West Norfolk’s Sam slams home national silver haul

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West Norfolk SC members have again descended on Sheffield over the last two weeks for the ASA National Open Water Championships, British Summer National Championships and ASA National Championships.

They have been competing against the most talented swimmers from across the UK.

The competition began with the ASA National Open Water Championships at Rother Valley Country Park.

After the recent warm weather the water was balmy and calm for Lucie Peck, Sam Rose and Jenny Read to tackle the 1.5km.

All performed brilliantly particularly Rose at his first National event where he finished fourth in the boys 13 years, Lucie finished 11th in the girls 13 years and Jenny 16th in the 14 years.

As the wind picked up and rain threatened in the afternoon Nathan Wells was swimming the gruelling 5km where he paced himself well to finish just behind the lead pack in an excellent eighth place.

The action moved to Ponds Forge Swimming Pool and after a day of training Molly Lee, Natalie Coogans and Sam Peck joined Wells at the British Summer Championships.

Nathan was first up with the 400m Freestyle where a season’s best (sb) swim in the heat put him into the final that evening where he swam a lovely paced race and a personal best time (pb) of 4.00.30 to finish seventh in the 17/18 years.

Sam in the 100m Breaststroke returned to form, finishing 17th in the 16 years in a season’s best of 1.07.69. The girls 50m Breaststroke saw Molly and Natalie open by both finishing just off their best times with Molly agonisingly close to the final in 11th (34.69) in the 15 years and Natalie 14th (34.50) in the 19 and overs.

In the 200m Breast, Molly finished strongly in 19th (2.47.24) again just outside her best time but gaining valuable experience in her first appearance at British Nationals. Natalie produced a pb in the heat of her favourite Breaststroke event to qualify for the final that evening where she attacked from the start to finish 7th and steal another pb (2.34.09) to break her own county record for the second time in the day.

Wells had a gruelling 400m IM followed by the 1500m Freestyle but attacked it with his usual steely determination to secure a pb (4.32.98) in the IM, qualify for the final that evening and break the county record which had previously stood for 33 years.

In the afternoon’s 1500m he swam a beautifully paced race to pb by 14 seconds (16.03.11) and finish fifth; then raced the 400m IM final. After such a brutal day he couldn’t quite match his time from the morning but bagged an admirable ninth place.

Peck returned to Sheffield on Friday to compete in the 200m Breast. A pb in the heat saw him qualify for the final that evening where he got his reward with another pb (2.25.34) to finish 6th. Wells raced the shorter 200m IM where a sb (2.10.03) wasn’t quite enough for a final but moved him up the rankings.

Sunday, the final day of British Nationals, saw Wells swim the 200m Freestyle and finish 13th (1.54.57) narrowly missing the final, closely followed by the 200m Backstroke where he swam a pb (2.07.64) to qualify for the final that evening where he finished 10th to end an excellent week. Natalie and Molly had the 100m Breaststroke to finish the week, Natalie finished 15th (1.14.32) while Molly qualified for the final that evening (1.15.40) where she finished 9th to end her week on a high.

The following week was the ASA National Championships where Peck contested four events in the 16 years age group. First up was the 400m IM for a pb to qualify for the final in the evening where another pb (4.45.60) saw him take the silver medal in a close finish. In the 200m IM came a pb in the heat to qualify for the final which saw a further improvement on his best time (2.13.89) and a bronze.

Sam on the final day finished 10th in the 200m Butterfly with a pb (2.15.78) and qualified for the 50m Breast final in a sb time where another sb (31.31) won him the silver medal – a fantastic end to a super 12 days by everyone.