Nine young West Norfolk Swimming Club swimmers competed at The East Region 2017 Long Course Age Group Championships at the UEA Sportspark in Norwich over the three days of the bank holiday weekend.
The swimmers aged between 12 and 14 years achieved tough qualification times to earn the right to compete in age groups based on their age on 31st December this year.
They followed the success of their older team mates in Luton last month with fantastic performances. The East Region includes clubs from across Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire. Across the two Championship weekends there were in excess of 6,000 individual swims.
The Lynn based club’s overall 13th position out of 64 clubs belies its relatively modest membership of around 145. The top three places went to City of Peterborough, Hatfield and Team Ipswich.
The young ‘purple army’ swimmers all swam multiple events, mostly across a range of strokes, achieving 43 personal best times (pb) as they competed in 79 events and 25 finals, bagging 11 medals for top three places.
The swimmers’ performances are summarised below:
Astrid Hubbard (13) raced ten events involving all four strokes achieving six personal bests in the 200m and 400m individual medleys (IM), 50m, 100m and 200m butterfly and 50m freestyle.
Ellie-Mei Shepperson (14) swam in three breaststroke events, recording a pb in the 50m distance
Freddie Laws (14) competed in eight events, making finals in the three breaststroke distances. He achieved a pb in the 50m breaststroke final and a silver medal in the 200m distance, all despite a recent shoulder injury.
Harry Sharpe (12) swam the 400m IM along with the 100m (pb), 200m, 400m (pb) and 1500m freestyle events. He finished 5th over the longest distance.
Leah Wightman (12) raced in 11 events reaching five finals. She achieved pb times in the heats of the 200m IM, 200m backstroke and 200m freestyle heats before bettering each of them in the finals. She also ‘pb’d in 100m freestyle and the 50m and 100m backstroke events. Her future looks bright.
Lucie Peck (14) qualified and raced in 10 events. She took bronze medals in the 400m and 800m freestyle events, finished 4th in the 200m butterfly and 400m IM. She achieved pb times in the 50m and 100m butterfly events and the 200m IM.
Robert Addis (13) swam in a massive 13 events over the three days. He double pb’d in the heats and finals of the 50m breaststroke, 200m freestyle and 200m IM events. He also raced best ever times in 50m butterfly, 100m backstroke, and over 50m, 100m, 400m and 1500m in freestyle,
Sam Rose (14) raced 12 events. He won seven silver medals in the 50m (pb) and 100m (pb) butterfly, 200m (pb), 400m (pb) and 1500m (pb) freestyle and 200m (double pb) and 400m (pb) IM. He also took bronze in the 100m (pb) backstroke. Sam also received the runners-up award for the best 14 year old boy.
Thomas Owen (12) competed in six events across three strokes and the IM. He recorded pbs in the 100m breaststroke and butterfly events.
West Norfolk Swimming Club head coach Sarah Vanderloo said: “The age group swimmers have built on and consolidated the fantastic results of their older ‘Youth’ team mates last month.
“These brilliant results are achieved through the dedication of the swimmers, not only attending every training session, but making the most of it and training hard.
“I look forward to taking some of these swimmers to the Nationals later in the year. On the other hand I’m also really looking forward to the mini meet at King’s Lynn next week, a gala for the youngest novice swimmers at the start of their swimming journey.”
In the next few days, as results from across the country are collated, swimmers from 12 years upwards who have achieved qualification times within the now closed ‘window’ for the British Summer Championships will be notified and invited to compete at Ponds Forge International Sports Centre, Sheffield over the last week of July and first week of August.
Several WNSC members are well placed, and hoping to make the cut.
For more information please visit www.westnorfolksc.co.uk