Friday, 28 November 2014

Exeter Swimmers at United Bristol Meet

Cousins Amelia and Megan Kennedy-Bruyneels represented the club at the United Bristol meet on 22-23 November. They returned to Devon with 17 personal bests, 11 golds, 5 silvers and 1 bronze between them.  Amelia (9) won 7 golds, 1 silver and 1 bronze;  Megan (10) won 4 golds and 4 silvers. Both made Devon QTs, and Megan also achieved two Welsh Consideration Times. Congratulations to both of them on some superb swims!

Full results can be found here.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Club Championships 2014

The club championships, held at the Pyramids on 22 November, brought together swimmers aged 7 to 49. The event was superbly organised by Helen Townsend and her team of volunteers.

Friendly rivalries helped to ensure that copious personal bests were recorded, as well as county qualifying times. For younger swimmers, this was a valuable opportunity to gain racing experience in a supportive environment.

Of the 107 athletes who submitted entries, almost half --- 53 --- took away gold medals. The club's new vice-captain, Liam White, led the way with 13 golds in the 15+ age group, while Lauren Ramsay (10) also made it into double figures with 11 golds of her own. Not far behind on 8 golds came Rebecca Gibbins (13), Charlie Kendall (14) and Aliyah-Mai Webb (14), while Charlotte Emery (11), Tomas Piskac (10) and Luca Riezzo (11) took 7 each. Millie Brunskill (8), Sam Criddle (13) and Kieran Baker (12) ended on 6 apiece.

Five golds went to Jolie Sellek (9), Guy Wilson (11), Rhiannon Loveman (15+) and Olivia Burrow (12). Just behind them on 4 golds came Keely Ware (9), Joseph Day (13), Amy Linnington (15+) and Milly Kendall (11).

Three golds were won by Emily Eveling (12), Olivia Passmore (12), Liam Jordan (10), Jack Sidgwick (14), Katie Townsend (14), Alec White (13), Lucy Ward (12), Tea Jones (13), and Jay Corcoran (12). There were two for Olivia Annunziata (13), Amelia Ashelford (11), Archie Tyers (10), Jessica Courtney (10), Coco Jordan (11), Theo Herbert (8), Grace James (12), Matthew Mycock (8), James McCarthy (11) and Tim Western (13).

Also winning gold were Sam Boothy (10), Troy Dale (11), Jessica James (15+), Georgina Broadhurst (10), Patrick Eveling (7), Logan Burns (11), Matt Ramsay (13), Sarah Downs (14), Finley Norman (10), Aaron MacDonald (11), Emily Raybould (14), Sam Jelley (11), Jo Sanders (15+), Rosie Kendall (9) and Erin Throgmorton (10).

Full results can be found here.

Many congratulations to all our swimmers on some close races and fast times!

Arena League Round 2 at Horfield

Exeter went head-to-head with some of the region's best teams in the second round of Arena League in Bristol on 8 November. Although we were unable to catch Millfield and Cardiff A, swimmers competed strongly throughout, coming in third ahead of Yeovil, Nofio Sir Gar and Cardiff B.

The stand-out performance went to Georgia Cotterill, who won 100m backstroke by a comfortable margin of 2 seconds. There were also fine 2nd place finishes for Charlotte Emery, Luca Riezzo, Tom Downs, James Wamsley, Milly Kendall, Alec White and Emily Eveling. Full results can be found here.

Points totals from the first two rounds place Exeter ninth in the region, just missing the A final. We will be top seeds for the B final, where we will face Weston-super-Mare, Yeovil, Keynsham and Poole on 13 December in Dorchester.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Tiverton Sparkler 2014: Exeter Wins Best Visiting Club!

Alisha, Sarah, Lily and Rebecca with the trophy for Best Visiting Club
In a close-fought contest, Exeter beat Taunton by 2 points to win the trophy for Best Visiting Club at the Tiverton Sparkler on Sunday 2 November. Our swimmers brought home 56 medals, achieving countless personal bests and Devon qualifying times in the process.

The mood was established in 200m fly, the first event of the day, as the girls took two gold medals (Jolie Sellek and Rebecca Gibbins), two silver (Rosie Kendall and Sarah Downs), and a bronze (Honey Drury). There were silvers for Luca Riezzo and Matt Ramsay. Butterfly sprints were just as rewarding: Jolie took silver over 50m, ahead of Amelia Kennedy-Bruyneels with bronze, while Lauren Ramsay won bronze in the next age group. Her brother Matt took gold over 100m, and there were also silvers for Rebecca and Sarah and a bronze for Alisha Singleton.

Fresh from gold medal success in the Exeter Sprints, Rebecca once again dominated her age group, winning in 100m and 200m free and coming 2nd in 200m IM. Matt was another star performer, with further golds in 200m IM and 100m free as well as a silver in 200m free. In addition to her two butterfly medals, Sarah won 200m free, took three silvers (100m free, 100m breast, 200m IM), and claimed bronze in 50m free and 100m back, giving her a grand total of 8 medals. Lily Collins-Board took gold in 200m back and 200m breast, with bronzes for 100m breast and 200m free. Eleanor Brandon just missed double gold in freestyle when she came 1st over 100m and 2nd over 200m.

