Swim Wales National Championships 2022
15 to 18 Apr 2022 at Wales National Pool, Sketty Lane, Swansea SA2 8QG
Swimmers from, based in or trained in Somerset will be competing in the Championships. There has been a slight alteration to the schedule, previously the junior heats were split into 2, due to the numbers these sessions are now combined. So instead of each day being 4 sessions, it will now be 3 sessions (senior heats, junior heats, and finals).
For swimmers competing in Swansea, this competition offers the opportunity to turn in performances which will attract the attention of Team Wales selectors for the 2022 Commonwealth Games before the nomination window for Swim Wales selections from performances at accredited events closes on 18 April.
Team Bath stalwart and 2022 Somerset County Champion in the event, Will Ryley got his preparations underway in the 200m Freestyle. Entered on 1:51.26 but with a pb of 1:51.12 under his belt from last week's British Championships, Ryley served up the fastest heat swim of the morning, a 1:51.16 which led the 18&O age group and opened up a 1.59s margin over his nearest challenger Josh Williams (Swansea Uni). Also looking to improve on his last week's best time of 1:56.32, Dylan Gallager (Swansea Uni) bettered his 1:58.14 entry time to secure a final berth with a 1:57.36 fifth ranked 18&O swim. His Taunton Deane and Swansea Uni team mate Daniel Raffill unfortunately just missed the cut by 0.05s ending up first reserve after dropping 1.3s on his entry time with 1:59.26.
A sensational final brought mixed emotions for both Somerset swimmers. Josh Williams decided his best opportunity was to control the race and he led Ryley by fractions of a second all the way to the 150m mark. That left Ryley needing to recover a 0.44s deficit over the final leg. He responded with a 27.82 charge to the pads which brought him victory by 0.03s in 1:51.30. While just outside his best, it still earns him the title of Welsh Champion.
Gallagher was locked in a three way battle for bronze with his Uni team mates Tom Beamer and Freddie James and he exerted pressure to maintain a slender lead of 0.21s at the final turn. Storming to the finish in 29.43, Gallagher's momentum enabled him to claim bronze in 1:55.64 by 0.31s from Beamer.
Coaches and swimmers always aim to ensure they deliver their best performances in the arena when it matters. Fresh from setting another pb - 55.18 - at last week's British Championships, Dylan Gallagher eased into the 18&O 100m Butterfly with his 56.04 securing a sixth place ranking after the heats. The final was a different affair and he was in contention for a medal from the outset. Just 0.01s off second place at the turn, Gallagher held off a late charge from Jake Fabi by 0.02s to earn his second bronze of the day with 55.29. Thomas Carswell (Edinburgh Uni, 54.75) and Rhys Edwards (Swansea Uni, 55.19) claimed the top two places.
With a 12 months best of 30.23 set a week earler in Sheffield, Katie Butcher (Team Bath AS) was only 0.08s shy of her 30.30 entry time in the 50m Backstroke heats, ranking second behind sub 30s swimmer Charlotte Evans (Co Cardiff, 29.90). The pair both improved and maintained that order in the 18&O final, Evans to 29.70 and Butcher to 30.37 which rewarded her with silver
Butcher also clocked 1:11.12 in the heats of the 18&O 100m Butterfly to rank 16th.
No doubt inspired by each other's achievements over recent weeks, Reagan had in fact started the bronze rush by the Gallaghers with a 1.41s improvement on his entry time to 4:55.68 in the 16-17 Yr age group of the heat declared 400m IM which was won by Rhydian Arch (Co Cardiff, 4:40.72). Reagan had previously set a 12 month best 4:53.47 on 7 Apr at the City of Bristol L1 International Open Meet.
Millfield's Richard Jenkins secured a berth in the 16-17 Yr 50m Breaststroke final with his 32.95 eighth ranked heat swim. The race for sixth place was strongly contested in a final which produced a Co Cardiff 1-2. Jenkins secured sixth with an improved time of 32.75, just 0.01s ahead of Hans Schmidt (Pembs City) and Ellis Longworth (Conwy).
Jenkins also ranked 14th in his 50m Backstroke age group with his 31.37 heat swim.
