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West Norfolk swimmer bags 15 titles at Swim England Norfolk County Championships





Young swimming sensation Valeria Soldatihhina, 11, stole the show at the Swim England Norfolk County Championships by winning an astonishing 15 titles.

The youngster dominated affairs in the 10 and 11-year-old category over three weekends at the UEA SportsPark in Norwich.

Soldatihhina began her incredible medal haul in the girls’ 200-metre freestyle and ended it in the 100m butterfly as West Norfolk Swimming Club members produced a string of fine swims under the guidance of head coach Sarah Vanderloo.

Club captains Abbie Nicholson and Harvey Isle
Club captains Abbie Nicholson and Harvey Isle

Esmie Kidman got the ball rolling with success in the 17 and over and the open age group women’s 800 and 1500m freestyle, while club captain Harvey Isle claimed the 17 and over and men’s open age group titles in the 1500m freestyle.

Josh Jones took the top spot in the boys’ 15 years’ 100m breaststroke before Soldatihhina triumphed in the girls’ 10 & 11 years’ 50m butterfly.

Olivia Bradford repeated the feat in the 13 years’ age group of the same event, and Millie Harris made it a hat-trick of 50m butterfly titles with victory in the 16 years’ category

Nathan Wells bagged first in the men’s 50m backstroke, narrowly edging out teammate Tobias Oglesby by a mere three-hundredths of a second.

Soldatihhina sealed further success in the 100m breaststroke before finishing fourth in the 50m equivalent.

Sunday morning saw the trio of Alexander Pattison, Jamie Wilson and Kye Harrington scoop firsts in their respective age categories for the 200m butterfly before Soldatihhina struck gold in the 200IM.

Wells was first in the men’s 100m backstroke final before golden girl Soldatihhina took the honours in the 50m breaststroke.

Jones was victorious in the 400m IM and titles seven and eight for Soldatihhina followed in the 200m breaststroke and 50m freestyle.

Samuel Liddell took top honours in the boys’ 13 years’ 100m butterfly as the second weekend came to a close.

The third weekend started with a gold for Soldatihhina in the 200m butterfly before Wells did the same in the men’s 200m individual medley.

The 100m freestyle saw Soldatihhina take her titles into the double digits, while Harris also made it to the top of the podium in the 16 years’ age category.

Freddie Laws headed a West Norfolk one-two-three in the men’s 50m breastroke final ahead of Finlay Ryan and Nathan Wells.

Milly Johnson tasted success in the girls’ 14 years’ 400IM and Esmie Kidman repeated the feat in her age group.

Harry Clarke continued the club's success story in the boys' 200m breaststroke, and both Jones and Laws did the same in their age groups.

The relentless Soldatihhina secured her 13th crown in the 100m backstroke before Oglesby ended the penultimate day of action with victory in the blue-ribbon and men’s 50m freestyle final.

Wells claimed further titles in the 200m backstroke and 100m freestyle respectively, while Soldatihhina's 14th victory arrived in the 200m backstroke.

Her final win in an outstanding showing came in the 100m butterfly.

West Norfolk’s final individual gold came courtesy of Harris in the 100m butterfly before the relay team were placed second overall - with their sole gold coming from the men’s 4 x 100 mixed medley team.



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