All the information you require concerning the British Gas South East Regional Championships.
Last weekend was the turn of the younger swimmers in Sevenoaks Swimming Club to test their talent against the rest of the SE region at Crawley Leisure Centre. Thankfully the weather was more forgiving for the swimmers than the Bank Holiday weekend although, anyone who has been to Crawley will know how hot the spectators’ gallery gets! The Age Group regionals is spread over 2 weekends to allow more swimmers to qualify and ensure there is a good representation from across the region.
We had a whopping 37 swimmers qualified for 100 races over this first weekend – a phenomenal achievement for the youngsters - under the hopeful eyes of coaches Jo King, Paddy Ham, Jon Yates and Vince Norris.
Day 1, Saturday morning, kicked off with 49 swims from the youngsters and Euan Terry was first off the blocks in the 1500m freestyle achieving a strong 10th place. Soon after was the 200m IM for the girls and in the youngest age group we had 7 swimmers including 11 yr olds Jessica Harmer and Alyze Gentles. Eva and Izabella Okaro and Emily Brown made the finals with Eva producing an astonishing swim to finish in 1st place and the first Gold for Sevenoaks. Izabella and Emily also swam superbly finishing in 4th and 7th in the final. Elspeth Watson (13) also qualified for the finals in her age group and just missed a medal, finishing in 4th. Harmer, Gentles, Millie Armstrong, Daisy McMillan and Imogen Stoddard also swam strong races in the heats and produced some great PB’s.
Soon to follow was the boys 50m Backstroke and where Joseph Box, Caiden Hibbert, Jaedon Lynch and Louis Hayes were representing the Club. All swam well with Joseph and Louis making the finals and Louis kick starting his regionals with a great Silver medal.
Shortly after was the excitement of the 50m freestyle for the girls with sisters Eva and Izabella Okaro, Samriddhi Das, Emily Brown, Jessica Harmer, Daisy McMillan & Millie Armstrong in the 11/12 yrs. Imogen Stoddart, and Elspeth Watson in 13 yrs and Lilie Chambers, Millie Childs and Daisy Widdowson in 14 yrs. All girls produced fabulous swims and an amazing 4 girls made the final in the 11/12 yrs with Eva smashing the Regional record and winning her second Gold medal. Izabella joined her sister on the medal rostrum in a wonderful Bronze position – a true family affair! Emily finished in 7th and Sami in 8th. In the 14 yrs, Lilie Chambers proved her quality finishing in a great 3rd for Bronze medal.
The arduous 200m breaststroke for the boys was next, with qualifiers Albert Whitlock in the 11/12 yrs, Jaedon, Noah Enticknap and Thiago Gentles in the 13 yrs, and Jacob Hudson in the 14 yrs. Jacob made the finals and swam strongly for a great 4th place.
200m Butterfly is not for the weak and Elsbeth and Holli Gushlow were our qualifiers in the 13 yrs. Elspeth went onto swim to prove her dominance in this stroke finishing in a flourish for 1st place and Gold medal.
The boys were back in the pool for the 100m freestyle with qualifiers Joseph Box (12) Tom Creasey, Noah and Jaedon (13), Louis, Zach Raymond and Ben Strebel (14) with Louis making the finals and producing a great PB to finish in 2nd place for another Silver.
Final race of the day was the girls 100m Backstroke. Eva, Izabella, Millie Armstrong Sami Das, Emily and Isla Murphy all qualifying in the 11/12 yrs, Imogen Stoddart in the 13 yrs and Millie Childs and Lilie Chambers in the 14 yrs. Eva, Izabella and Millie A. went on the race in the finals in their age group with Eva finishing in 4th, Millie in 7th and Izabella in 8th. Millie Childs produced a great swim in the 14 yrs finals to finish a strong 4th.
Out of 18 events in Day One, we made a spectacular 11 finals.
Day 2 and we had 51 races for the Sevenoaks contingency which started with the girls 50m Breaststroke. Eva & Izabella, Emily Brown, Jessica Harmer and Martha Roberts represented the 11/12 yrs olds, Imogen, Kara Dimond, Holli and Elspeth qualified for the 13 yrs and Megan Marter, Ruby Jarrett and Eleanor Allen the 14 yrs. All girls swam great races in the heats with Eva, Emily, Imogen and Kara qualifying for the finals. Eva won the Bronze and Emily came 6th in the 11/12 yrs with Imogen bagging a super Silver and Kara finishing powerfully for 4th in the 13 yrs.
