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King's Lynn swimmers make their mark in Winter National Championships at Sheffield

Nathan Wells was in record-breaking form as four West Norfolk Swimming Club members flew the flag at the National Winter Championships.

Wells, 21, was joined by Freddie Laws, 16, Sam Peck, 18, and Sam Rose, 16, for the clubs they swim with whilst studying outside the county.

Held at Ponds Forge, in Sheffield, the championships, raced in 25m, short course format, are unlike the Summer Championships which have age group specific finals.

Nathan Watson (23828885)
Nathan Watson (23828885)

The Winter Championships have just youth (18 and under), open (over 18) age groups with heat sessions taking place at 9am in the mornings and finals from 4.30pm in the afternoon.

West Norfolk Swimming Club head coach Sarah Vanderloo said: “It’s great to see all our members doing so well, whether swimming in a purple West Norfolk cap or in the colours of their other clubs.

“I was particularly pleased for Nathan who had a fantastic weekend, but taking the longstanding county record in the 400m freestyle from such a top achieving athlete is really special.

“I’ve been keeping tabs on the results from City of Peterborough’s ‘CoPs Winter Open’ gala where we had members swimming as well over the weekend and am pleased that there have been some great results there too.”

Vanderloo added: “We crack on with training now though. With the final of the Arena League in Cambridge and the Norfolk County Championships early next month, there’s no time to rest on our laurels.

I’m also looking forward to welcoming the 20 or so new young members joining the club after our recent trials sessions.

“Anyone looking for information on joining the club can contact me through our new-look website at:www.westnorfolksc.co.uk.”

Sam Rose and Freddie Laws (23828899)
Sam Rose and Freddie Laws (23828899)

Freddie Laws got things underway on Thursday, swimming a personal best (PB) in of 1.05.14 in the 100m breaststroke.

Nathan Wells started with the 200m IM, swimming just off his PB.

In the 400m freestyle, however, he swam a brilliant 3.50.42 which broke the 36-year-old Norfolk county record, held since 1983 by Norfolk Olympian Paul Easter.

That time earned Wells a place in the final where he finished fifth, with an even quicker 3.49.12, notching up a 2.75 second improvement on his PB on the day and consolidating the county record.

On Friday, Peck and Wells both raced he 400m IM.

Sam Peck (23828897)
Sam Peck (23828897)

Peck just missed his PB, while Wells equalled his own county record time of 4.20.57 in the heats.

In the final he took a further 1.5 seconds off it to finish in 4.19.06, stamping his name on that county record even harder.

Rose raced the 100m freestyle putting in his second best ever time of 53.69, not quite matching his own junior county record, set last month.

Wells began the Saturday with PB of 56.81 in the heat of the 100m IM, which was yet another Norfolk county record, and earned him a place in the final.

The record didn’t hold for long though, as he again bettered it in the final, with 56.53, placing him joint-eighth overall.

He then raced the 1500m freestyle, finishing sixth overall, with another PB time of 15.28.87

On the Sunday, Laws was first up in the 200m breaststroke, notching up a time of 2.20.33, just off his own junior and senior county record time, set in November, taking it from team mate Peck.

Peck went a couple of heats later of the same event, finishing in 2.21.64.

Rose finished his weekend off with a 1.55.58 in the 200m freestyle.

West Norfolk Swimming Club pic (23828932)
West Norfolk Swimming Club pic (23828932)

An excellent weekend was rounded off with the news that West Norfolk Swimming Club were named top visiting club at the COPS (City of Peterborough) Winter Open meeting.

Robert Addis also received the top boy accolade.

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