It was fantastic to see the club's younger swimmers competing so well. Jolie added to her two butterfly medals with bronze in 200m freestyle, a fraction behind Rosie who took silver. Keely Ware secured bronzes in 50m breast and 200m IM, as did Amelia in 50m and 200m back and 200m breast. Lauren took bronze in 200m back and Liam Jordan in 200m breast. In the 11-year-old age groups, Luca claimed silvers in 200m breast and 200m IM, Justine Rannou came second in 100m back, and Annabel Courtney took home bronzes in 100m and 200m breast.

Having been training hard at Crystal Palace during the week, many of the club's older swimmers missed this gala, but there were still medals to be won in the upper age groups. Niamh Gillen struck gold in 100m breast, while Maddie Ross took silvers in 50m free and 100m back, and there were bronzes for Alisha Singleton in 100m and 200m back. Owen Hopwood won silver in 200m back and bronze in 200m free; Adam Edwards and Jessica Curtis took bronze in 200m back; and Abby Gray secured silver in 200m free.

Medals went to Exeter swimmers through all the age categories, and were almost evenly distributed across the strokes. The full set of results can be consulted here.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

British Gas ASA National County Team Championships, Sheffield 2014

After falling just short in 2013, this year the Devon county swimming team made no mistake as they secured promotion to Division 1 of the British Gas ASA Natioanl County Team Championships at Sheffield. With 484 points, they finished 38 points ahead of second-placed Worcestershire, ensuring that they will be able to challenge the very strongest counties in 2015.

The Devon squad included five Exeter swimmers: Aliyah-Mai Webb, Joe Crispin, James Wamsley, Tom Downs and Matt Ramsay. Congratulations to all of them on some fantastic swims---and to the Devon coach, who looks strangely familiar...

Exeter swimmers and coach at Sheffield

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Arena League 2014, Round 1

The first round of this year’s Arena league, which took place in Dorchester on Saturday evening, saw Exeter finish a creditable third ahead of some strong teams.

It was not the happiest of starts. Hampered by three DQ decisions, we found ourselves just one point off the bottom after the first ten events, but then things started steadily to improve. Halfway through the gala we had overhauled North Cornwall Dragons and Salisbury Stingrays, and were closing in on Poole. The battle for third place was hard fought, and went to the very last race, in which our second place finish in the men’s open freestyle was enough to give us the edge.

The team competed very well throughout, and there were superb victories for Charlotte Emery (10-11yo, 50m fly and 50m breast), Milly Kendall (10-11yo, 50m free) and Emily Eveling (12-13 yo, 100m back). Charlotte and Milly, together with Amelia Ashelford and Megan Kennedy-Bruyneels, were  also victorious in the girls' 9-11yo medley relay.
Second-place finishes went to Tom Price, Emily Eveling, Tom Downs, Matt Ramsay, and the men’s open freestyle relay team (Warren Barrett, Joe Crispin, Dominic Wooldridge, Adam John, Liam White and Matthew Henry).
Head Coach Jo John was pleased with the result: ‘The swimmers gave their all in difficult circumstances, having been disqualified in three of the first eight relays which would all have been second places and quite a difference in the overall points tally earlier in the competition.  However, we fought back well and the determination from the swimmers was exceptional.’

Results will be posted here as soon as they are available.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Exeter Sprints 2014

The Exeter Sprints, held at the Pyramids on Sunday 14 September, provided the perfect way to return to racing fitness after the summer break. More than 70 Exeter swimmers took part, competing against clubs from all over Devon and Cornwall. Special thanks, as always, to the organisers, judges, marshalls and helpers.

Exeter swimmers showed impressive early-season pace, winning medals in all strokes. Liam Jordan (10) led the way with gold in the day's first event, the 100m IM, knocking 19 seconds off his seed time in the process. He went on to win gold in 50m breast and bronze in 50m back. Brothers Alec and Liam White also took multiple golds, Alec (13) in 50m breast and 50m back (with bronze in 50m fly and 100m IM), and Liam (15) in 50m back and 50m free (with silver in 100m IM and bronze in 50m fly and 50m breast). Tom Wadeley-Jones finished 2nd, just beaten on the touch by Liam, in 50m free. Tom Downs (15) came home first in 50m fly, also adding bronze in 50m back. Charlie Kendall (14), like Liam, won a medal in all five events: gold in 50m free, silvers in 50m back, 50m fly and 50m breast, and bronze in 100m IM. Tim Western (12) took silver in 50m back and bronze in 50m fly and 100m IM.

No race better demonstrated that a very impressive group of 9-year-old girls is emerging at the club than the 50m fly, won by Jolie Sellek with Keely Ware 2nd and Amelia Kennedy-Bruyneels 3rd. Keely also claimed silver in 100m IM and 50m breast, while Jolie won 50m back and captured bronze behind Keely in 100m IM. The same age-group saw Anna Czipri take 2nd in 50m back. Amelia Ashelford (10) produced one of the swims of the day to win 50m back comfortably, and followed it up with silver in 50m fly and bronze in 100m IM. Lucy Peters (10) eased home impressively to win 50m free.

