Weekend 1 - South East Region Age Group Championship Report


Weekend 1 – Swim England South East Region Age Group Championship Report

Staines Swimming club had 8 swimmers competing in the first weekend of the South East Region Age Group Championships held at K2 Crawley.

Swimmers descended on Crawley from 193 clubs spread across the South East Region from Dover to Milton Keynes.

Marcel Chodnicki (13) performed excellently in the heats of the 200m Breaststroke securing a place in the final ranked 1st with a four second personal best time of 2.42.94. In the final Marcel controlled the race in lane 4 flanked by swimmers from Oxford and Jersey Tigers, the three swimmers came down the final length together in the closest race of the championships to date. A final push for the wall in the last 10 meters saw all three swimmers go head to head on the touch with Marcel secured the silver medal in a new personal best of 2.42.45. All three swimmers finished within 0.30s of each with 1st place finishing in 2.42.37, Marcel in 2.42.45 and 3rd place in 2.42.67. Although a little disappointed with second place as Marcel felt he controlled the race and had the Oxford swimmer on the touch, he was pleased with another excellent personal best.

The following day in the 100m breaststroke Marcel qualified fastest again for the final posting a new personal best of 1.16.75 in the heats. Learning from day one Marcel wouldn’t leave it to the last 10 meters and dominated the race leading from the turn at 50m pulling away from the field to secure his first Regional title in another personal best time of 1.15.68.


Marcel performed excellent in his races showing great ability to control his pace and tactically swim against excellent opponents which only comes from dedicated hours in the training pool. Marcel has now taken 15.42 seconds off his 200m personal best and 8.10 seconds of his 100m personal best in the last 12 months a fantastic improvement. Marcel’s times now rank him in position for a place at Summer Nationals in the joint 13/14 year age group which is a fantastic achievement a year down. All three boys who medalled in the 200m breaststroke have posted national ranked times in the 13/14 age group showing the quality and level of swimming within the region.

Cay Yoruk (14) also performed excellently in the boys 200m breaststroke securing a 5 second personal best posting a time of 2.54.25 moving up on entry rankings by 4 places, in his first year at regional championships. Can is another swimmer who has made remarkable progress slashing nearly 12 seconds of his personal best in the last 6 months.

Alicia Irwin (11), Mae Hunt (14) and Trinity Higham (14) all competed in the girls 50m freestyle. Alicia competed in the joint 11/12 year age group and secured a fantastic personal best of 30.83 becoming the fastest 11 year old at the competition and finished in 21st place in the joint age group an 18 place improvement on entry ranking. Pocket rocket Mae Hunt had a fantastic start and finished with style to secure an impressive personal best of 29.13 getting ever closer to breaking the 29 second barrier. Mae finished in 13th place moving up 14 places on entry ranking. Trinity Higham showed good speed off the start but finished just off her personal best in her second year at regional’s Trinity has the 50m backstroke her favoured event in the second weekend of competition.

Larger than life Libby Coombs (12) swam an outstanding 200m butterfly in her first regional outing securing an excellent time of 2.57.73 breaking the 3 minute barrier for the first time with a 4.25 second personal best. Libby moved up 9 places from entry ranking finishing in 16th place.

Yasmin Taleb (13) also swan for the first time at regional championships and put in a good display in the 200m butterfly in a controlled race finishing just short of her personal best secured just a month ago in 2.56.21, with a 22nd place finish overall.

Regional debutant Harry Overington (12) swan a strong 100m freestyle finishing just outside his personal best and on day two secured an excellent personal best in the 50m butterfly nearly breaking the 35 second barrier finishing in 35.01.

A very good first weekend at the age group championships for Staines Swimmers with two medals and 5 debutants taking part which is an excellent showing for the clubs development pathway and great experience for the swimmers.

Weekend 2 - 25th and 26th May.

Chris White

Head Coach