Millfield's Carys Graville had set a 50m Breaststroke pb of 34.41 at the Team Bath & Millfield National Qualifier L1 Meet in March 2022. Representing Co Cardiff here, she improved 0.13s on her sixth ranked 16-17 Yr age group prelim swim to record 35.38 in the final and maintain her placing.
Graville just missed out on qualifying for the 50m Backstroke 16-17 Yr final by 0.05s, ending up as first reserve - 9th - for her 33.00 effort. It was a memorable time though, downing a 3 year old personal best of 34.09 she had set at the 2019 Swansea Aquatics Centenary Meet.
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Having set a personal best at April's British Championships, Carys Graville (Co Cardiff) improved a further 0.17s with her 100 Free heat swim to lead the 16-17 Yr qualifiers with 58.78. A controlled swim in the final was rewarded with gold by 0.41s and another new mark of 58.54.
Millfield swimmers Graville and Richard Jenkins are both members of Swim Wales Youth Performance squad. Jenkins' first swim of the day, 55.58 in the 100m Freestyle, saw him finish 10th (second reserve) in the Men's 16-17 Yr Age Group. He then swam to a 1:09.28 11th placed finish in the 16-17 Yr 100m Backstroke.
Gold medallist on Day 1 over 200m, Will Ryley (Bath Uni) qualified for the 18&O 100 Free final in 52.40. That ranked him sixth fastest behind fastest qualifier Daniel Jones (Swansea Uni, 49.02) who had improved 0.38s on his entry time. Ryley (51.72) came fourth in the final which Jones (49.30) won with another sub 50s effort.
Taunton's Daniel Raffill (Swansea Uni) ranked 13th with his 54.07 heat swim, less than 0.1s outside his entry time.
Isabel Hallett (Co Bristol) progressed from the 200 Breaststroke Prelims in fifth place with 2:49.98. One place and 0.08s further back was the inspirational veteran Helen Gorman whose lifelong journey in the sport started in Nottingham and has taken in so far Arkansas, World University Games and of course many gold medals in World and European Masters events. Hallett (2:46.89) and Gorman (2:46.94) maintained their fifth and sixth places in the final won by Kameliya Stoimenova (Swansea Uni, 2:38.45)
Fresh from their bronze medal winning accomplishments on Day 1, Dylan and Reagan Gallagher were back contesting the 16&O 200 Breaststroke and their heat swims ranked them both fourth in their respective age groups - Dylan (2:30.02) in the 18&O age group led by Panayiotis Panaretos (Swansea Uni, 2:22.04), and Reagan (2:32.48) faced chasing down the only sub 2m 30s time in the 16-17 Yr group from Tristan Lee (Co Cardiff, 2:28.66).
If there's a shortage of bronze for statues this week, Reagan and Dylan may be your go-to guys after the pair claimed yet more medals of that ilk. Reagan (2:28.85) claimed his with a 0.2s improvement on last week's British Championship pb in this 16-17 Yr final. Maxwell Anderson (2:25.37) and Tristan Lee (2:28.18) produced a Co Cardiff 1-2.
Top 3 in the 18 & Over final were Panayiotis Panaretos (Swansea Uni, 2:20.45), Thomas Halliwell (Nofio Clwyd, 2:27.26) and Dylan with
Just as they had done in the 50m event on Day 1, Charlotte Evans (Co Cardiff, 1:03.96) and Katherine Butcher (Team Bath AS, 1:07.22) were the fastest qualifiers from the 18&O 100 Back Prelims on Day 2. Evans (1:02.54) impressed again, winning the final by over 3.5s from team mate Katie Bamborough (1:06.13). Butcher (1:08.86) finished fourth but was in contention for an 18&O medal thoughout, turning second before eventually being hauled in by Emily-Grace Williams (1:08.58).
Millfield's Sophie Davies (1:07.60), a member of Swim Wales Performance Foundation squad, was just 0.3s off her entry time in finishing the fastest qualifier for the Girls 14-15 Yr 100m Backstroke final. She went on to claim gold by 1.38s with 1:07.42.
Sophie Davies' 50 Free personal best of 28.36 set in January at our County Championships didn't last long as she qualified second fastest from the 14-15 Yr age group with 28.28. Davies and Carys Croke (Torfaen Dolphins, 28.30) would need to overhaul fastest qualifier Anna-Rose Merchant (Bridgend Cty, 27.88). Millfield's Davies duly delivered another age group gold in another pb, 27.51, finishing 0.19s ahead of second placed Merchant.