Milly and Rebecca shared six golds
Among the older girls, there were multiple gold medals for: Milly Kendall (11), who won four of her five races and finished third in 50m back; Rebecca Gibbins (12), who took gold in 50m fly and 50m free as well as silver in 100m IM; and Ella Farley (13), who claimed gold in 50m fly and 50m breast with silver in 100m IM. Olivia Passmore (11) finished in a dead heat with Milly for a share of gold in 50m breaststroke, and took bronze in 100m IM. Other medal winners were Olivia Burrow (12) with silver in 50m back, Grace James (12) with bronze in 50m fly, Tea Jones (12) with silver in 50m breast, and Rhiannon Loveman (15) with silver in 100m IM.

Full results can be found here.

Thursday, 31 July 2014

National Championships, 2014

Rebecca, James, Georgia, Dominic, Emily, Liam, Millie, Tom
Nine swimmers from Exeter have qualified for the national championships, which will be taking place in Sheffield over the coming weeks. Competition will be ferocious against what are probably the best 25 swimmers in Britain for each event.

As the youngest of Exeter’s contingent, these are the first national championships for Emily Eveling (12), who has achieved qualifying times in 6 events: 100m and 200m freestyle, 100m and 200m backstroke, and 200m and 400m individual medley. She will be joined by Millie Price (15), who will be competing in 50m breaststroke, and by Georgia Cotterill (15) and Rebecca Anderson (16) in the 50m backstroke.
Tom Downs (15) set his national qualifying time for 200m butterfly while winning the South West regional championships in May. James Wamsley (15) will be hoping to improve on a brilliant top-10 finish in last year’s 100m breaststroke, while Dominic Wooldridge (18) has qualifying times for 50m, 100m and 200m in his specialist stroke, butterfly. Liam White (15) has qualified for 50m backstroke, and George Fearnley (18) for 100m butterfly.

It is a superb achievement to have so many swimmers competing at national level. Everyone at the club is proud of them and hopeful of some fantastic performances in Sheffield.  The club also has four swimmers who were less than a second off national times as well as some excellent young swimmers coming through. All in all, prospects for the future are very bright.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Plymouth Leander Summer Meet, 11-13 July 2014

The Plymouth Leander long course summer meet, marking the end of the racing season for non-national qualifiers, saw Exeter swimmers winning in all strokes and age groups: they made the return journey up the A38 with 25 gold medals between them, and an even bigger haul of silvers and bronzes. Well done to our swimmers: we won the prize for top visiting club!

Lily won medals in 800m free and 200m back
Aliyah laden with medals
Not for the first time this season, Aliyah-Mai Webb (13) led the way, coming first in 800m free, 200m fly, 200m back, 200m breast, and 400m IM, with silvers in 200m IM, 100m breast and 100m fly. Katie Townsend (14), wasn't far behind, dominating her age group with golds in all three backstroke races (50m, 100m, 200m) as well as gold in 100m free and silver in 50m free, 200m free and 50m fly, and bronze in 200m IM. Rebecca Gibbins (12) picked up gold in 100m free, silvers in 200m, 400m and 800m free, and bronze in 200m fly. Tea Jones (12) struck gold in 50m breast, with supporting bronzes in 100m breast and 100m back. Jolie Sellek (9) made her mark on behalf of the club's younger swimmers with gold in 50m fly; while in the 11-year old category Olivia Passmore and Milly Kendall took two golds each, Olivia in 200m back and 400m IM (with silvers in 800m free and 50m breast, and bronze in 100m back), and Milly in 50m and 100m free (with silver in 200m fly and bronze in 800m free).  
Milly sprints to gold
Olivia with a sample of medals --- one of each colour
Among the girls, silvers also went to: Amy Linnington (14) in 400m and 800m free; Anna Czipri (9) in 50m fly, 50m and 100m back, and 200m IM; and Olivia Burrow (12) in 50m back. There were bronzes for: Lily Collins-Board (14) in 800m free and 200m back; Rhiannon Loveman (15+) in 200m free, and 100m and 200m back; Sammy Gray (15+) in 400m free; Olivia Burrow in 400 IM and 200m back; Alisha Singleton (13) in 400m IM; Grace James (11) in 50m fly; Anna Czipri in 200m back and 50m free; and Amelia Ashelford (10) in 200m back.
Jack won two golds, a silver and a bronze
The boys also rose to the challenge, and took their share of medals for the club. Jack Pearson (15+) 
came first in 400m IM and 200m back, with silver in 400m and bronze in 200m free. Alec White (12) claimed three golds --- in 100m back, 200m breast and 200m IM --- and he added to his total with silver in 100m fly and bronze in  100m free. Charlie Kendall (14) won in his first ever competitive 1500m free, and came second over 400m free. Matt Ramsay (13) took gold in 200m fly and 200m IM, with bronzes for good measure in 100m and 200m back and 100m free. Tim Western (12) won 100m breast, with silvers in 200m back and 50m breast, and bronze in 200m breast. 

