Saturday, 31 January 2015

Devon County Championships, 24-25 January 2015

Tom and Liam, Aliyah and Emily, Amelia and Charlotte
Following the huge medal haul a week previously, there was more success for the club's swimmers at the second weekend of the Devon County Championships.

The club's captain and vice-captain, D. J. Wooldridge and Liam White, led by example as they took gold and bronze respectively in the 400m freestyle. D. J. would later finish second in the championship final for 100m fly, with Tom Downs in 5th and Liam 6th. There were other impressive results in the men's championship finals, with James Wamsley 4th and Liam 7th for 100m breaststroke, and Liam 3rd in 200m freestyle. Tom took gold in the final of 16+ men's 200m freestyle.

Among the women, Aliyah-Mai Webb put in a terrific performance to qualify for the 200m fly championship final and finish with silver; she also came 7th in the 100m breaststroke, as did Katie Townsend in the 100m backstroke. Rhiannon Loveman finished 6th, from an outside lane, in 200m IM.

The women won medals throughout the age groups. At the younger end of the club, where a number of swimmers are showing potential and maturity well beyond their years, it was fantastic to see Keely Ware (10) hold off her rivals to win gold in 200m IM. The event proved popular with Exeter swimmers, as Megan Kennedy-Bruyneels (11) claimed the first of three victories, and Aliyah won gold in her age group (14). Charlotte Emery (12) was beaten to gold on the touch in the same event.

As well as Aliyah's silver in the championship final, there were 7 medals for Exeter swimmers over 200m fly. Charlotte, Emily Eveling (13) and Rebecca Gibbins (14) won their races, while there were bronzes for Jolie Sellek (10), Lauren Ramsay (11), Amelia Ashelford (12) Grace James (13) and Sarah Downs (15).

The 200m freestyle was almost as successful, with silvers for Megan, Charlotte and Emily, and bronzes for Milly Kendall (11), Rebecca and Katie.

The 100m backstroke and 100m breaststroke tested the club's sprinting prowess. In breaststroke, Emily and Megan won gold, with Charlotte taking silver. Backstroke was better still, with yet another gold for Megan as well as for Emily and Aliyah, and with Olivia Annunziata (14) putting in a brilliant swim not just to win her first medal but to become county champion. There were bronze medals for Amelia, Charlotte, and Katya Zossimova (16+).

This was a immense showing by the club against the best swimmers that the county can offer. Head Coach Jo John was particularly pleased at the depth of the squad, which won medals in every event and every age group: ‘The future of the club looks extremely strong, with such good performances by younger swimmers as well as their older and more experienced teammates.’

Full results are here.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Devon County Championships, First Weekend: 17-18 January 2015

The County Championships, which got underway at the Plymouth Life Centre last weekend, brought considerable success for Exeter swimmers.

The first event was 100m freestyle, which saw golds won by Liam White (16+) and Milly Kendall (12), with silvers for Charlotte Emery (12) and Lauren Ramsay (11), and a bronze for Aliyah-Mai Webb (15). More gold arrived via the men's 200m breaststroke, in which the 16+ category produced a win for D. J. Wooldridge with Tom Downs not far behind in bronze.

It was the women's 200m backstroke, late on Saturday, which proved the most lucrative for Exeter. Rosie Kendall (10) took bronze in her first Devons, while Megan Kennedy-Bruyneels (11) and Aliyah dominated their races to win comfortably. Emily Eveling (13) was just edged out into silver, and Rhiannon Loveman (16+) went home with bronze. Best of all was the 12-year-old category, which resulted in one of the closest and most exciting races of the day as Amelia Ashelford touched the wall a fraction before Charlotte, with Milly in bronze ensuring a clean sweep of medals for the club.

Golds also came courtesy of the women's 400m freestyle on Sunday. Megan added to her tally with another win, while Charlotte, having lost by just two-tenths to Milly in the 100m free, beat her by less than a second over 400m. Rebecca Gibbins (14) secured bronze with a strong PB, and Aliyah also won bronze in the 15-year-old age group.

Keiran Tellem (16+) won gold for his category (S9) in two sprints: 50m back and 50m breast. Rebecca took her second bronze of the day for her 50m back; and in 50m breast Charlie Kendall (15) also won bronze, while Warren Barrett (16+) claimed silver. James Wamsley (16+) qualified for the championship final, where he swam strongly to finish 4th.

There was more success in the men's 200m fly, as Luca Riezzo (12) finished third, and Joseph Day (14) second, while in the championship final D. J. won gold and Tom bronze. Having finished the 200m fly not long before, D. J. was back in action for the championship final of the 200m IM, in which he finished third.

Other championship finalists were: Liam for 50m back and 200m IM; Katie Townsend (15) for 50m back; and D. J. for 100m free.

With 30 medals --- including 11 golds --- won by Exeter, this was a strong showing by the club against the best swimmers that the county can offer.

Full results here.

Friday, 9 January 2015

Club Championships: Long Distance, 7 January 2015

The final races in the club championships were the long-distance events, which took place at Middlemoor on Wednesday 7 January. A select band of doughty swimmers competed in the 1500m (men) and 800m (women), pushing hard all the way and testing their endurance to the limits.

The lane draws created some fine rivalries. In the men's 1500m, Liam White, Tom Downs and Jack Pearson were together for a long period before Liam pulled away to win the 15 and over category, thirty seconds faster than his seed time. Other category winners were Archie Tyers --- an impressive performance in his first long-distance event --- Joseph Day (who had a great battle with Tim Western), Sam Criddle (more than 30 seconds faster than his seed time) and Charlie Kendall.

The women's 800m saw close racing between Grace James (12) and Milly Rawles (12), and between Milly Kendall (11) and Olivia Burrow (12): in each case, less than a second separated the swimmers. Milly Kendall beat the club's 800m record for 11-year-olds by 18 seconds, and Charlotte Emery, swimming a time trial in a different heat, went three seconds faster even than that. In the next age group down, Erin Throgmorton (10) swam superbly to win her category ahead of Georgina Broadhurst.

The battle of the 12-year-old Olivias saw Burrow triumph ahead of Passmore, knocking more than a minute off her seed time in the process. Rebecca Gibbins led the 13-year-olds with another personal best ahead of Eleanor Brandon and Florence Herbert, while Aliyah-Mai Webb took the next age group with Lily Collins-Board second, and Amy Linnington claimed gold for 15-year-olds.

Full results can be found here.