Debutants and seasoned county swimmers combine for medal haul

The Eastbourne Swimming Club boys team, who put in a fine performance at the Sussex County Championships.
The Eastbourne Swimming Club boys team, who put in a fine performance at the Sussex County Championships.

The first weekend of the Sussex County Championships saw Eastbourne swimmers returning home with medals and PBs galore.

15 young swimmers from Eastbourne Swimming Club qualified to compete at the weekend’s events and for some it was their first time swimming at this level.

New girls to the counties, Hannah Lindsay, Harriet Farrington, Frances Smoker and Chloe Hughes all competed in the 50m breaststroke event which saw both Hannah and Harriet getting excellent PBs while team mate Alice Greenland took fifth in her age group.

Seasoned Counties swimmers Chloe Pollard and Lizzie Wright showed how it’s done when Chloe won the 400m freestyle Ladies Open Championship and the Girls Junior Championship and Lizzie took nearly five seconds from her 200m Fly time to touch in fourth place.

Backstrokers, Thivya Kularajan and Hannah Wilcocks, also had great swims both achieving good PBs in the 100m event.

Eastbourne boys (pictured) had their share of the medals too with James Grimmond and Josh Lemon taking 1st in the 50m backstroke and silver medals going to Matt Tyler and Josh Lemon in the 200m backstroke.

The 200 IM event gave James another gold with Sean Wright taking the silver and team mate Reece Bishop achieving a good 2 second PB.

For Adrian Wright a great swim, that shaved nearly six seconds off his 400m time, earned him a third place and a bronze medal.

After such a fantastic weekend for the team, the Eastbourne Squad are hoping for yet more medal success at the second weekend of the Counties Championships later this month.

Swimmers from the St Bede’s School and the aquatics club based at Upper Dicker travelled to Crawley on the 25th and 26th of February for the second weekend of the 2012 Sussex County Championships.

While the squad is small compared to many of the other clubs in the county they acquitted themselves well and are at this stage leading the open mens championship and are well positioned to challenge for a podium finish in the overall championship.

St Bede’s highlights from the weekend included two national qualifying times from 16 year old Will Condron in the 50m freestyle and 200m Individual Medley.

In both these races Will finished second in mens open championship races and contributed more valuable points by winning the 100m Individual Medley and finishing second in the 100m fly.

Further championship points were achieved by Andrew Horsfall Turner (2nd 400IM) and Ben Jones (4th 400IM). Will, Andrew and Ben were joined by Elliot Wood in the relay where their fourth place also contributed to their points tally.

Twelve year old Theo Hall leads his age group with wins in the 400m IM and 200IM as well second place in the 100m Fly and third in the 200m Backstroke.

Fourteen year olds Will Brown and Cole Cornford both swam well achieving a number of personal best times.

The youngest male swimmer was nine-year-old Thomas Jackson who clearly enjoyed his first county championships experience taking a silver medal in the 50 m freestyle final and also reaching two other finals.

For the girls medals were achieved by Maddison Drury (12 years first 400 freestyle and 3rd 200m fly) and Katherine Horsfall Turner (14 years second 400m freestyle and 1st 200m Fly).

Also contributing valuable points and swimming numerous personal best times were Cristina Richards, Jade Pithers, Jesica Brailey, Ella Vieweg and Sasha Bradley.

Head Coach, Kevin Ayers and Assistant Coach Janet Rowlinson, were justifiably proud of the team performance thus far and will soon have them back in hard training leading up to the final weekend of the county championships on March 17 and 18.