Silver medals went to: Adam Edwards (14) in 400m IM; Liam Jordan (9) in 50m and 200m breast; Elliot Svensson (11) in 200m breast; Guy Wilson (10) in 400m free and 200m IM; and Liam White (15+) in 50m free. There were bronzes for: Guy Wilson in 200m free and Liam White in 200m fly.

Full results are available here. 

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Devon Developments: Final Day, 29 June 2014

There was more glory for Exeter swimmers on the final day of the Devon Development Meet. Guy Wilson (10) took three golds (200m IM, 400m free, 200m fly), while Amy Linnington (14) in the 400m free and Millie Raymond (12) in the 200m fly also claimed victories.

Silver medals went to: Olivia Annunziata (12) in 400m free and 100m back; Sarah Downs (13) in 400m free and 200m fly; Lauren Ramsay (10), Tea Jones (12), and Eleanor Brandon (13) in 200m IM; Gavin Hurley (12) in 400m free; and, in 200m fly, Honey Drury (9) and Emma German (11).

Eleanor Brandon (12) captured bronze in 400m free, as did Keiran Tellem (14) in 100m back.

Full results can be found here and the overall Bagcats totals are here (boys) and here (girls).

Attention now turns to the long course gala to be held at Plymouth Life Centre in mid-July.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Devon Developments: First Weekend, 21-22 June 2014

At the first weekend of the Devon Development Meet, Exeter City Swimming Club claimed a total of 9 golds among 34 top-3 finishes. This was also an excellent opportunity for several younger swimmers to have their first taste of licensed competition, their performances proving that the future for ECSC looks very positive.

Guy Wilson (10) led the way with golds in 200m free, 100m IM and 200m back. Also grabbing multiple golds were Millie Rawles (11) in 200m back and 100m fly, and Olivia Annunziata (12) in 100m free and 200m back. Anna Czipri (9) took a superb gold in 200m back, and Tea Jones (12) dominated in 100m breast to win comfortably. Tea also took silvers in 200m breast and in 100m IM, where she edged Olivia into third by 0.01 seconds. Olivia finished 2nd in 800m and 200m free, while Millie came third in 200m free. 

Silvers  went to Mia Corcoran (14) in 100m free and 200m back, Lily Collins-Board (13) in 800m free, Lauren Ramsay (10) in 200m back, Annabel Courtney (11) in 100m breast, and Sarah Downs (13) and Amy Linnington (14) in 200m free. Amy claimed silver in 800m free.

Among the bronze medallists were Sarah Downs (100m fly and 100m IM), Lauren Ramsay (200m breast and 100m IM), Eleanor Brandon (12) in 800m free and 100m fly, Jessica Courtney (9) in 200m breast and 200m back, Alisha Singleton (13) in 800m free, Rebekah Broadhurst (14) in 200m breast, and Owen Hopwood (12) in 200m back.

All results can be found here.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Western Counties Age Groups: Final Weekend, 14-15 June 2014

The final weekend of the Western Counties Age Groups saw the action move to Hengrove, where the club's finest age-group swimmers continued to test themselves against the very best in the region. As well as our relay teams, ten swimmers competed in individual events: Olivia Passmore, Milly Kendall, Emily Eveling, Aliyah-Mai Webb, Katie Townsend, Ella Farley, Alec White, Sam Criddle, Matt Ramsay and Tim Western. Having met very testing qualifying times, they represented the club with immense credit.

Each day started with relays. The men's 4x100m medley relay team (Alec White, Charlie Kendall, Adam Edwards, Matt Ramsay) finished 16th, as did the women's 4x100m freestyle relay team of Aliyah-Mai Webb, Emily Eveling, Katie Townsend and Ella Farley. The teams had also matched each other's results in the first weekend, so the battle of the sexes came down to the final day, when the men's team (joined by Sam Criddle) came 16th in 4x100m free and the women took the bragging rights with 13th in the 4x100m medley.

Other highlights of the weekend included Emily Eveling's national qualifying time in the heats of the 200m free, and her third-place finish in the 400m IM. Also on the podium, in the next age group of the same event, was Aliyah-Mai Webb, who took bronze with a superb swim. Emily finished 8th in her 200m free final, 7th in 200m backstroke, and 9th in 200m breaststroke.

Having just missed a final the previous weekend, Alec White put matters right with a terrific performance to come 5th in the 100m backstroke, and he narrowly missed another final with 9th in 100m breaststroke.

The results can be viewed in full here.

So the Western Counties Age Group Championships came to a close with fifteen swimmers having represented the club in relays and individual events. Of those, five reached finals, and two (Emily and Aliyah) took medals. Given the size and strength of the Western region, which includes the national club champions and many other exceptional clubs, our swimmers have performed wonders, and everyone at the club congratulates them on their achievements.

