Friday, 12 February 2016

Devon County Championships: Third Weekend

The 2016 Devon County Championships ended, as they began, with a deluge of medals, PBs and regional qualifying times for Exeter swimmers.

Warren Barrett
The focus was on butterfly, which provided events over 50m and 100m. At the shorter distance, Warren Barrett won the super final, while the age groups saw silver for Enzo Robertson-Moro (11) and bronze for Keely Ware (10), Katie Townsend (16+) and Alec White (15). In 100m fly, Liam White and Tom Downs qualified for the super final, finishing 4th and 5th respectively, and Aliyah-Mai Webb finished 6th in her super final. Keely Ware and Charlotte Emery (13) took gold in their age groups, with Luca Riezzo (12) in silver.

The sprinters came out for the 50m freestyle. Jolie Sellek (11) surprised the middle lanes by winning her race. She was joined in gold by Katie Townsend (16+), and Milly Kendall (13) claimed bronze. Will Amey qualified for the super final, finishing 7th.

The 100m IM may be rarely swum, but Exeter swimmers showed their dominance with four gold medalists: Enzo Robertson-Moro, Olivia Burrow (14), Katie Townsend (16+), and Aliyah-Mai Webb (super final). Liam White finished second in his super final, and joining him with silver were Alec White (15), James Wamsley (16+), Keely Ware and Charlotte Emery; Luca Riezzo took bronze.

In the 100m breaststroke there was a convincing win for Alec White, with silvers for Keely Ware, Charlotte Emery and Liam Jordan (12). Ollie Palmer won bronze, and in the super final James  Wamsley finished a strong 4th.

Aliyah, Olivia, Emily, Rhiannon, Katie
The only middle-distance event of the weekend was 200m backstroke. Fittingly for Liam Tancock's first club, backstroke had already proven an Exeter specialism in previous weekends. This event continued the trend, with five of the eight swimmers in the women's super final from Exeter: Aliyah-Mai Webb came 2nd, closely followed by Olivia Burrow (3rd, and junior champion), Emily Eveling (4th), Rhiannon Loveman (7th) and Katie Townsend (8th). Amelia Ashelford (13) won her final by a country mile and Katya Zossimova (16+) finished with silver. Among the men, Liam White took bronze in his super final, as did Archie Tyers (12) in his age-group.

Actually, that wasn't quite the end. The long distance events still offer the promise of more medals for a dozen dauntless Exeter swimmers. But the results to date speak for themselves. Unlike several other clubs who prepared specifically for the county championships, Exeter swam through them with no reduction in training intensity; most of the senior swimmers, and many juniors, proved their commitment with a two-hour training session on Sunday morning before the races. Extremely impressive though the results have been, the training plan indicates that there is even better to come.

Thank you to coaches and volunteers, and congratulations to all our swimmers on a superb performance!

Olivia Burrow: 200m backstroke junior champion

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Devon County Championships: Second Weekend

The second weekend of the Devon County Championships at Plymouth's Life Centre brought a hugely impressive --- and increasingly predictable --- haul of medals for Exeter swimmers. In some events, they dominated across the age groups. Their excellence was summed up by the super final of the women's 100m backstroke, in which Exeter provided five of the eight swimmers, and filled the podium.

That final was won by Aliyah-Mai Webb, with Olivia Burrow and Emily Eveling 2nd and 3rd. Rhiannon Loveman and Katya Zossimova finished 6th and 7th. In the men's super final, Liam White took silver, while the age group competitions for 100m backstroke also saw medals for Exeter swimmers: silver for Amelia Ashelford (13), and bronze for Archie Tyers (12), Alec White (15) and Milly Rawles (14).

The breaststroke races delivered even more success, with Exeter swimmers claiming six golds: Charlotte Emery (13) and Alec White (15) doubled up in the 50m and the 200m races, while Charlie Kendall (16+) and Keely Ware (11) took gold in the 200m and the 50m respectively. Dayna Riordan qualified for the 200m super final, in which she finished 3rd, and followed this with 7th in the 50m super final, while James Wamsley, coming back from injury, took 5th in his 200m super final. Other medals in 200m breaststroke went to Amelia Ashelford (2nd behind Charlotte), Keely Ware (2nd), and Liam Jordan and Archie Tyers (2nd and 3rd in a close final). Liam Jordan (12) took bronze in 50m breaststroke, as did Liam White (16+) and Annabel Courtney (13).

Club captain Dominic Wooldridge won the super final of the 200m freestyle, with Liam White 4th. In the age groups, there were golds for Enzo Robertson-Moro (11), Archie Tyers (12), Katie Townsend (16+) and Olivia Burrow (14), with silvers for Keely Ware and Charlotte Emery, and a bronze for Tom Downs (16+).

The 400m IM attracts a certain kind of swimmer, requiring good technique in all four strokes as well as extraordinary strength and willpower. The swim of the weekend went to Emily Eveling (14), who amply demonstrated those qualities to win not just her age group but the senior and junior championship. Liam White came runner-up in his senior championship. Charlotte Emery and Milly Kendall (13) won gold and silver for their age group, while Luca Riezzo (13) and Rebecca Gibbins (15) took silver and bronze.