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.

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