Monday, 9 June 2014

Western Counties Age Group Championships: First Weekend, 7-8 June 2014

The first weekend of the Western Counties Age Group Championships at Millfield, for competitors aged 14 and under, brought together the strongest swimmers in the region from as far afield as Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Cornwall. As well as taking part in the 4x200m freestyle relays, an elite band of Exeter swimmers who had met very demanding qualifying times went on to complete in individual events. These were Emily Eveling, Ella Farley, Sadia Hallam, Grace James, Charlie Kendall, Milly Kendall, Olivia Passmore, Matt Ramsay, Aliyah-Mai Webb and Alec White. It is a superb achievement to achieve a regional qualifying time, and they all deserve our congratulations.

Both the male and the female relay teams finished 14th, a performance particularly admirable as several of our swimmers are young enough to be eligible for next year's competition. The men's team comprised Alec White, Charlie Kendall, Sam Criddle and Matt Ramsay, with Emily Eveling, Aliyah-Mai Webb, Katie Townsend and Sadia Hallam making up the women's quartet.

It was a hot weekend for racing, and the sun streaming through the roof did not make it easy for the backstroke leg of the IM. Nevertheless, Exeter produced some fine swims in individual races. Best of all, Emily Eveling (12) took silver in the 200m fly, and bronze in the 200m IM. She was also a finalist in the 100m fly, finishing 5th in a close race.

Aliyah-Mai Webb (13) came 4th in 800m free, showing extraordinary endurance despite the conditions. Aliyah was also 6th in 200m fly and 5th in 200m IM, and was unlucky to miss the finals of 100m fly (10th) and 200m breast (9th) by small margins.

Grace James (11) put in an immense performance to finish 5th with a PB in an exhausting 200m fly final ahead of Milly Kendall (7th). Milly also came 9th with a PB in 100m free, and 10th in 100m fly. Alec White can consider himself unlucky, after a superb swim in the 200m IM saw him finish within touching distance of the final in 10th place.

All results, including a handful of impressive time-trials by some of the club's older swimmers, can be found here.

The focus shifts to Hengrove next weekend: best of luck to all our swimmers!

Monday, 19 May 2014

Cobexe Open Meet, 17-18 May 2014

The Cobexe level 1 long course meet, jointly organised by Exeter and City of Bristol swimming clubs, took place at Hengrove over the weekend of 17-18 May. Special thanks to the organisers and the many volunteers from both clubs who made the event possible.

The unseasonably hot weather conspired to make fast swimming more difficult than usual. This, together with the fact that our top squads are currently in a period of intense training for stamina, ensured that personal bests were at a premium. Nevertheless, several swimmers took the last-gasp opportunity to secure regional qualifying times with dominant performances in advance of next month’s Western Counties Age Group Championships. There were gold medals for Exeter swimmers throughout the age categories and in all strokes.

Leading the way were Amelia Ashelford (10) and Aliyah-Mai Webb (13), who chalked up a dozen victories between them. Amelia took gold in 200m IM, 50m breast, 200m back, 400m free, 50m back, 200m breast and 50m fly, while Aliyah won 200m IM, 100m breast, 100m fly, 400m free and 200m breast. Aliyah added silvers in 100m free and 200m back for good measure.
Other race winners were Lucy Peters (10) and Milly Kendall (11), both in 50m free, and Rebecca Gibbins (12) in 50m fly. Among the boys, Alec White took two golds (200m back, 100m breast), as well as a silver (100m back) and a bronze (200m free).

Silvers also went to: Elliot Svensson (11), 400m IM and 50m back; Lucy Peters, 200m IM and 200m free; Lauren Ramsay (10), 50m breast and 400m free; Ella Farley (13), 50m breast, 400m free and 200m fly; Tim Western (12), 50m back, 100m and 200m breast, and 50m free; Charlie Kendall (14), 200m breast; James Wamsley (15+), 100m and 200m breast; Milly Kendall, 100m fly, 200m fly and 100m free; Rebecca Gibbins, 100m fly, 50m free and 50m back; Guy Wilson (10), 200m fly; Katie Townsend (14), 200m back; Joe Crispin (15+), 100m fly; Sarah Downs (13), 50m fly.
There were bronze medals for: Lauren Ramsay, 200m IM, 200m free and 200m breast; Ella Farley, 100m breast; Florence Herbert (12), 50m breast; Sam Criddle (13), 50m back; Elliot Svensson, 200m breast; Matt Ramsay (13), 200m breast and 100m free; Daniel Jones (12), 50m fly; Jack Pearson (15+), 400m free; James Wamsley, 200m IM and 50m breast; Grace James (11), 200m fly; Rebecca Gibbins, 200m fly; Tom Downs (15+), 200m and 100m fly; Katie Townsend, 50m fly.

Congratulations to all our swimmers!

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Western Counties Youth Championships, 3-5 May 2014

The Western Counties Youth Championships, held in Plymouth over the Bank Holiday weekend, saw Exeter swimmers testing themselves against the very best in the region, including a reigning world record holder and Olympic gold medalist, and the new national record holder for men’s 50m freestyle. With several national age-group champions also competing, the fight for medals was always going to be tough, and qualifying for finals was an extremely impressive achievement in its own right.

