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Sevenoaks Swimming A team competed in the third and final round of the Kent Junior League at Beckenham Spa with an expectation of defending the league title. The final round was seeded with the top six clubs based on results from previous rounds. Opponents were Thanet, Bromley, Beckenham, Royal Tunbridge Wells Monson and Black Lion.
The results were Beckenham 229, Sevenoaks 223, Bromley 194, Thanet 173, RTW Monson 159, Black Lion 82.
Having conceded second place to Beckenham in round three, the league table showed a tie for first position between Beckenham and Sevenoaks. The deciding factor for the trophy winner was therefore the gala points in round three, which gave Beckenham the trophy this year.
“A” team as follows..
Freya Ashdown, Iris Whitlock, Vivien Rooney, Ruth Godfrey
Fern Gray, Abigail Saunders,Amelia Tovey, Alyze Gentles
Izabella Okaro, Eva Okaro,Emily Brown, Samriddhi Das
Kara Dimond, Imogen Stoddart, Elspeth Watson
Devon Tannock, Jacob Crombie, Maxwell Haslam, Xavier Hards
Ptolemy Mangat, George Rehbein, Jonathan Vowell, Thomas Johnston
Ben Watson, Seamus Hamilton, William Jarrett, Joseph Box, Albert Whitlock
Caiden Hibbert, Jaedon Lynch, Noah Enticknap Tom Creasey
Meanwhile, the B team took on the second tier clubs in the premier division. They managed to hold onto their seeded position of second place.
Results were Maidstone 213, Sevenoaks B 196, Greenwich Royals 195, Bexley 178, Saxon Crown 163 and Shepway 103.
“B” team as follows…
Caitlin O’Sullivan, Amelie Thompson, Evie Armstrong, Caitlyn Semple Sophie Craig
Mia Bakunowicz, Valentina Groves Maisie Chambers
Millie Armstrong, Isla Murphy, Martha Roberts, Rosie Deacon, Ella Wood
Holli Gushlow, Evie Martin
Boris Argirov, Hugo Schwemm, Freddie Martin-Young, Aaron Green
Martin Argirov, Joseph Strebel, Louis Humphrey
Macaulay Johnston, Zachary Howard, Sam Martin-Young, Ethan Martin
Thiago Gentles, Edward Holness
To come second overall in Kent with such a young team is a huge achievement. Coach Vince Norris reiterated how proud he is of the swimmers in both teams with fantastic individual and team performances throughout the three rounds.
For the first time in 10 years SSC Water Polo held their awards. The afternoon started with a summary of the past year -
· Sevenoaks played in 8 different tournaments in 2018, the most recent a full team in the under 14 and 16 age groups
· 5 players playing for the Kent under 14 team - Joshua, Caiden, James, Thomas, Leo
· 2 players playing for Kent in both the under 16 and under 19s girls team - Chante and Leane
· 3 players playing for Kent in the over 40s - Mark, Tom H, Jonny
· Danny has contuned to play in the British Water Polo League
· 4 players have been training with the SER team - Thomas, Leo, Allegra, Josh
· Allegra has been selected to play for the SER girls under 14 team
· Chante and Leane - both attended the Young Volunteers programme
· Increased our pool time for the first time ever to 2 junior sessions a week, Big thanks goes to SSC committee and New beacon school.
Moving swiftly onto the awards, starting with the Club Awards which are for players who are 12 and under, to recognise achievement from moving from swimming to water polo.
· Water Polo Club Awards 1 - Farouk, Maxwell, Jacob, George, Jack, Lizzie, Axel and Gabriel
· Water Polo Club Awards 2 - Leo, Joshua, Thomas, Allegra
New trophy for this year for The Most Improved Junior Player of the year went to Allegra Cuomo. She has shown great commitment and continues to take every opportunity to develop and improve at water polo.
The Stuart Pettit Award – presented to the member who has made the most outstanding contribution to Sevenoaks Water Polo Club during the past year 2018 went to Leané and Chanté.
Senior captain Tom Howes gave a speech to the whole room inviting parents and the older juniors to come and give senior polo a go.
The Senior Wooden Spoon Award went to Reg.
The Seniro Player of the Year went to Johnny who was exstreamly surprise to have won the award.
It was great to see over 50 people attending. New members are always welcome to come and give water polo ago, Thanks to everyone for their support
A large Kent contingent travelled to Sheffield for the Swim England National Masters Championships at Ponds Forge, Sheffield on the 20th and 21st October. Two swimmers were representing Sevenoaks, Shelley Robinson and Peter Gruitt, both in the 65-69 age group. This is one of the two occasions of the year when the 50m long course pool is split into two 25m short course ones, the men’s events taking place in one and the women’s in the other, leading to an exciting eight-session competition spread over the three days.
