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Somerset ASA Championships & Age Group Competitions 2020 Day 7

2020's long course sessions concluded at Millfield on 9 February with  Mixed 1500m Free, Boys 200m Back, Girls 200m Breast and Boys 50m Fly.

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Session 13

Boys 1500m Free

Millfield's 800m Free 16 Yrs & Over age group gold and silver medallists David Arioli and Alexander Sargeant  repeated their achievement over 1500m. On Day 2 Arioli had clocked a record 8:28.66 en route to the title. However it was Sargeant who dictated the early pace before Arioli took over from 300m, extending his lead to 11.88s with his 800m split of 9:00.04. Arioli enjoyed a comfortable victory to take the Senior title by over 27s with 16:57.91. Sargeant claimed silver with 17:24.91 and team mate David O'Loughlin (18:45.04) bronze.

Millfield's Anthony Davies was confidently pacing less than 10s off his day 2 800m bronze time of 9:26.05. The reward was a 23.02s improvement on his seed time to 18:09.31, 15 Yrs gold and the Junior title. Clevedon's Jacob Sell (18:25.08) claimed silver and team mate Blayne Stanbrook smashed almost 43s off his seed time to take bronze in 18:31.31.

The 14 Yrs and 13 Yrs finals also yielded more points for Millfield. Jonathan Turck was the only 14 Yr age group swimmer sub 10m at 800m and he won gold by 11.67s with 18:48.62 from Joseph Martindale (19:10.29). All three medallists improved, with Taunton Deane's Jack Butler knocking off almost 10s to 19:11.90 for bronze.

Third and fourth over the 800m event in the 13 Yr age group, Millfield's Zac Cooper and Clevedon's Jamie Steadman enjoyed a 1-2. Cooper (19:51.41) made his move at 1300m overtaking Steadman (19:54.96) and sliced 1m 46s off his seed time. Steadman was also 55.45s faster than seeded to take silver and Daniel Pearce (Millfield, 20:33.30) placed third.

Malakai Prothero (Bridgwater) was the sole competitor in the 11-12 Yrs age group. He rose to the challenge by  producing a 47s improvement on his seed time for 21:30.06 which will hopefully inspire more boys to try the event. 

Girls 1500m Free

Sadly there were no 16 Yrs & Over female entries in a distance event which will feature in the Tokyo 2020 program schedule. Neither did we have any in 2019, nor in 2018. When a generation of swimmers misses out or is unable to take advantage of new opportunities created, it can be very frustrating for those that follow.

Freestyle talents Isabella Woollard (Millfield) and Lara Turner (ANT) - silver and gold medallists over the distance in 2019 - however have bucked the trend and seized all their opportunities in 2020's Junior age group. With Woollard seeded over 4s faster than Junior record holder Turner, both girls would need  to lower the 2019 mark if they were to take the title this year. And while both did go under the old mark, it was Woollard (18:24.04) who never looked back once she had taken the lead from 2020's 800m gold medallist Turner (18:47.54) at 300m.

Gold and silver in the 14 Yrs age group went to Millfield's Eleanor Broughton (19:21.54) - already gold medallist over 800m - and Georgina Hawkins (19:51.38). 

There was another Millfield 1-2 in the 13 Yr age group. Nomuunaa Ganbaatar (19:57.45) enjoyed another sub 20m swim and Francesca Woollard produced a 14.7s improvement to 20:39.16. Holly Cleverly (Taunton Deane, 21:40.08) placed third.

Millfield's Eva Lawson again demonstrated her prowess in freestyle distance events winning 11-12 Yrs gold in 20:10.23. As in the 800m event, Francesca Hanson (Taunton Deane, 21:18.65) and Annabelle Suffield (Millfield, 22:16.21) earned silver and bronze respectively.

View Session 13 results

Session 14

Boys 200m Backstroke

G-S-B in the 16 Yr & Over age group respectively went to Alexander Sargeant (2:11.18) and Evan Jones (2:15.17) from Millfield and Finlay Saunders (2:15.71) of Team Bath AS.

With Oscar Barlow seeded nearly 5s below Evan Jones 2019 Junior mark of 2:16.54, it was no suprise when it was first lowered in the prelims to 2:14.25 by the Taunton Deane swimmer. Barlow then led throughout the final, producing a stunning record breaking 2:11.40 to deny Solomon Williams a third straight backstroke win. It enabled Barlow to leave with the Junior title while Adam Graham (2:16.12) won the battle for silver, also going under Evans' old mark. Williams' consolation was bronze and progressions from seed to heat to final (2:16.68).

There was a Millfield clean sweep of the medals in the 14 Yrs age group. Ethan Payne (2:28.23) found the extra front half speed needed to beat fastest qualifier and 2019's 13 Yr gold medallist Jonathan Turck (2:29.63). Joseph Martindale (2:31.84) came third. 

The 13 Yrs final followed the prelim form rankings as the top 2 in the stroke in 2020 over 50m and 100m also repeated their achievements in 2019 over 200m. Adam White (Millfield, 2:25.55) and Max Head (Bridgwater, 2:30.58) were followed by Street's Harvey Pike (2:34.44) in third.

