The largest ever team of West Norfolk Swimming Club, seventy-three swimmers, took part in the Norfolk County ASA Championships and Age Group Championships at The Sportspark, Norwich over the first three weekends of January. The County Relay Trophy and Championship Relay Gala was also held on Sunday afternoon, 14th January.
For the first time these events took place in the 50m pool, with some younger swimmers experiencing the Olympic length facility for the first time in their races.
All events were split by age group, with 10 and 11 year olds sharing a category, 12, 13, 14 and 15 year old having single year groups and seniors being those aged 16 years or over. Most events ran as ‘heat declared winners’, whilst some 50m and 100m events involved heats and finals. Medals were awarded for the top three spots in each year group. Trophies were presented to the overall age group winners in the under 16 and 16/over categories.
The purple hatted athletes of West Norfolk Swimming Club’s ‘Purple Army’ featured heavily in the medal and trophy presentations. The fact that so many swimmers achieved personal best times across a range of events so early in the season bodes well for upcoming competitions at all levels. Alongside the personal bests, WNSC swimmers notched up a number of record swims too.
Oli Kenny, 20, who competed in the Deaflympics in Turkey last summer broke his own British record with a time of 1.03.81 in the 100m backstroke, finishing third overall. He also set an English record in the 50m freestyle with 25.34 seconds.
For the first time a medley skins event was included in the programme. The top 8 open age group swimmers in the 200m individual medley qualified to participate in this fun event involving a 50m race, with the stroke picked at random each time, starting every three minutes. After each 50m ‘leg’ the last athlete to finish was eliminated. There were cash prizes for the top two boys and top two girls. Lucie Peck qualified for the girls event, as did Roxanne Uys who finished 3rd. Joe Wells, Luke Bryan, Sam Peck, Oliver Kenny, Finlay Ryan and Nathan Wells took up 6 of the 8 lanes for the boys. Nathan Wells won, beating Sam Peck into 2nd place.
The 2018 County Championships also marked the end of an era, with lasts years Senior Captain, Jake Hall, a long standing stalwart who has been trained and raced for the club for many years, finishing his competitive career. Jake, who has been a great role model to many younger swimmers, will continue to train, on a much reduced schedule with the master’s squad.
Gold medallists among the girls were:
Leah Bushell (12) 100m, 200m and 400 freestyle, 50m, 100m, 200m backstroke and 200m and 400m individual medley. Leah also won silver in and 400m individual medley and bronze in 50m freestyle.
Abigail Nicholson (12) 200m butterfly.
Leah Wightman (13) 800m freestyle, 100m and 200m backstroke. Leah won silver in 200m freestyle bronze in 100m and 400mfreestyle, 50m butterfly and 400m individual medley.
Astrid Hubbard (14) 200m butterfly, 100m backstroke, 50 butterfly, 100 butterfly. Silver in 400m freestyle and 200m individual medley with bronze in 50m backstroke and bronze in 400m individual medley.
Ellie Mei Shepperson (15) 100m and 200m breaststroke.
Lucie Peck (15) 400m freestyle, 100m butterfly, 200 butterfly, 400m individual medley, also winning the under 16 and open age group categories. Lucie won silver in 100m and 200m freestyle, 100m and 200m breaststroke, 100m and 200m back stroke and 200m individual medley.
Bryony Pack (16+) 200m butterfly. Silver in 100m butterfly.
Molly Lee (16+) 50 breaststroke and open age, 100 breaststroke and open age group. Silver 200m breaststroke.
Other medal winning girls included Kacie Cooper (12), bronze, 50m breaststroke, Roxanne Uys (19) silver, 50m and 100m breaststroke, Erica Charters (13) bronze, 100m and 200m breaststroke, 200m butterfly, Olivia Skitrell (11) 200m butterfly, Isabel Jeffrey (14) bronze, 200m butterfly, Jenn Read, (16)silver, 200m butterfly, Lara Grace Mount (16) silver 50m, 100m and bronze, 200m backstroke.