Exeter City Swimming Club produced two winners. Jack Pearson (16) came back from a muscle injury the previous day to dominate the men’s 400m individual medley, while Tom Downs (15) finished strongly to snatch first place in the 200m butterfly, securing a national qualifying time in the process. These are two of the most energy-sapping events in the programme, making their victories all the more impressive. Jack also showed his stamina to finish 3rd in the 400m freestyle, while Tom featured regularly throughout the weekend with 2nd in 100m fly, two 4th place finishes (50m fly, 50m back), 5th in 400m IM, and 8th in 200m free and 400m free.

Other multiple finalists included James Wamsley (15), whose best finish of 3rd in 50m breaststroke was supported by 4th in 100m and 200m breast, and 10th in 200m IM. Freddie Fearnley (15) came 7th in 100m free and 8th in 50m backstroke; Liam White (15) took two 9th places finishes (200m back and 50m free); Joe Crispin (16) finished 4th in 200m fly and 7th in 100m fly; and Dominic Wooldridge, swimming in the 17 and over category, came 5th in 400m free, 7th in 200m free, and 8th in 400m IM.

Four other swimmers reached finals, with Millie Price (15) 6th in 100m breast, Georgia Cotterill (15) 9th in 50m fly, Vicky Bishop (16) 10th in 50m back, and Warren Barrett (17 and over) 8th in 50m fly.

Head Coach Jo John said: ‘This is always a difficult event for swimmers of this age as it comes immediately at the point of a defining moment in their lives with key exams which will determine their future.  I was very pleased by the performances and commitment from the swimmers and continue to be excited by what this club can offer going forward.’

Attention now turns to the club’s younger swimmers up to 14 years old, who will compete in their age groups at the Western Counties Championships in June. 

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Weston-super-Mare Easter Open Meet

Exeter was represented by a handful of swimmers at the Easter Open Meet, Weston-super-Mare, on 19-20 April.

Among many fast times, there were victories for Harrison Yarnold (15) in 100m and 200m free, while Matt Ramsay (13) won the same events in his age group. Harrison added a third place in 50m back, and Matt took 2nd in 50m free and 3rd in 200m IM. Sam Criddle (13) was 3rd in 200m free. Rebecca Gibbins (12) finished 3rd in 100m free, with Olivia Burrow (11) 3rd in 50m back.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Devon Interclub Gala

Devon Interclub Gala 2014. Runners-up: Exeter City. Photograph © Richard Davies
The Devon Interclub Gala at Plymouth's Life Centre on Sunday 13 April represented the culmination of a series of county events. Celebrating its 120th anniversary, Devon ASA took the opportunity also to showcase other water sports, including water polo and synchronised swimming (for which Exeter Synchro gave a farewell performance).

Swimming got underway after a rendition of the national anthem and a parade by the 12 participating clubs. Exeter competed superbly throughout, with top-3 finishes in 29 of the 37 events, and demonstrated strength in depth with second place in each of the relay events. It was always going to be hard to challenge the reigning national champions, but Exeter made Plymouth Leander fight to the end, and kept the gap to single digits until beyond the halfway stage. The final result was a comfortable second place, well ahead of some strong competition from across the county.

Among many excellent swims, there were individual wins for Milly Kendall (50m free & 50m fly), Tom Downs (100m fly), Liam White (100m back) and Dominic Wooldridge (100m fly).

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Weekend Round-Up: Plymouth, Millfield, Sheffield

Exeter swimmers were competing across the country last weekend. Many of the senior swimmers made the trip to Sheffield for one of the toughest long-course galas of the year. Against powerful competition they performed exceptionally well, achieving personal bests and, in some cases, qualifying times for the national championships which will be held in the same pool this summer. Dominic Wooldridge dominated the 15-and-over butterfly events, winning the treble with gold over 50m, 100m and 200m. Emily Eveling (12) took medley double-gold over 200m and 400m, with a bronze in 200m freestyle. There was also a bronze for Aliyah-Mai Webb (13) in the 400m IM, while Katie Townsend (14, 50m back), Elliot Svensson (10, 50m fly), Olivia Passmore (11, 50m breast) and Liam White (15, 50m back) all came back from Yorkshire with silvers.

At the Devon Sprints, Victoria Bishop (16) was the star performer, with gold in each of her four 50m races. Hannah Guest (14) took silver in 50m breast.

The Three Towers long-course gala at Millfield gave the club's younger swimmers some hard competition against leading clubs in the region, but with 29 top-three finishes they featured prominently throughout. The Exeter medals were divided between 8 swimmers: Olivia Annunziata (12yo: 1 gold, 3 silver, 2 bronze), Grace James (11yo: 2 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze), Justine Rannou (10yo: 3 silver, 1 bronze), Milly Rawles (11yo: 2 silver, 2 bronze), Rebecca Gibbins (12yo: 2 gold, 1 bronze), Luca Riezzo (10yo: 3 silver), Tea Jones (12 yo: 1 gold, 1 silver), and Amelia Ashelford (10yo: 2 gold, 1 bronze).