The boys 50m Butterfly followed shortly after with Joseph Box, Jaedon, Tom Creasey, Caiden Hibbert, Louis, Ben Strebel, Zach & Euan pulling out fast swims. Louis qualified for the final and led from the start to comprehensively finish in 1st place for Gold medal.
The girls who swam in the 200m Backstroke were Millie A. Eva, Emily Brown, Daisy McMillan and Sami in the 11/12 yrs, and Daisy Widdowson (14) with Millie A. making the finals and jumping from 6th placed qualifier to 5th in the final – a great swim.
We had 3 boys in the 200 freestyle heats; Euan finishing in 10th & Zach in 15th for the 14 yrs and Noah finishing in 13th for the 13 yr olds.
This was swiftly followed by the 100m Butterfly heats where we had 6 qualifiers, Eva and Izabella, Sami and Millie A in the 11/12 yrs and Elspeth in the 13 yrs and Lilie in the 14 yrs. All the girls produced some great swims with Eva and Elspeth swimming into the finals. Elspeth stormed to a great 4th place then Eva smashing the 11/12yrs final and finishing in an amazing first place for another Gold medal.
7 boys made the regionals for the 100m breaststroke, Albert Whitlock and Sam Martin-Young for the 11/12 years, Jaedon, Noah and Thiago Gentles for the 13 yrs and Louis and Jacob Hudson for the 14 yrs. Louis and Jacob made the finals after some strong swims with Louis finishing in 6th place and Jacob pushing the whole way for a great PB and Bronze medal.
Finally, the end was in sight and after a short break the final swimmers took to the pool for the 400 freestyle for the girls and the 400m IM for the boys. Youngsters Daisy McMillan (12) and Millie Childs (14) represented the girls, both pulling off strong swims Daisy for 23rd and Millie, missing a medal by a whisper finishing in 4th. The boys, Macauley Johnston and Jacob Hudson both managed brave 13th places and Louis finished the weekend off in 9th.
A long, hot weekend but a fabulous start to the Regionals with 5 Gold, 3 Silver and 4 Bronze medals. All the coaches were tremendously proud of all the qualifiers and are looking forward to the next weekend of fast racing!
Head on over to our Photo Gallery for more pictures from this year's Regionals
High Wycombe Leisure Centre in Bucks was the venue for a sweltering weekend of Regional Championships for the Over 15 swimmers at Sevenoaks Swimming Club proving that they were no wilting flowers by producing some outstanding swims in one of the hottest Bank Holidays on record, all under the enthusiastic, supportive and encouraging eye of coach, Paddy Ham. The South East Region is one of the largest in the country incorporating counties as far as Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex and Kent. This year’s qualifying times were set at an unsurpassed level for the races, so huge congratulations must go to all 15 qualifiers for meeting the tough entry requirements.
Friday kicked off proceedings with the new distance swims of 1500m for girls and 800m for boys. Amy Farthing (20) started with a fine 4th place followed by a gutsy swim from Ellis Stanhope (16) who stormed home on the last length to secure a well-deserved Bronze Medal.
Saturday morning and with the sun blazing through the glass of the pool, the boys in 50m Breaststroke were first off the blocks. Ollie Coote and Oscar Wilson pulled out the stops and came in 9th and 16th in the 15 yrs, with Dominic Percy (16) coming 19th and only just off PB while swimming with a broken thumb.
Next in the pool were the girls 50 Fly swimmers with Ellie Vowell and Zoe Naylor-Perrott (15) both producing fabulous swims and Ellie qualifying for the 15 yrs final and finishing in a fabulous 6th place. The boys 200m Freestylers were next up for a cool dip with Aiden McMillan (15) and Ellis Stanhope (16) both comfortably qualifying for the finals and managing a great 7th and 4th respectively.
