Somerset County Championships 2022 - D2
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Girls 800m Freestyle
One of the benefits of having a top University Club affiliated to our County is the opportunity if affords talented swimmers to test themselves against some of the country's finest student competitors and for all to benchmark their performances against historical swims of our Olympians and record holders.
Pool distance swimmers tend to be a like minded bunch, and fans of the 800m event will have been minded to like the Somerset record breaking performance by University of Bath's Lottie Wynne-Jones. Fourth over the distance in November 2020's BUCS SC Championships, Wynne-Jones produced her second fastest ever LC swim of 9:07.93, having set a last 12 months top 10 ranked 9:00.50 pb when winning Swim Wales Dec 2021 Winter Championships. Averaging 33.43, 34.69, 34.67 and 34.19 for each leg of the sequential 200m's, she beats Jess Podger's 9:16.00 time from 2017 and also denied Millfield a win from each age group.
The 17 Yr category captured the attention as Rue Fowler (Team Bath AS) led for the first 550m closely followed by Millfield duo Emma Fleming and Isabella Woollard. Fleming then edged ahead to win gold in 9:41.04. Fowler was second in 9:42.23 and Woollard third with 9:44.26.
The 16 Yr age group produced a 1-2-3 for Millfield. Nicole De Pree (9:46.77) who improved by 3.3s, Georgina Hawkins (10:04.66) and Lucy Buckingham (10:04.88) who destroyed her .10:34.31 entry time.
Sophie Davies (Millfield 9:37.75) maintained pace with ANT's Isabel Blackhurst (9:57.69) for the first 450m of the 15 Yr group but then went through the gears in the third 200m to open up a lead of almost 8s which increased to 19.9s at the finish, earning the Junior title en route. 2020's 13 Yr winner Theoni Kane (Bridgwater, 10:25.04) successfuly defended a lead of a less than a second for most of the second half of the race over Macy Noad (A.S.T. Burnham, 10:26.17) in the battle for third place.
Nearly 36s last separated 2020's 11-12 Yr top 2, Eva Lawson (Millfield) and Francesca Hanson (Taunton Deane), and they repeated their placings in this year's 14 Yr age group. Lawson demonstrated her intent from the start by turning first in 32.86 before averaging 37.22 over the last 4 laps to clock in under 10 mins with 9:57.63 to improve on her 9:59.76 entry time. Hanson narrowed Lawson's margin of victory down this year to 26.08s with 10:23.71. There was a barn storming finish in the battle for third place as Sami Hallett (Taunton Deane, 10:30.07) found the extra speed over the last 100m to finish ahead of Mila Brooke (Millfield, 10:30.76).
Sasha Hart (Millfield) won the Girls 13 Yr 800m event in 10:48.76, improving by 1.94s while Ava Williams (Clevedon, 12:03.98) maintained her lead over Thea Faubel (AST Burnham, 12:09.08) to secure second place.
Iona Murray (Millfield, 10:33.43) enjoyed a winning long course 2022 Championship distance debut in the 11-12 age group. Murray had led off with a 34.66 and finished in fine fettle on 35.94, having swum no slower than 40.46, 40.78, 40.98 and 40.54 over any leg of the consecutive 200m splits. Encouraging times from Alisa Main (Backwell, 10:57.81, a 49.77s improvement) and Sienna Chillingworth (Bridgwater, 11:19.16, a 6.15s improvement) completed the podium performances.
Boys 800m Freestyle
Uni of Bath enjoyed a clean sweep of the podium places in the 18/O age group from swims by Aidan Mitchell (8:53.69), Tom Menlove (9:04.48) and Henrique Mascarenhas (9:18.58).
However the Senior Champion came from the stronger 17 Yr age group as Harry Hewitt (Millfield) clocked 8:46.32 to finish ahead of Oscar Barlow (Taunton Deane, 8:52.46) and Matthew Cairns (Millfield, 8:53.09) who had improved 31.51s and 12.10s on their respective entry times.
In the 16 Yr age group, Millfield's Ivan Hart touched in 8:53.85, only 0.16s outside the 18/O winning time. Team mate Thomas Duddridge (9:19.69) came second and Gareth Everton (Frome, 10:30.01) third.
