Butterfly events. Katie had 1 swim on each day starting with the 200 on Saturday. She looked composed, strong and held her stroke together really impressively considering it was her first time swimming this event in a long course pool. Needless to say she recorded a new long course PB of 2.59.50. On the Sunday it was the 50 Butterfly and confidence from her race the previous day showed as Katie swam a great race in a new long course PB by over 3 seconds with 32.82. Monday was the day of the 100 Butterfly and once again, having never swam this event in a long course pool Katie did a great job swimming in 1.14.93.

Evie was also in Luton on the Saturday for the 200 Butterfly and likewise having never swum this event in a long course pool she maintained a great technique and showed excellent courage to work hard throughout and achieve a new long course PB of 3.11.29 despite feeling slightly under the weather on the day.

Luka Page was the youngest of the West Suffolk squad competing over the weekend and he certainly started off his weekend on a high. Two great swims, one in the 100 Backstroke with a PB of over 6 seconds and the next in 50 Freestyle with a PB of nearly 2 seconds, earned him places in the finals for day one. Perhaps more impressively was the fact that Luka then stepped up his performances again and achieved further long course PB’s in the finals with 1.16.38 in 100 Backstroke (7th) & 29.71 in 50 Freestyle (4th). There was only 0.08 of a second separating the top 4 places in this race.

Luka also competed in 100 Breaststroke, 200 IM & 100 Freestyle on the Sunday and the 50 Breaststroke on the Monday. He, like so many of the others also gained new long course PB’s in all of his events. He swam 1.32.11 in 100 Breaststroke, 2.49.20 in 200 IM, 1.09.20 in 100 Freestyle and 41.93 in 50 Breaststroke.

It should be mentioned that all swimmers did a great job of representing West Suffolk Swimming Club, the behaviour was excellent over all 3 days and it was great to see everyone approaching and preparing for races in a professional manner.

It’s now important to keep the focus and knuckle down for the remaining weeks of this season and see what further improvements we can make before the National Championships or end of season meets.