Gold medallists among the boys were:
Kyle Ostil (12) 50m butterfly. Kyle also won silver in 50m freestyle and bronze in 100m freestyle, 50m breaststroke
Robert Addis(14) 200m and 1500m freestyle, 50m, 100m and 200m breaststroke,. 50m butterfly. Robert won silver in 50m breaststroke, 200m and 400m individual medley, and bronze in 50m, 100m and 400m freestyle, 100m butterfly, 50m 100m and 200m backstroke
Freddie Laws (15) 50m, 100m breaststroke, and both 200m breaststroke and 200m butterfly age group and under 16 champion. Silver in 400m individual medley and bronze in the 200m IM
Sam Rose (15) 200m and 400m freestyle, 50m backstroke, age group and under 16 champion. 200m backstroke. Sam won silver in 50m 100m and 1500m freestyle, 50m, 100m and 200m butterfly and 200m individual medley, bronze in 100m backstroke, 400m individual medley.
Oliver Kenny (21)50m freestyle, winning the open category, and taking silver in the age group. Bronze, 50m butterfly and 50m, 100m and 200m backstroke.
Nathan Wells (20)was age group winner of 50m freestyle and both age group and open champion in 100m, 200m, and 400m freestyle, 50m, 100m and 200m butterfly, 50m, 100m and 200m backstroke, 200m and 400m individual medley.
Luke Bryan (18)1500m freestyle, 50m and 200m breaststroke age group and open champion. Age group winner of 100m breaststroke. Silver, 200m and 400m freestyle. Silver 50m and 200m butterfly and 200m and 400m individual medley.
Alex Florance (18) won silver in the age group and won the open 100m breaststroke. Silver, 200m breaststroke
Other medal winning boys included; Joshua Parker (11) bronze, 400m freestyle, Daniel Grimmer (12) bronze, 200m butterfly and 400m individual medley, Harry Sharpe (13) silver, 400m and bronze 1500m freestyle, Thomas Owen (13) silver, 100m and 200m breaststroke, bronze, 200m butterfly , Sam Randall (14) won bronze, 200m breaststroke, Tobias Oglesby (14) silver, 1500m freestyle, Jake Lammas(17) bronze, 1500m freestyle, Sam Peck (18) silver 50m breaststroke,100m butterfly, bronze, 200m breaststroke and 200m butterfly and 200m individual medley, Finlay Ryan (19) bronze, 100m and 400m freestyle, 50m breaststroke and 400m individual medley, Joseph Wells (18), bronze, 200m and silver 1500m freestyle.
West Norfolk SC finished second overall in the relay gala, with a rare appearance in the water by Head Coach Sarah Vanderloo, who put in a strong leg to assist the West Norfolk girls ‘C’ team in their efforts. The 13/14 year old boys 4 x 50m team of Sam Rose, Freddie Laws, Robert Addis and Tom Ball won their event, before their older team mates Nathan Wells, Alex Florance, Luke Bryan and Oli Kenny won the 17 & over version of the race. The 4 x 50m freestyle relay was also won by West Norfolk SC with a team comprising Oli Kenny, Finn Ryan, Luke Bryan and Nathan Wells. The two wins for the older teams were all the sweeter as both times achieved were new County records.
A number of WNSC were also presented with awards marking milestone numbers of times they have been selected to represent Norfolk in inter-county competitions. With only 2 or 3 such competitions each year, the awards reflect consistent dedication and commitment to supporting Norfolk County ASA.
Abigail Whiting and Nathan Wells received gold award, marking their achievements in having represented the county at 16 different events. Ryan Sykes, Finlay Ryan and Sam Rose received bronze awards for 8 such selections. Leah Wightman collected her County colours and bronze award (4 and 8 selections respectively), Robert Addis, Jacob Isle, Molly Lee and Roxanne Uys received their County colours.
The event was very well supported by volunteers and officials from across the county, including a large contingent from West Norfolk Swimming Club. Swimmers, spectators and the County ASA are very grateful for their assistance, as without such backing the Championships could not take place.
WNSC TOP 8 PLACE FINISHERS - NORFOLK COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIPS GALA 2018
EXPLANATORY NOTE –
In ‘heats/finals’ events, the top eight swimmers competed in the final. In heat declared winner events the top eight swimmers can be considered as ‘finalists’. The tables attached set out the finishing positions of all WNSC swimmers achieving a top eight place or better. The columns show:
AFTER HEATS – The position within the age group after the heats, including final positions for events with heat declared winners. Medals for the top three positions.
AGE GROUP FINAL – Finishing position in the final for that age group. Medals for the top three positions.
U/16 AGE GROUP – The position of the swimmer in the category. Winners are ‘Age group County Champion’. Trophy for the winner.
OPEN – The position of the swimmer in the category. Winners are ‘Open County Champion’. Trophy for the winner.)