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.

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