Richard Jenkins (Millfield) and Taunton's Reagan Gallagher and Daniel Raffill (Swansea Uni) contested the opening event of Day 3, the 50 Free Prelims. Jenkins did rank sixth with 25.49 in progressing to the 16/17 Yr final where he finished seventh on 25.61. Tristyn James (Bridgend Cty, 24.76) secured gold by 0.04s.
Clocking 26.43 in the event's prelims to rank 14th in the same age group, Gallagher (Taunton Deane) shaved almost half a second off his best time of 26.87 set in February at our County Championships. Raffill (25.24) finished 15th in the 18&O age group.
Reagan Gallagher and Jenkins also raced in the next Men's event, 100m Breaststroke. Gallagher (1:10.06) qualified third fastest behind Co Cardiff's Maxwell Anderson (1:08.77) and Carwyn Jones (1:09.58). Followers of this Meet will be aware of the accumulation of bronze medals heading back to Taunton, which is no mean feat. But although Jones (1:06.77) and Anderson (1:07.56) did reverse their placings in the 16-17 final, Reagan (1:08.53) can be proud of fighting for every millimetre advantage in earning, you guessed it, bronze as Tristan Lee (Co Cardiff) was just 0.11s behind him at the turn and 0.06s at the pads.
Jenkins' heat swim of 1:16.67 ranked him 12th in their age group.
Sadly the 16&O 200m Butterfly events didn't attract many entries, M: 16-17 (4), 18&O (7), F 16-17 (1), 18&O (3) but Dylan Gallagher (Swansea Uni) took advantage of his heat swim opportunity ranking fifth for 2:15.12.The 18&O gold medal went to Rhys Edwards (2:00.73).
Sophie Davies (Millfield) led the 200 IM 14-15 Yr qualifiers 2:27.72 by 0.25s from Mabli Collyer (Swansea Aquatics) who had improved 1.44s to 2:27.97. The final was a tale of two halves. Davies extended her lead to 2.18s by halfway but Mobli wasn't out of it leaving Davies fighting hard to recover a 0.42s deficit as they turned for home. She almost did so but fell just 0.1s short on 2:25.32 to finish with silver. The consolation? Lowering her pb set at Dec 2021's Swim Wales Winters by 0.88s. Hannah Day (Portsmouth Northsea) was next to the pads, 4.5s behind.
Dylan Gallagher (Swansea Uni) ranked second in the 18&O age group after his 200 IM 2:09.83 heat swim behind team mate Max Elkin (2:08.04). The final saw the lead change several times between Elkin, Andrew Reay and Dylan who had set off like a rocket and led at the first turn. The outcome of the podium places became clearer down the final 50m with Elkin (2:07.10) winning gold by over a second from Reay (Wrexham, 2:08.13). Dylan (2:09.28) finished with bronze and an improved time on his prelim swim.
Entered on 2:17.15 but having set 1:16.09 at the 71st ESSA National Inter-Divisional Championships in March 2022 in Coventry, Reagan Gallagher (Taunton Deane) comfortably secured a lane in the 16-17 Yr final for his 7th ranked 2:20.82 heat swim. Reagan finished 5th in the final on 2:16.95. Fastest qualifier Tristyn James (Bridgend Cty, 2:10.76) went 3.73s quicker than his prelim time in winning gold.
Richard Jenkins (Millfield) ranked 22nd in the 16-17 Yr age group for the event with his 2:32.86 heat swim.
The last event of Katie Butcher's programme was the 50 Fly . The Team Bath AS swimmer ranked 13th with her 30.74 prelim time. Fastest qualifier Harriet Jones (Co Cardiff) was the only sub 27s swimmer in both heats and final, winning gold in 26.60.
Both Gallaghers entered the 50 Fly. Dylan Gallagher ranked 10th, second reserve, for the 18&O age group with his 26.18 effort. Team mate and fastest qualifier Lewis Fraser (23.77) went on to win gold in 23.82.
Reagan Gallagher improved on his 28.72 previous best set in our Jan 2022 County Championships. His 28.62 swim ranked 14th in his age group. Harley James (26.26) led home a Co Cardiff 1-2-3 in the final.
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