The Devon Interclub this coming weekend will mark the end of the county age-group championships, after which attention will turn to the club's jointly-organised Cobexe May meet at Hengrove and the Western Counties competitions.

Devon Relay Gala: Gold Medal Winners

Here are eleven of our gold medal teams from the Devon Relay Gala:

Girls 13-14 4x50m Freestyle Relay: Sadia Hallam, Mia Corcoran, Katie Townsend, Aliyah-Mai Webb

Girls 15-16 4x50m Medley Relay: Rhiannon Loveman, Rebecca Anderson, Victoria Bishop, Millie Price

Boys 15-16 4x50m Medley Relay: Tom Downs, James Wamsley, Joe Crispin, Liam White

Girls 13-14 4x50m Medley Relay: Mia Corcoran, Aliyah-Mai Webb, Sadia Hallam, Katie Townsend

Boys 15-16 4x50m Freestyle RelayFreddie Fearnley, James Wamsley, Joe Crispin, Liam White

Women's Championship 4x100m Freestyle Relay: Rebecca Anderson, Rhiannon Loveman, Sammie Gray, Georgia Cotterill
Men's Championship 4x100 Freestyle Relay: Freddie Fearnley, Joe Crispin, Dominic Wooldridge, Liam White

Girls 11-12 4x50m Medley Relay: Milly Kendall, Tea Jones (Olivia Burrow & Rebecca Gibbins missing)

Women's Championship 4x100m Medley Relay: Rhiannon Loveman, Rebecca Anderson, Sammie Gray, Millie Price

Men's Championship 4x100m Medley Relay: Dominic Wooldridge, James Wamsley, Joe Crispin, Liam White

Girls 11-12 4x50m Freestyle Relay: Rebecca Gibbins, Milly Kendall, Olivia Passmore, Olivia Annunziata

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Dawlish Ribbon Gala

After Exeter's successes at the Devon Age Group Championships, attention turned to the club's younger and (in some cases) less experienced swimmers. The Dawlish Ribbon Gala, for children 12 years and under, gave many swimmers the chance to compete against other clubs for the first time.

Nineteen of Exeter's swimmers achieved at least one top 3 finish, eleven of whom took gold. Owen Hopwood (12) won all five of his races, a feat almost matched by Tomas Piskac (9) with four golds and a bronze. Other multiple winners included Eleanor Brandon (12) with two golds, and Alexander Cole (10) with three. Adam Bagshaw (10), Millie Brunskill (7), Annabel Courtney (10), Anna Czipri (9), Rosie Kendall (8), James McCarthy (11) and Emilia Raymond (11) won one gold each. Among the many silvers, special mention goes to Cameron Duncan (12) for finishing second in each of his three races, and to Sam Jelley (11) for his three second-places.

The Ribbon Gala was a great opportunity for swimmers to gain experience of competition, giving them plenty of close racing and readying them for exciting challenges ahead. There were terrific performances in all age groups and strokes, suggesting that the future of the club is in good hands.

P.S. The following swimmers set a new gala record: Owen Hopwood (Boys 12yo 50m free); Eleanor Brandon (Girls 12yo 50m fly and 100m IM); Alex Cole (Boys 10yo 50m fly, 50m free, and 100m IM); Rosie Kendall (Girls 8yo 25m fly); Tomas Piskac (Boys 9yo 50m free and 100m IM); Millie Brunskill (Girls 7 and under 25m free).

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Devon Relay Gala

Rhiannon, Rebecca, Sammy, Millie
Exeter swimmers dominated the Devon Relay Gala at the Life Centre in Plymouth last weekend. With 20 medals up for grabs, they won 12 golds, 2 silvers and 4 bronzes against the county’s strongest clubs, including the reigning national club champions.

Rebecca, Milly, Olivia P., Olivia A.
In the Open Championships, swum over 400 metres, Exeter’s women and men won both the freestyle relay and the medley relay. Several age-group teams, swimming 4x50m, also achieved the double: the girls’ superiority made them two-time county champions at 11-12, 13-14 and 15-16 year-old ages, with the 9-10 year-old team taking bronze.
Alec, Tim, Harry, Dan
Boys struck double gold at the 15-16 age, two bronzes in 13-14, two silvers in 9-10, and bronze in 11-12.




Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Devon BagCats

The original Bagcat
Although the precise details of the BagCats (British Age Group Categories) scoring system have flummoxed the most brilliant minds, its purpose is simply to measure the performances of swimmers in the same age group (up to 14 years old), and to reward versatility across strokes and distances. For an explanation, see here.

Alec White with his BagCat award
At this year's Devon Age Group Championships, Exeter swimmers achieved a number of top 6 rankings. Sam Criddle came 3rd, and Alec White 6th, in the men's 12-year-old category, while Olivia Passmore and Milly Kendall finished 2nd and 3rd respectively in the women's 11-year-old category. Amongst the 12-year-olds, Emily Eveling was ranked 2nd, and Aliyah-Mai Webb finished 6th for the 13-year-olds.

