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West Norfolk Swimming Club relay team shines at British National Championships at Ponds Forge in Sheffield

West Norfolk Swimming Club were represented by five swimmers at the British National Championships, held at Ponds Forge in Sheffield.

Nathan Wells kicked off proceedings on Saturday morning with a 20th place among Britain’s best in the 400m freestyle with a time of four minutes and 8.34 seconds.

Freddie Laws was up next, achieving the same placing as Wells had in his 100m breaststroke as he came home in one minute and 6.29 seconds. Wells and first-time national qualifier Tobias Oglesby were both in action in the splash-and-dash 50m backstroke.

West Norfolk swimmers competed at the British National Championships.
West Norfolk swimmers competed at the British National Championships.

Wells took 13th place in the 19 years and over category with a strong swim only one hundredth of a second off his best time, while Oglesby swam a new personal best of 27.57 seconds to place 13th in the 18 years age group.

Sarah O’Brien was the fourth and final West Norfolk swimmer in the pool on the Saturday, swimming the 50m breaststroke in 34.51 seconds to secure a 17th place finish.

Sunday saw Wells return to the pool for the 100m backstroke with a swim of 58 seconds exactly, placing 17th, before racing the 400m individual medley on Monday morning.

West Norfolk swimmers competed at the British National Championships.
West Norfolk swimmers competed at the British National Championships.

Swimming one of his favoured events, Wells put in a season’s best swim of four minutes 34.91 seconds, coming agonisingly close to a place in the finals with his 11th place finish.

Tuesday morning saw Freddie Laws back in action for the 200m breaststroke, placing 17th in a time of two minutes 25.28 seconds.

That afternoon saw a highlight of the week as Laws, Oglesby and Nathan Wells were joined by Joe Wells for the men’s 4x100m medley relay – the first time in the club’s history that a relay team had competed on a national stage.

Oglesby swam the opening backstroke leg, doing so in 60.18 seconds before handing over to Laws for the breaststroke.

One minute and 6.51 seconds later, Laws was himself handing over to Joe Wells for the butterfly, who swam his leg in 60.33 seconds on his national debut.

Nathan Wells then brought the team home with a 52.29 second freestyle leg to secure a 20th place finish for West Norfolk, with the quartet bettering their entry time.

Wednesday saw Wells swim a time of two minutes 7.21 seconds to secure a spot in the 200m individual medley, qualifying ninth fastest.

That evening he went on to better his time to two minutes 6.99 seconds – again taking ninth place.

As the event drew to a close, Wells swam a two minute 8.14 second 200m backstroke to end his nationals with a 15th place finish.

Sarah O’Brien was back for the 100m breaststroke, placing seventeenth with a time of one minute 15.17 seconds.

Attention now turns to the Swim England Championships which start on Friday.

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