Over the recent Bank Holiday weekend West Norfolk’s elite swimmers competed at the Youth East Region Championships, at UEA Sportspark. Competition came from Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire in an intensive three day meet.
The girls had a hugely successful time across the range of strokes. Bryony Pack was competing at her first regionals and finished a very respectable 15th in the 50m free (15 yrs). Elise Sorrell recorded a pb to finish 12th in the 17/over age group, and Abbie Whiting (recently back from injury) swam a season’s best in the heats in qualifying for the 17/over final where she finished fifth. Abbie also battled determinedly in the 200m free final to claim a well-deserved silver.
The breaststroke events again showed West Norfolk’s depth of talent in this discipline. In the 200m Roxanne Uys finished 12th (17/over). Molly Lee made the 15 yr group final and took a superb bronze medal- her first at regionals. Natalie Coogans was in stunning form, swimming both a pb and county record to win gold in the 200m- her first regional title of which she can be rightly proud.
In the 50m breaststroke Natalie finished third after recording another pb. A strong finish and another pb gave her silver in the 100m final. Roxanne continued her excellent form with a pb in the 50m heats, narrowly missing a place in the final, taking 9th place overall. Molly Lee continued to impress, making the 15 yr age final and just being pipped to first place in another hard fought race. She proved unstoppable in the 100m event final though, leading from the gun to take gold and record her first regional title.
In the 50m backstroke Chloe Sorrell swam a pb to finish 19th in her 15yr age group. Roxanne proved her strength in this stroke with another pb, and Abbie Whiting recorded another season’s best for 22nd place in the 17/over event. Alice Ireland enjoyed her first regionals taking 14th place in the 100m fly (15yrs). Natalie Coogans couldn’t resist picking up another pb in the 200m I/M whilst just missing out on the bronze medal, but having a wonderful meet overall.
The boys were also in spectacular form across the age groups and strokes. Eighteen year old Nathan Wells, fresh from his Olympic Trials experience was in scintillating form competing on all three days.
Nathan took the 400m Individual Medley gold on day one, giving West Norfolk their first medal of the championships. He then went on to scoop silver medals in the 400m free and 200 back with a pb and swam two further pbs to finish 4th in a very close 50m back final and 11th in the 100m free.
Nathan then won gold on the final day in the ultra-demanding 1500m in what proved to be a very exciting race. He took silver in the 200m I/M, followed closely by another silver in the 100m back final, he then wrapped up his performances with a dogged swim to take bronze in the 200m free.
Alex Florance is enjoying an injury-free season and swam a pb in the 100m breaststroke heats to qualify for the final where he finished a fine 6th, with another pb. He then repeated this result in the 200m event (16 yrs).
Ryan Sykes swam a season’s best for 20th place in the 100m breast and a pb in the 50m event. Ollie Newton made a welcome return to competition, battling back form injury and illness. He was just off his season’s best for 50m fly (17/over), and took 22nd in the 100m fly.
Jake Lammas finished 12th in the 50m free (15 yrs) in a pb, and Archie Holman 18th in another pb in the 50m breaststroke.
Overall it was a wonderfully successful weekend with West Norfolk collecting four gold, seven silver and three bronze medals. This result put them as the top Norfolk club. There is no rest however as the Age Group Finals loom large in Luton in a couple of weeks.