Monday, 17 March 2014

The Devons: 15-16 March

Exeter swimmers won 24 medals in the last full weekend of the Devon County Age Group Championships at Plymouth's Life Centre. Medley events accounted for more than half of them, demonstrating the swimmers' versatility and stamina. Over 100m, there were silvers for Olivia Passmore (11), Emily Eveling (12), Alec White (12) and Tom Downs (15), as well as bronze medals for Aliyah-Mai Webb (13), Millie Price (15) and Luca Riezzo (10). Special mention to Luca for taking a medal from an outside lane. Olivia and Emily doubled up with silvers in the 400m IM, while Aliyah and Tom struck gold, and Sam Criddle (12) and Liam White (15) took bronze.

Liam and Tom
As they had done since the championships began, Liam and Tom continued their battle throughout the weekend. Liam won gold just ahead of Tom in the 200m backstroke, and that story was almost repeated in the 100m backstroke where Liam took gold and Tom bronze. In the same event, Liam's brother, Alec, came third for his age group, as did Sam Criddle over the 200m distance. George Fearnley (18) qualified for the championship final, where he narrowly missed a medal.

There was success for the women in the 100m butterfly:  Emily Eveling and Sammy Gray (16) were winners, and Grace James (11) took silver. In the 200m breaststroke, Olivia Passmore won bronze and Aliyah-Mai Webb silver for their age categories, while Millie Price qualified for the championship final as the fastest 15-year-old, and finished 6th overall.

With some long-distance events still to come, Exeter has already won over 70 medals in this year's county championships---an extraordinarily impressive achievement. Head Coach Jo John is confident that the performance bodes well for the first large meet of the season, when swimmers go to Sheffield at the beginning of April. National qualifying times for swimmers over 14 can only be swum in a 50m pool, which rules out short course times from county championships. However, Jo remains hopeful that the club will be adding to the 7 swimmers who have already achieved national times: 'the swimmers are all training very hard on speed, endurance and skills, and providing we can attain some further water time to aid their training they will fulfil their potential and the club will continue to grow.'  

Well done to swimmers on a fantastic performance at the county championships this year!

Monday, 3 March 2014

The Devons: 1-2 March 2014

The calm before the storm
Exeter swimmers took 27 medals at the second full weekend of the Devon County Age Group Championships in Plymouth’s Life Centre. Regional and national qualifying times were achieved in all strokes, thanks to superb performances against some of the toughest competition in the country.

The club’s current group of 15-year-old men, who reached national finals in freestyle and medley relays last summer, continued their dominance. In the 100m butterfly, they achieved a clean sweep, with gold, silver and bronze going to Tom Downs, Freddie Fearnley and Liam White respectively. The 100m breaststroke saw Liam touch the wall just ahead of Tom for gold, and Liam demonstrated his versatility across strokes and distances by taking gold in 400m and 200m freestyle as well. The final member of the quartet, James Wamsley, proved too fast for his age group in the 100m breaststroke heats, and was promoted to the Championship final against older swimmers, where he finished 5th.

This is what warm-up looks like
Other medals for Exeter men went to Sam Criddle (12), who took bronze in the 200m and 400m freestyle, Tom Price (12) with bronze in the 100m breaststroke, and Joe Crispin (16+) with silver in the 400m freestyle. Joe qualified for the Championship final in the 100m fly, where he achieved a personal best and picked up a silver medal. D. J. Wooldridge just missed a Championship medal in a closely-contested 200m freestyle. Jack Pearson (16), a newcomer to the club, was another to be promoted out of his age group to the Championship finals for 200m and 400m freestyle.
Having been narrowly outperformed by the men (12 medals to 11) in the first weekend of the Devons, Exeter’s women put matters right during this second weekend by outscoring them 15-12. Leading the way was Emily Eveling (12), with one gold (200m butterfly), three silvers (200m freestyle, 200m individual medley and 200m backstroke), and a bronze (100m breaststroke). In the process, she achieved new qualifying times for this summer’s national finals in Sheffield.
Also striking gold was Rebecca Anderson (15) in the 200m freestyle, an event which produced bronze for Olivia Passmore (11) and silver for Sammy Gray (16+). In the 200m individual medley, Olivia took bronze, while Millie Price (15) finished 4th in the Championship final. Millie was also moved up to the 100m breaststroke Championship final, where she came 7th, after a strong performance in her heats.
Aliyah and Emily
Aliyah-Mai Webb landed two silvers, in 100m breaststroke and 200m butterfly, while 200m fly was also strong for the 11-year-old age group where Milly Kendall and Grace James took silver and bronze. In the 100m backstroke, there was silver for Rhiannon Loveman (15), and silver also for Olivia Burrow with a feisty performance in her first age-group final.
Head Coach Jo John professed herself very pleased with results so far. She attributes the huge number of personal best times to hard training, and expects swimmers to be even faster when they taper before major events like regional and national championships.