The East Swimming Regional Age Group Championships took place at The Sportspark, Norwich over the three days of the late May bank holiday weekend.
Nine West Norfolk Swimming Club athletes aged from 11 - 14 years raced alongside fellow qualifiers from across Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire in over fifty events. Up for grabs were regional titles and medals, but the gala also provided an all too rare opportunity to swim for qualification times to enter the British Swimming and Swim England National championships being held in July in Glasgow and Sheffield.
Individually the West Norfolk SC swimmers competed in the following events, racking up 19 personal best ever times (PB)
Chloe Liddell (13 yrs) 100m *1.17.33 PB) and 200m butterfly2.45.74 (PB) in the heat, and 8th in the final,
Erica Charters (14 yrs) 100m and 200m 21st place butterfly, 100m (1.24.26 PB) and 200m (3.00.84 PB) breaststroke, 400m individual medley,
Harry Sharpe (14 yrs) 100m (1.03.55 PB), 200m (PB in heat and in final 2.14.22, 4th) and 400m (4.46.52 PB) freestyle, and 800m freestyle at Luton Inspire a week earlier.
Harvey Isle (14 yrs) 100m and 400m freestyle, 50m (37.03 PB) , 100m and 200m breaststroke, 100m and 200m butterfly, 100m (1.12.06 PB) and 200m (2.33.81 PB) backstroke, 200m and 400m (5.25.37 PB) individual medley,
Kacie Cooper (13 yrs) 50m (38.77 PB) , 100m (15th) and 200m (3.08.67 PB) breaststroke,
Kyle Ostil (13 yrs) 50m, 100m (1.04.25 PB) and 200m freestyle, 50m (31.55 PB) and 100m butterfly,
Leah Wightman (14y yrs) 50m, 100m, 200m and 400m (4.51.29 PB) freestyle, 50m, 100m (1.11.10 PB) and 200m (2.39.16 in heat PB finished 6th) butterfly, 50m(4th), 100m (1.10.34 PB, 4th) and 200m backstroke, 200m and 400m individual medley. Leah also swam a PB of 10.17.31 in the 800m freestyle despite losing her hat and goggles at the 600m point.
Nedas Tkacenko (13 yrs) 100m and 200m freestyle,
Unfortunately Thomas Owen (14 yrs) was taken ill just before the weekend and so had to withdraw from the events he had qualified for; 50m, 100m and 200m breaststroke, 200m butterfly and 200m individual medley.
Their older team mates rounded off their regional level events at Luton Inspire on Saturday 18th May, swimming the recently introduced ‘reverse long distance’ races. In these events the men swim 800m freestyle, previously reserved for women, and the women swim 1500m, which was previously just for the men.
Harry Sharpe (14yrs) finished 11th in a time of 9.55.68
Robert Addis (15 yrs) finished 9th in 9.35.32
Callum Stedman (16yrs) came in 4th in 9.16.57
Sam Rose (16 yrs) took bronze medal in 8.59.96
Luke Bryan (18 yrs) also raced the 200m breaststroke at the Youth regional event, achieving a 7th placed finish in the final.
WNSC Head coach Sarah Vanderloo said ‘West Norfolk SC’s age group swimmers have done us and themselves proud once again. For some this was their first regional championships and the highest level event they have competed in to date. They relied on their training, managed their nerves and followed their race plans, leading to some fantastic results and personal best plans. In swimming you get out what you put in, and these swimmers deserve recognition for the achievements they’ve made’
The qualification ‘window’ for national championships for both age group and youth swimmers closed after the weekend racing across the country, leaving the athletes waiting for the database of results to be updated before they will know whether they qualify to swim at the national events.
Back row - Harry Sharpe, Harvey Isle, Kyle Ostia, Nedas Tkacenko
Front row - Erica Charters, Chloe Liddell, Katie Cooper, Leah Whiteman