Next, we had Jasmine Wallace (15) making her regionals debut and Emma Evans-Wilson (16) in the 200m backstroke and both finishing a fine 12th place, shortly followed by Zoe back for the 100m Freestyle along with Emma in the 50m Back, with Emma finishing in 12th and Zoe managing to bag a place in both finals, securing 8th in the Back and a superb Bronze in the Freestyle.
200m Butterfly is not for the faint hearted but Amy, Ellis and Aiden proved their metal with Amy and Aiden qualifying for the finals and finishing 6th and 5th respectively and Ellis narrowly missing out on a final spot and finishing 9th.
Finally, Maddie Glen (15), Sarah Williams (16) along with Ellie, Oscar and Ollie were up for the 100m Breaststroke. Ellie finished a very respectable 14th, Oscar 16th and Sarah 17th all producing very good swims with Maddie and Ollie qualifying for the finals and both finishing in in a flourish in 6th place.
Sunday turned out to be even hotter inside by the pool and outside in the sunshine. The day was to be a medal producing one which started with our fabulous distance guys, Amy and Ellis, both securing amazing Silver medals in the 400IM and 1500m Freestyle. Brilliant racing by both swimmers.
Next were the sprints: 50m Freestyle, with Emma, Maddie, Ellie and Zoe racing. Maddie finished 24th, with Ellie and Emma both finishing in 17th and Zoe qualifying for the finals and fighting hard for a super 3rd Silver medal of the day. The boy sprinters in 50m fly were Aiden McMillan and Chris Cheng (21) with Aiden finishing in 17th and Chris going on to the finals and bagging a great 7th place.
This was swiftly followed by the girls 200m Breaststroke event with Maddie Glen and Sarah Williams swimming. Sarah finished strongly in 13th and Maddie went on to finish in a fine 7th in the finals. Emma was back in the pool in her 100m backstroke and gaining another 12th place.
After all the distance swims and medals, Ellis tried his luck at 100m Freestyle and, having managed the unenviable position of finishing joint 9th in the heat, had the joys of swimming in swim off for a finals place – he produced an astonishing race to win and jump from 9th to 3rd fastest qualifier, but it was a race too far for one day although he still managed to finish in a great 6th place. The day was rounded off with Amy in another distance, this time 400m Freestyle finishing with a good 9th place.
Bank Holiday Monday, when most were soaking up the hottest Bank holiday, our swimmers and our hugely dedicated Coach, Paddy, were back at the pool early on for a final day of racing.
Amy managed a strong 7th in the 800m Freestyle, followed by 50m backstroker, Ethan Hunter (16) and 50m Breaststrokers Maddy & Ellie. Ethan and Ellie finished a fine 16th a piece with Maddy qualifying for the final and executing a great race to finish in 6th. Oscar and Ollie were back for the 200m Breaststroke with Oscar finishing a fine 12th and Ollie a stonking 5th in the finals.
100m Butterfly swimmers were next in the pool: Aiden and Chris for the boys and Ellie and Zoe for the girls. All pulled out the stops with Zoe finishing in 15th, Ellie in 12th and Aiden in 9th. Chris, however decided that a Bronze medal had his name on it and stormed the finals to claim that prize!
Last, but not least, our two swimmers who started the proceedings also finished it with Ellis swimming to an amazing 4th in the 400m Freestyle and Amy finishing in a fabulous 5th in the 200 IM.
Massive well done to all the swimmers and thanks to the parents for their support, the officials for their time but the biggest thanks must go to Paddy who endured the whole weekend as sole coach, 12hrs a day and didn’t stop smiling and encouraging the swimmers throughout. He was exhausted, and his voice was all but gone at the end but “it was worth every second” he said,” a great showing from the senior swimmers who gave it everything and I couldn’t be prouder”.
Head on over to our Photo Gallery for more pictures from this year's Regionals
Swim England South East 15/Over Swimming Championships 2018
Wycombe Leisure Centre, High Wycombe HP11 1UP
Friday 4th - Monday 7th May 2018
Licence Level 1 LONG COURSE
Swim England South East 14/Under Swimming Championship 2018
K2 Crawley, Pease Pottage Hill, Crawley RH11 9BQ
Saturday 12th & Sunday 13th May 2018
Saturday 26th & Sunday 27th May 2018
Licence Level 1 LONG COURSE