After two 12 Yrs second places behind Riley Price (Clevedon) over 50m and 100m, Luca Gregory (Taunton Deane) seized the initiative in the heats, knocking almost 7.5s off his seed time to qualify as the only sub 2m 50s swimmer - over 4s ahead of Price. Gregory didn't stop there, leading throughout the final and clocking 2:46.29 for gold. Price (2:54.53) had to battle hard to save silver, finishing 0.39s ahead of third placed Oliver Tomlinson (Millfield, 2:54.92).

Fastest qualifier Jack McMeekin (Millfield) had improved to 2:42.58 in the prelims before winning the 10-11 Yrs gold in 2:45.61. McMeekin completed the backstroke treble just under 12s ahead of second placed team mate Charles Robinson who was again able to celebrate going sub 3mins by clocking 2:57.55. Theodore Perrin (Yeovil, 3:00.12) also recorded a big improvement to finish among the medals.

Girls 200m Breaststroke

Seeded on 2:28.49, Lily Booker (Millfield) went under her own 2:32.14 senior mark set in 2018 by clocking 2:30.19 which led the prelim rankings by 10.73s. Booker gave another masterclass in the final, lowering the Senior mark again to 2:29.69. Millfield's Anna Morgan (2:39.47) and Keynsham's Georgia Gussey (2:39.88) claimed silver and bronze.

2019's winner of the 14 Yr age group, Ruby Varney (Street) dominated this year's 15 Yr standings, first leading the qualifiers by 6.81s with 2:43.01 and then clocking 2:44.05 to add the 200m age group gold to her earlier win over 100m, and taking the 200m Junior title. Although 4.11s back, Rue Fowler (Team Bath AS) produced a big improvement on the day from 2:58.78 through 2:49.82 to 2:48.16 to place second, with Alice Harvey (Keynsham, 2:49.62) in third.

Taunton Deane's Chloe Bown completed her 2020 14 Yr breaststroke treble, clocking 2:46.87.  Millfield's Eleanor Hall (2:52.93) and Lucy Buckingham (2:53.02) completed the age group podium places.

Progressive improvements from 3:01.82 to 2:57.82 saw 2019's 12 Yr winner Francesca Woollard (Millfield) victorious again as a 13 Yr old. With a breaststroke gold and silver already in 2020, Bridgwater's Theoni Kane added another silver with 2:58.52, and Millfield's Nomuunaa Ganbaatar (3:06.90) came third.

Podium places in the 12 Yr final repeated those over the 50m distance after a burst of raw speed saw last year's 10-11 Yr winner from Taunton Deane, Olivia Barlow (3:06.91), break away over the last leg from early leader Eva Lawson (3:10.40). As well as silver, the Millfield swimmer had the satisfaction of improving in the prelims from 3:12.47 to 3:08.68. Augusta Maddox (Millfield, 3:15.13) placed third.

Street's Alesha Nisbet won her second 2020 breaststroke 10-11 Yr gold after improving almost 3s on her seed time to 3:19.50. Monster pb's were the order of the day for Katie Sercombe (Taunton Deane) who progressed from 3:56.10 through 3:34.74 to 3:31.98 for silver, and for Sian Davies (Millfield) who went 3:47.54 / 3:40.95 / 3:38.80 for bronze.

Boys 50m Butterfly

Jacob St-Germain's 2018 Senior mark of 25.96 looked as though it would be under serious threat in the 16 Yr & Over final as Weston-super-Mare's Sidney Fenwick improved 0.61s on his seed time to 26.09 in the prelims. And so it proved when Fenwick got even closer to the mark with 26.03. His reward is the Senior title. Less than half a second separated places 2 to 5 but Millfield's Sean Tsai (26.23) and Evan Jones (26.35) came away with silver and bronze.

2020 gold medallist over 100m and 2019 gold medallist over 50m as a 14 Yr old, Solomon Williams (Millfield, 26.75) confirmed his lane 4 ranking, taking the Junior title and 15 Yr gold. Team Bath AS' Oliver Watts (27.64) and Maxwell Adams (28.01) secured silver and bronze.

A progressive drop of over 2s on Joshua Jones seed time saw the Keynsham 2020 silver medallist over 100m produce 29.82 to win 14 Yr gold by almost half a second. It was the only sub 30s swim in the age group. Silver medallist in 2019 as a 13 Yr old in the event, Millfield's Jonathan Turck improved twice to 30.31, holding off the challenge of team mate James Towers (30.38) in third.

Taunton Deane's Harry Ryder put the disappointment of a 2019 DQ in the event firmly behind him with successive improvements from 31.90 to 31.22 and 30.50 to win a close finish in the 13 Yr age group final. Progressions by Street's Harvey Pike from 32.40 to 30.64 and by 2019's 12 Yr winner and fastest qualifier Adam White (Millfield, 30.76) were rewarded respectively with silver and bronze.

The 12 Yr final followed the prelim form rankings as Street's 2020 gold medallist over 100m and 2019 10-11 Yr winner over 50m, Kaleb Allom (33.94) twice went under 34s, comfortably ensuring victory. Millfield's Oscar Ryland-Day improved to 35.18 for silver and team mate Oliver Tomlinson to 36.46 for bronze.

With gold medallist over 100m Jack McMeekin (Millfield) qualifying fastest by 0.77s for the 10-11 Yr final, a determined effort would be needed to catch and overtake him. But that's exactly what Millfield's Caleb Gifford-Groves (36.60) and Taunton Deane's Finley Pyke (36.97) did in the final, improving on their 39.91 and 39.20 seed times to win gold and silver ahead of third placed McMeekin (37.25). 


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