Tornadoes' Coach Hails Club Swimmers


TORNADOES’ lead coach Chris Beal reflected upon a superb time for his squad, that have seen numerous swimmers clinch places at the ASA South West Regional Championships.


Beal reflected saying: “The step up from county to regional level is huge, all of the newcomers arrived feeling nervous, but all left having produced great swims, and with big smiles on their faces.”


Beal continued: ”The more experienced swimmers did very well, and to add two more national swimmers was a fantastic reward for their efforts.”


The youth qualifiers were Joshua Frampton, Chloe Perkins,  Nathan Moorey, and Luke O’Dowd, swimming in the para events. The age group qualifiers were Charlie Rowe, Harry Stewart, Harry Falconer, Bethany Firth, Ellissia Walburn and Lilly Davies.


The youth event took place in Plymouth over three days and saw Joshua Frampton, 17, qualify for 100/200m freestyle, 100/200m breaststroke, 50/100m backstroke, and 200/400m individual medley.


Frampton produced personal bests in 200m and 400m medley, 200m freestyle and 200m breaststroke, and good solid swims in the remaining events.


Club captain Chloe Perkins 17 qualified in the 50m butterfly and produced another lifetime best on the first day of the competition.


Nathan Moorey, 15, made the step up from age groups and qualified for the 50m backstroke, 50/100m freestyle, and 50/100m butterfly.


Moorey produced personal bests in the 50m freestyle and 50m butterfly, where his heat time of 27.40 has him going to Sheffield in July for British nationals among the top 24 in the country.


Luke O’Dowd, 13, was at his first regionals and the Young S13 category para-swimmer had a challenging weekend, warm ups were hectic and difficult but O’Dowd swam really well at his first long course event.


He has since been to the British swimming para international meet in Sheffield where he managed to knock a further three seconds off both 100 freestyle and breaststroke events and a second off the 50m freestyle, which is a fantastic achievement.


George Boulter, 15, of Bridport Barracudas joined the Tornadoes swimmers at Plymouth where the dual registered swimmer was also at his first regional event, he also produced personal bests in 50m freestyle and 50m backstroke.


The age group swimmers spent the next two weekends competing at Hengrove and Millfield.


Newcomers Lilly Davies, 11, had qualified for 50/100/200m backstroke while Ellissia Walburn, 12, qualified for 100m butterfly, and Harry Falconer, 11, had qualified for 50/100/200m butterfly and 100m backstroke.


They all looked very nervous before warm up, but soon settled themselves to produce good personal bests in their events. These rising stars all showed good skills and speed during their events.


Davies has great strength, which she used to good effect in her races, pacing her 200m backstroke very well.   Walburn showed huge improvement in stroke control and rhythm in her 100m butterfly, which was pleasing to see as so much effort had gone into this in training recently.  Falconer had all the butterfly events to swim and he produced a good 100m on the first weekend. The second weekend was more challenging, but the young swimmer left the meet with a much better understanding of the demands of long course swimming.


Charlie Rowe, 13, had qualified for 50/100m butterfly, 200m, 50/100/200/400m freestyle, 50/100/200 backstroke, so was going to be the busiest swimmer.  Rowe performed extremely well with such a busy schedule and he made 100 butterfly and 50m backstroke finals, narrowly missing a medal in the 50m by just 0.03 seconds, his reward was a new club record.


Harry Stewart, 14, had qualified in 50/100/200m breaststroke, 50/100m freestyle, 100m backstroke and 50m butterfly, was going to be another busy swimmer.  He also made the 50m breaststroke final and again missed a medal by a fraction of a second, but his time of 33.14 ranked in the top 30 in the country, and breaking his own club record.


Bethany Firth, 14, had qualified for 50/100m butterfly and 50m backstroke.  Firth has been training well and showed good strength in her three swims, the best a personal best in 50m backstroke.


Izzy King, 12, another dual-registered swimmer joined the Tornadoes swimmers at Hengrove.  King was also at her first regional event and showed obvious nerves before warming up and went on to swim a great 50m freestyle where she managed to equal the Bridport club record with 32.31.