Shelley had qualified for 13 of the 18 events but with a maximum of eight events had selected seven, including a series of Freestyle events ranging from 50m to 1500m plus the 50m Backstroke and Breaststroke events.
The first day started with both Sevenoaks swimmers qualifying for the 1500m Freestyle event – a 60-length swim. Gruitt swum well for a fourth place in his age group in a new Sevenoaks Masters record time of 23:37.37, whilst Shelley finished in silver-medal position in her event, but missing out on an entry time improvement.
As the competition progressed, Shelley settled into a steady pattern of entry time improvements over 50m, 100m and 200m Freestyle, culminating in a hard-fought seven-second decade-best time in her 400m Freestyle event. The finishing times for these four events also broke the previous Sevenoaks Masters records for the age group as well as bringing her a bronze medal in the 200m event. Shelley’s final medal was a second silver in her 50m Backstroke event in a season’s best time.
Overall, the performances increased her 2018 standing in the Swim England Masters Decathlon rankings to 213 with a points total of 2883.
The annual Swim England National County Team Championships 2018 is once again taking place this October 7th at Ponds Forge International Sports Centre. Always a fun, colourful and competitive event, it is played out in front of a packed house in Sheffield.
It kicks off the competitive short course season for many of the swimmers taking part.
With more than 900 swimmers competing from 36 counties the County Team Championships is split into two divisions. Division 1 typically has 20 teams while Division 2 has up to 20.
The 50m national pool is specially divided into two 25m short course pools so that the event takes place for both Divisions within the one venue at the same time. There will be two heats for each event on the schedule with heats in Division 2 starting only 20 seconds after those in Division 1. This adds to the electrifying atmosphere of the fast paced event which is also fully live streamed.
Individual events are contested over three double banded age groups – 12/13 Yrs, 14/15 Yrs and 16/17 Yrs. There are 100m Freestyle, 100m Backstroke, 100m Butterfly and 100m Breaststroke events for each age group with one swimmer competing from each county.
There will also be 4x50m Medley Relays held for each age group and one Mixed 6x50m Freestyle Relay. The mixed relay consists of teams made up of one boy and one girl from each age group.
This year, 7 swimmers from Sevenoaks Swimming Club have been selected to form part of the team representing the County of Kent in Division 1. This is the highest number there has been for the club.
The following Sevenoaks SC swimmers will be racing in the following events:
Millie Childs (14) 100Back
Kara Dimond (13) 100Breast
Imogen Stoddart (13) 50Breast in Medley relay
Eva Okaro (12) 100Fly, 50Free in Medley & Free Relay.
Izabella Okaro (12) 50Fly in Medley Relay
Nathan Rodrigues (16) 100Free, 50Free in Medley & Free Relay
Louis Hayes (14) 100Fly, 100Back and 50Fly in Medley Relay.
Also selected from Sevenoaks SC this year for the SE Regional Training Camp were 12 year olds Eva Okaro, Izabella Okaro and Emily Brown.
14 year olds Louis Hayes and Jacob Hudson have been selected for the National Development Programme 2018.
On Saturday September 22, Sevenoaks Sychronised Swimming team had a great day at the South East Regionals in Crawley, with everyone on the team coming away with a medal. This was our last competition this synchro season.
We entered two routines, each team swimming to music for 3 minutes. The 12u team were happy to take home the silver medal, with a score of 55.66.
The Team comprised of: Amelia Bell, Angelina Bezuidenhout, Betty Black, Ella Francis, Fleur Kirk, Gemma Grobbelaar, Isabelle Thompson, Laragh Redhouse, Lena Saunders, Lucy Sadler and Maelle Fontaine. This young team has had a great season with gold at the Kent Finals, gold at London Regionals and 6th at Nationals.
The 13-15 years team were delighted to come away with a silver medal and a score of 55.73, higher than their score at London Regionals. This Team comprised of : Amy Cameron, Aruni Meedeniya, Eden Dyer, Emilie Williams, Jodie Yew, Katie Thomas, Michaela Grobbelaar, Sayaka Soga, Sophia McInnes and Tiia Lahdelma. They have also had a great season with bronze at London Regionals, silver at Kent and 12th at Nationals.
The girls are looking forward to starting their new routines for next season this week.
12 year old Max Cooper of Silver Development squad was one of 3 boys in the 11/12 age category who represented the South East region at the British Triathlon under 20’s festival in Mallory Park, Leicester.
