Consistent swimming from all three local clubs over the month-long 2014 British Gas Notts ASA County Championships resulted in a remarkable 38 coveted British Age Group Category (BAGCAT) Awards following the final weekend of competition last weekend.
Sherwood Colliery Swimming Club achieved 23 of them, Sutton SC nine and Mansfield Swimming Club managed six. BAGCAT Awards are presented to the top 10 individual performers in each age group for consistently high standards of swimming across different strokes, medleys and distances in line with British Swimming’s Long Term Athlete Development policy. Mansfield SC’s BAGCAT achievers were Jack Armsby (9), Gracie Clifton (10), Ellis Malson (11), Ben Sharrocks (13), Rhys Taylor (14) and Henry Slawson (14).
Aside from the BAGCAT awards, there were still individual event titles to be decided, as well as the highly competitive club relays, and Mansfield’s swimmers didn’t disappoint.
Rhys Taylor added to his individual medal tally with a silver in the 50m breaststroke a bronze in the 100m individual medley, while in the relay events, the Boys 14/Under 4 x 50m freestyle and 4 x 50m medley team, Rhys Taylor, Henry Slawson, Morgan Gallimore and Ben Sharrocks, picked up superb bronze medals for excellent third places.
In the Girls 9/10yr 4 x 50m freestyle event, Elli Seagrave, Emily Freeman, Flora Lai and Gracie Clifton were just pipped to a medal, finishing a respectable fifth.
Over the three weekends of competition, the Mansfield swimmers notched up a remarkable amount of new personal best times and achieved and improved upon new and existing Midland Regional qualifying times.
In the Sherwood Colliery SC camp, Sherwood’s swimmers picked up another seven individual medals, including gold for Owen Ottaway (12), in the 11/12 years boys 50m breaststroke to add to his silver in the 100m individual medley, and gold for Lily Boseley, 12, in the 11/12years girls 100m individual medley to add to her silver in the 50m breaststroke and superb silvers for 10-year-olds William Darrington and Rebecca Hyatt in the 50m breaststroke events and Amelia Sale in the girls 13/14 years 100m individual medley.
The black & gold colours dominated the BAGCAT presentations with a remarkable 23 awards, including three first-placed champions, heading back to the Sherwood trophy cabinet.
Sherwood’s first-placed BAGCAT Champions were Abbie Scott (11), Lily Boseley (12) and Amelia Sale (14) with two, top three podium places for 12-year-old Owen Ottaway (second), and 13-year- old Tom Fletcher (third).
Adding to the overall Sherwood tally were nine-year-olds Alexander Peeters Weem and Suranne Cave, 10-year-olds William Darrington, Joseph Lewis, Joseph Sadler, Amelia Tunnicliffe and Rebecca Hyatt, 11-year-olds Adam Pring, Bailey Ward and Millie Standen, 12-year-olds Libby Coleman and Emily James, 13-year-olds Nathaniel Wood, Owen Wakefield, Kieran Harby, Jade Young and Evie Timms plus 14-year-old Declan Smith. The final events of the Championships were the hotly contested relay team titles, and once again Sherwood’s swimmers didn’t disappoint, medalling in eight out of 12 events and bringing home an incredible six gold and county champion team titles.
The Boys 9/10 years 200m medley relay team (Joseph Lewis, William Darrington, Joseph Sadler and Dawid Sroka) scooped gold before adding a silver to their bag in the 200m freestyle relay as well.
The older boys followed in their footsteps with Owen Wakefield, Declan Smith, Nathaniel Wood and Tom Fletcher bringing home a gold in the 14/Under medley relay and adding a silver to their bag in the 200m freestyle event.
Over in the girls’ camp, both younger and older girls teams celebrated double gold victories with Lily Boseley, Emily James, Libby Coleman and Abbie Scott bringing home a team gold in the Girls 12/Under 200m medley relay and Lily Boseley, Millie Standen, Libby Coleman and Abbie Scott a gold in the 200m freestyle event.
In the Girls 14/Under relays, Jade Young, Lily Boseley, Evie Timms and Amelia Sale won both the 200m medley and 200m freestyle events to bring the total of team wins to six out of a possible 12. Sutton Swimming Club were also celebrating BAGCAT achievers, including a first-placed Champion, with nine-year-old Matthew Woodhall securing 793 points across his four categories to take the champion title.
Also, 14-year-olds Ruslan Golubs and Neve Fergie and 11-year-old Chloe Quinn earned themselves places on the BAGCAT podium with Ruslan and Chloe taking second places and Neve a well-earned third. Joining them with awards were Owen Harding (9), Mia Fergie (12), Jim Fergie (12), Chloe Peach (13) and Sophie Bunker (14).
Consistently high standards of swimming from 14-year-old Golubs saw him add to his individual medal tally on the final day of competition with another gold and Junior County Champion title in the Boys 13/14yr 50m breaststroke and a silver in the 100m individual medley.
Mia Fergie (12) mirrored his achievements in the Girls 11/12yr events, also taking gold in the 50m breaststroke and silver in the 100m individual medley.
The much-awaited relay events saw many of the Sutton SC teams swim faster than their entry times, but only one team achieved a medal.
The girls 14yr/Under 4 x 50m medley team (Neve Fergie, Sophie Bunker, Chloe Peach and Mia Fergie) scooped a great bronze and were just pipped into fourth place by 0.01 seconds in the 4 x 50m freestyle event.
In some of the closest relay finshes, the 12yr/Under girls team narrowly missed out on a bronze in the 4 x 50m medley event by just 0.33 seconds.
As with all three clubs, the Sutton SC swimmers notched up a huge amount of personal best and Midland Regional qualifying times to make 2014 one of the most successful County Championships in the club’s history.
Despite the month-long, gruelling County Championship schedule, all the swimmers go straight back into training now to continue their domestic gala schedule.
They will compete in a number of licensed Open Meets to secure and improve on final qualifying times ahead of the Midland Regional Championships held in June and the National Championships in July.