The 15 Yr age group saw Clevedon's Jamie Stradman set the early pace before Millfield's Ewan Pedersen briefly took over at 600m. Steadman wasn't phased, opening up over half a second lead which he maintained to win the Junior Championship in 9:16.26, with Pedersen (9:16.85) knocking 24.55s off to secure second and Adam White (Millfield, 9:19.66) even more, 45.42s, for third.
The first three swimmers home in the 14 Yr age group all recorded faster times than the winning 2020 time. Entered on 10:06.55, Millfield's Reuben Alty went like the clappers and was nearly 11s clear of his nearest rival after 200m. Alty recorded 9:21.03 with Zachary Powell (A.S.T. Burnham, 9:43.62) improving over 7s to claim second and Henry Guppy (9:48.72) was third.
In 2020, the 13 yr age group fielded 11 swimmers. The good news is that 13 competed for 2022's 15 Yr age group title. The disappointing news is that each of the 13 Yr and 11-12 Yr categories were only contested by two swimmers. Reuben Thomas (Taunton Deane, 10:29.74) enjoyed a 7.76s imrpovement and finished ahead of Charles Robinson (11:19.16) who was over 6s better in the 13 Yrs.
Taunton Deane are still racking up distance swims and wins as Oli Hallett (11:09.09) was nearly 11s faster to take the 11-12 Yr category title ahead of Alex Parish (Clevedon, 11:47.12) who improved over 7s.
Girls 200m Butterfly
Ekaterina Price (Uni of Bath) improved over 2s on her entry for a comfortable 2:18.09 18 Yr age group victory, a time which also earned her the Senior Championship title. Ella Jenkins (Clevedon, 2:33.73) and Lydia Crawford (Team Bath AS, 2:35.35) came second and third in the age group.
The 17 Yr category saw Bella Moore (Street District, 2:34.69) finish first, very close to her entry time, with Libby Hubbard (Taunton Deane, 2:41.72) second.
Third in 2020, Zahra Davies (Millfield, 2:32.18) has won 2022's 16 Yr age group ahead of team mate Pippa Charleson (2:42.90).
Molly Watts (Team Bath AS) clocked 2:46.76 as sole competitor in the 15 Yr section.
The battle for the Junior title came in the 14 Yr age group and was won by Evie Linden (Taunton Deane, 2:41.57) . Second as a 12 Yr old in 2020, Linden this year held off the challenge of Mila Brooke (Millfield 2:42.17) who had gone almost 4s faster than seeded. Eloise Cash (Clevedon) placed third in the age group with 2:59.45.
In the 13 Yr age group, Evie Twelvetree (Millfield) swam 2:48.68, improving over 7s to finish almost 5s faster than 2020's age group winning time. Team mate Sasha Hart (2:56.44) and Katie Sercombe (Taunton Deane, 3:03.11) placed second and third.
Liberty Jones (Taunton Deane, 3:16.21) was just 0.08s off her entry time in the 12 Yr age age group.
Boys 200m Breaststroke
David Miller was the best of the five Uni of Bath swimmers contesting the 18 & Over age group and becomes our Senior Champion with 2:25.25. His team mates Miles Drabwell (2:29.09) and Shem Flair (2:30.86) both improved their times in placing second and third in the age group.
Winner of the 15 Yr age group in 2020, Richard Towers (Millfield, 2:34.86) has now won the 17 Yr age group ahead of Blayne Stanbrook (Clevedon, 2:39.03) and Charlie Hill (Street District, 2:49.02).
Millfield's Conor Cherrington (2:31.23) and Peter Yu (2:31.80) were fastest qualifiers for the 16 Yr final. just head of Reagan Gallagher (Taunton Deane, 2:35.61). While Cherrington maintained his ranking in the final with 2:29.65, it was not without a battle with Gallagher who made big inroads into the deficit of over 1.6s with 50m to go to clock 2:29.77. Yu came third in 2:32.86.
Harvey Pike (Street District, 2:41.81) and Jamie Steadman (Clevedon 2:42.97) were the swimmers to beat in the 15 Yr final after their prelim swims. However it was Steadman who continued his winning form with a 0.7s improvement on his entry time to finish first and take the Junior title in 2:39.01. Pike came second (2:42.13) and Harry Ryder (Taunton Deane, 2:46.64) third in the age group.
