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!