Weekend one of the Nottinghamshire ASA County Championships got off to a storming start with no fewer than half of the new Junior and Senior County Champion crowns going to Mansfield and Ashfield’s swimmers.
As reported in last week’s Chad, a large number of swimmers this year were having to compete in age groups above their actual ages.
However, our local swimmers proved they were more than up to the challenge, notching up not only medals and County Champion titles, but additionally bringing home an impressive haul of Midland Regional qualifying times between them and a vast array of new, personal best times.
Lily Boseley (13) from Sherwood Colliery Swimming Club led the local title charge, taking four 14yrs/under Junior County Champion titles in the 100m and 400m individual medleys, 100m butterfly and 200m freestyle and additionally secured the bronze medal in the final of the 200m breaststroke.
In fact, the Girls’ 14yrs/under 200m Freestyle final was almost an all-Black & Gold affair, with three Sherwood girls taking half of the six places available - Lily Boseley claimed the top spot, Evie Timms was placed fifth and Libby Coleman sixth.
Her Sherwood team-mate, Owen Ottaway (13) took the 14yrs/under Junior County Champion title in the 1500m freestyle with an impressive display of speed endurance over 60 lengths of the Beechdale Leisure Centre pool.
Owen additionally took the Junior County Champion runner-up spots and silver medals in the 200m freestyle and 50m backstroke adding a bronze medal to his first weekend’s haul in the 200m backstroke final.
In the Senior competition, Sherwood’s Imogen Gould (19) took the 15yrs/over Senior County Champion title in the 50m breaststroke for an incredible sixth year running, adding the Senior County Champion runner-up spot and silver medal in the 100m individual medley.
Jade Young (14) completed Sherwood’s Senior competition honours with the 15yrs/over Senior County Champion runner-up spot in the 400m individual medley, adding two bronze medals to her tally in the 100m individual medley and 50m breaststroke. Jade additionally qualified for the Senior 200m breaststroke final in which she placed fourth.
Aside from swimming for the Senior and Junior County Champion titles, medals were additionally awarded for successes in the individual age groups.
Sherwood’s Olivia Barrett, (9) dominated the Girls’ 9/10yrs breaststroke, taking gold in the 50m and 200m events and added a bronze to her tally in the 100m individual medley.
Kirsten Pinson took a superb gold in the Women’s Multi-Disability 50m backstroke and Rebecca Hyatt (11) took a bronze in the Girls’ 11/12yrs 200m breaststroke.
County Championship debutant Ellena Keigher successfully competed in the Girls 11/12yrs 50m Breaststroke, placing 28th in her age group out of the 43 competitors in that event.
Sutton Swimming Club were also celebrating a host of notable achievements over the first weekend with 33 swimmers competing in 15 different events.
Jim Fergie (13) took the club’s and county’s top honours, being crowned the 14yrs/under Junior County Champion in the 100m butterfly and adding a Junior County Champion runner-up spot and silver medal in the 50m butterfly. Jim also qualified for the 200m backstroke final in which he placed sixth.
Not wanting to be outdone by her brother, Mia Fergie (13) claimed three podium finishes and 14yrs/under Junior County Champion runner-up spots in the 100m butterfly, and 100m and 400m individual medleys.
Completing the talented trio, Neve Fergie (15) qualified for the final of the 15yrs/over 200m freestyle in which she placed fourth.
Proving that ‘if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again’, 18-year-old Sutton SC swimmer Sam Creak secured his first ever medal, despite swimming at many County Championship competitions.
Sam’s bronze medal in the Men’s 100m butterfly also secured his very first Midland Regional qualifying time.
In the individual age groups, Kiera Dobbs made an outstanding County Championship debut, taking a superb gold medal in the Girls’ 9/10yrs 200m freestyle and adding four silvers to her tally in the 100m and 400m individual medley, 50m and 200m breaststroke.
Chloe Quinn took two glorious golds in the Girls’ 11/12yrs 200m freestyle and 100m butterfly, adding two bronzes to her first weekend’s achievements in the 100m and 400m individual medleys.
Although missing out on the medals, debutant Michael Senior (10) exploded onto the County Championship scene with a 26-second personal best time in the 200m backstroke.
Completing local club’s successes, Mansfield SC joined the title-fest with Rhys Taylor taking the 15yrs/over Senior County Champion crown in the gruelling, 60-length 1500m freestyle and additionally taking the Senior County Champion runner-up spot and silver medal in the 100m breaststroke and a third-placed podium finish and bronze medal in the 100m individual medley. Rhys’ 1500m freestyle time, 16:25.25, is a qualifying time for the inaugural ASA National Short Course Winter Meet being held in December.
Natalee Meldrum added to Mansfield SC’s podium finishers, claiming the 14yrs/under Junior County Champion runner-up spot and silver medal in the 50m breaststroke, adding a bronze and third placed finish in the 100m butterfly.
In the individual age groups, County Championship debutant Bailey Slater took a superb silver in the Boys 9/10yrs 200m freestyle and Hollie-Mae Dove, took two gold medals in the 11/12yrs 50m and 200m breaststroke events, securing a time that also qualified her for the 200m breaststroke final in which she placed fifth.
Chloe Peach added to the club’s individual medal tally taking a great gold in the 15/16yrs 100m individual medley and a bronze in the 100m butterfly.
Ben Rees joined the Mansfield gold rush with a medal in the Men’s Multi-Disability 50m backstroke.
Ben Sharrocks took a superb silver in the 15/16yrs 100m breaststroke and Brendan O’Keefe a bronze in the 17ys/over 200m backstroke.
Away from the medals but enjoying their first taste of competition at this level, Kieran Thompson, Lewis Meade and Heidi Marriott all achieved huge, new personal best times and, although not a County Championships debutant, Elli Seagrave (12) enjoyed a seven second personal best time on her 200m freestyle.
The swimmers now go back into training both with their respective clubs and the County’s elite Nova Centurion squad before the second weekend of the Championships, which again take place at Beechdale Leisure Centre in Nottingham in a fortnight’s time.