More breaststroke talent was on display in the 14 age group where Riley Price (2:46.93) had qualified second fastest from the 14 Yr prelims behind Max Higgins (Millfield, 2:42.21). The final saw Higgins lead throughout and take gold in 2:39.36, a 1.38s improvement. Price was second in 2:48.39 and Henry Guppy (Millfield, 2:52.80) third.
In 2020, top two in the 10-11 Yr category were Caleb Gifford-Groves (Millfield) and Theodore Perrin. They repeated their placings in the 2022 13 Yr Final with times of 3:06.92 and 3:13.50 respectively, with the Yeovil swimmer beating his entry time by 1.82s. Charles Robinson (Millfield, 3:20.53) placed third.
In the 12 Yr final, Oli Hallet (Taunton Deane, 3:20.07) held off a late charge by Leo Burns (Team Bath AS, 3:20.55) with Caleb Crook (Taunton Deane, 3:21.04) finishing third as the trio repeated their prelim placings.
200m form stroke events offer up a significant challenge in the 10-11 Yr category and Taunton Deane responded with a 1-2 from JJ Wells (3:30.67) and James Sercombe (3:42.74) who went almost 32s and over 10s faster than their respective entry times. John Angelosanto (Millfield) placed third with 3:50.15.
Girls 50m Backstroke
With both Elena Pedersen (Millfield) and Katie Butcher (Team Bath AS) ranked sub 30s, the 18 Y& Over age group races were always going to be tightly contested. Pedersen (30.32) led Butcher's time from the prelims by 0.06s and went on to win the age group final in 30.16. However it was Team Bath AS swimmer Niamh Ward who moved up from fourth ranked to second with 30.42. Jemima Hall (Uni of Bath, 30.76) claimed bronze.
Top three from the 17 Yr prelims, Leah Evans (A.N.T, 30.14), Rue Fowler (Team Bath AS, 30.43) and Isabella Woollard (Millfield, 32.39) repeated their placings in the final with Evans' 30.09 taking gold and the Senior Championship title. Fowler clocked 30.52 and Woollard 32.11.
With a margin of over 0.5s over her rivals from a 31.24 16 Yr prelim swim, Laura-Ann Marshman (Millfield, 31.43) still had to fight hard for gold after Chloe Bown (Taunton Deane) came within 0.04s of outright victory. Lucy Buckingham (Millfield) also found the turbo booster, improving from 33.24 through 32.08 to finish third in 31.61.
There was a similar story in the 15 Yr age groups. Annabel Chan (Millfield, 31.38), Alisha Freeman (Frome, 31.90) and Sophie Davies (Millfield, 32.45) had led the qualifiers. Chan held on for gold and the Junior Championship title with 31.42 but it was Freeman's silver in 31.55 which nearly caused an upset. Davies clocked 32.15 for bronze.
Six Millfield swimmers contested the 14 Yr event, no doubt inspired by swimmers such as Commonwealth Games star Tatiana Tostevin. The School took the first four places with 2020's 12 Yr silver medallist Augusta Maddox (32.49) earning gold ahead of Meghan Higgs (33.25) and Eva Lawson (33.94).
Street's 2020 10-11 Yr gold medallist Alesha Nisbet (34.18) maintained her win record in the event by taking the 13 Yr title ahead of Grace Williams (Team Bath AS, 35.67) and Sasha Hart (Millfield, 35.68).
1-2 from the 12 Yr age group prelims - Vivienne Lubbe (Millfield, 35.57) and Ailsa Main (Backwell, 36.01) - saw their positions reversed when it came to the final. Main clocked 34.86 to finish 0.06s ahead with Isabelle Chapman (Bridgwater, 37.06) claiming bronze.
More encouraging performances came in the 10-11 Yr category. Annabelle Godson (Team Bath AS, 38.38) improved on her entry by 1.16s to win gold ahead of Paige Taswell (38.93) and Alba Davidson (41.27). The Taunton pair had bettered their entry times by 2.09s and 3.68s respectively.
Senior and Junior Championship Presentations
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