The recent county championships provided West Norfolk swimmers with an opportunity to build on the successes of 2015 and demonstrate further why they are one of the top clubs in Norfolk.
Racing over a series of weekends at Wymondham for the distance events (400m, 800m and 1500m) and Thetford (50m-200m), the swimmers produced another stunning set of performances which bode well for a successful season in 2016.
There were medals galore in the long distance events, with Nathan Wells being crowned county champion in the 400m and 1500m events, (Open age group and 16/over).
Eleven year-old Harry Sharpe lived up to his name, winning the 10/11 year age group, showing great promise for the season ahead.
Robert Addis was in his usual unstoppable form throughout, picking up first places in the 400m and 1500m for his age group. Freddie Laws swam well to take third in the 1500m and fourth in the 400m, with Joseph Wells a very creditable fourth in the 16/over 400m age group.
Jake Lammas finished second and Jacob Isle was third in the boys’ 15 year for 400m.
For the girls Leah Wightman swam phenomenally well to take third in the 400m 10/11 year. Katelin Taylor was third in her age group at 400m, with Astrid Hubbard, Jenny Read and Alice Ireland all finishing fourth in their respective age groups.
Jenny and Astrid bravely tackled the 800m event with both recording personal best (PB) times.
The shorter events at Thetford were equally successful for the club. Newly crowned ‘KL.FM Sportsman of the Year’ Nathan Wells continued his dominance of counties, collecting many more titles in all distances and strokes. Josh Gray delighted his fans to prove that he can still turn on the speed by winning the 16/over 50m breaststroke. Robert Addis dominated in the 12 year age group, picking up many county titles, including the 50m and 100m freestyle, 50m fly, 50m and 200m breaststroke.
Jake Lammas finished second in the 100m free final, chased hard by team mate Jacob Isle who took third. Breaststroke specialist Freddie Laws took first places in the 50m and 200m events for his age group, promising another great season for the 12 year-old King Edward VII Academy student.
Harry Sharpe finished second in his 100m free final; Harley Bunting swam well throughout taking third in the 50m free final, and sixth in the 50m back final.
Tobias Oglesby broke through in reaching the finals at 100m free and 100m back for 12 year-olds. Luke Bryan showed tremendous racing tactics in the 400m I/M and 200m fly, finishing second in his age group.
Amongst other swimmers recording PBs and performing well were Alex Florance, Alex Hall, Jake Hall, Archie Holman, Matthew Addis, Oliver Newton, Harvey Isle and Henry Overton.
The girls were in superb form too at Thetford. Natalie Coogans demonstrated why she was voted KL.FM Sportswoman for 2015, with county titles in 50m and 100m breaststroke, third places in the 50m free and 100m I/M and sixth in the 100m fly. Natalie was pushed hard by Mollie Lee who took second in the Open 100m breast final, and scored a win in the 100m final for her 15 year group. Abigail Whiting never disappoints in top class competition, winning the 16/over and Open 50m fly finals, second in the 100m I/M and second in the 50m free.
Astrid Hubbard continued to impress greatly in all her events, taking many titles including the 50m and 100m freestyle events, recording many PBs along the way.
Wightman had an impressive win in the 11 years 200m backstroke and third in the 50m free final. Roxanne Uys is another breaststroke specialist, taking second places in the finals of the 50m and 100m.
Rachael Johnson took the 14 year age group county title at 100m back, with Lara Grace Mount in second and Isabel Overton in fifth in what was a very exciting final. Elise Sorrell scored an emotional win to take the 16/over 50m freestyle final, in what may be her last counties before leaving for university later this year.
Other girls among the medals were Alice Ireland, Jenny Read, Chloe Sorrell, Rosie Muspratt and Katelin Taylor.
Many others swam extremely well in very large age group entries to record PBs, including Kiera Clarke, Katie Drew, Isabel Jeffery, Ellie Shepperson and Gemma White.
All the swimmers owe a huge debt of gratitude to their parents for support and transport; to head coach Sarah Vanderloo for encouragement, and to the many marshalls and officials.
Full results can be found on Norfolk ASA website.