35 other boys within the Tristar 2 category from all over England, Ireland, Scotland & Wales competed alongside Max on Saturday, 15th September.
His event consisted of a 200m swim, a 5.9km bike ride and a 1.25km run at the end. A fast paced event, Max unfortunately came off his bike as someone fell in front of him, but he got back on and still finished in 29th position.
On Sunday the 16th, he raced as part of the South East team where as a whole, they ended up coming 4th overall.
Well done Max!
After a successful first round earlier this year in June, Sevenoaks Swimming Club 13 years and under teams were ever ready for round two of the Kent Junior League. On Saturday 8th September, the club fielded two teams in the top division of the league with the A team seeded first and the B team seeded 7thafter the first round results.
Division one competitions are split across two galas – the A team travelled to Gillingham whilst the B team went to Margate.
The A team competed against Bromley, Black Lion, Greenwich Royals, Saxon Crown and Bexley Swimming Clubs. It was a nail biting evening with Sevenoaks putting in a good performance against a strong Bromley team. Although there was disappointment with three disqualifications which cost a 19 point advantage against the second placed Bromley, the Sevenoaks swimmers fought back hard.
There were exceptional winning performances from Eva Okaro (in both 200m IM and 100m freestyle), Jaedon Lynch (100m breaststroke), Millie Armstrong (100m backstroke), Elspeth Watson (in both 100m butterfly and 100m freestyle), Noah Enticknap (100m freestyle), Ruth Godfrey (50m freestyle), Emily Brown (100m breaststroke), Jacob Crombie (50m breaststroke) and Alyze Gentles (50m butterfly).
In the end, the strength and depth of the Sevenoaks relay teams proved decisive with most results being 1st or 2nd place.
Final results on the day for the A team were Sevenoaks 239, Bromley 237, Black Lion 188, Greenwich Royals 151, Saxon Crown 123 and Bexley 113.
The A squad comprised of:
Freya Ashdown, Amelie Thompson, Annabel Nunn, Ruth Godfrey
Abigail Saunders, Amelia Tovey, Alyse Gentles Valentina Groves
Millie Armstrong, Izabella Okaro, Eva Okaro, Emily Brown, Samriddhi Das
Imogen Stoddart, Elspeth Watson.
Devon Tannock, Jacob Crombie, Maxwell Haslam, Xavier Hards
Jonathan Vowell, Thomas Johnston, George Rehbein
Macaulay Johnston, Seamus Hamilton, Ben Watson, Joseph Box, Albert Whitlock
Jaedon Lynch, Noah Enticknap, Tom Creasey
At Margate, the B team were up against Thanet ‘A’, Beckenham, RTW Monson ‘A’, Shepway and Maidstone.
The B team aspires to remain a part of Division One again this season, having gained promotion two years ago.
This would be no easy task considering the tough draw and strong opposition. The young swimmers were tasked with racing against the “A Team” of five other clubs!
The B Squad comprised of:
Isabelle Stoddart, Iris Whitlock, Vivien Rooney, Caitlin O’Sullivan
Fern Gray, Isabella Muñoz, Mia Bakunowicz, Olivia Dyckhoff
Isla Murphy, Martha Roberts, Daisy McMillan, Rosie Deacon, Ella Wood
Kara Dimond, Holli Gushlow Betty Simpson
Matthew McLean, Ignacio Munoz, Boris Argirov, Hugo Schwemm
Ptolemy Mangat, Joseph Strebel, Zachary Loder, Martin Argirov
Zachary Howard, Sam Martin-Young, William Jarrett, Ethan Martin, Max Cooper
Thiago Gentles, Edward Holness
Kara Dimond shone winning the 100m breaststroke. Impressive second places were achieved by William Jarrett (100m butterfly), Isla Murphy (100m backstroke), Vivien Rooney (50m butterfly), Ptolemy Mangat (50m backstroke), Martha Roberts (100m breaststroke) and Fern Gray (50m butterfly).
There were fantastic first places in the team relays for the girls 12/u medley team and the girls 13/u medley team
In a strongly contested fixture, Sevenoaks ‘B’ (137points) ended in 5th place ahead of Shepway (99). Other results were as follows :Thanet A (337), Beckenham (333), RTW Monson (180), Maidstone (164)
The whole team supported one another passionately and are well placed to secure their spot in the top division once again at the final round in November.
Well done to both teams and keep up the good training !
Full results can be viewed HERE (requires member login)
Having battled through the (10 week) qualifying period, 12 members of Sevenoaks Swimming club qualified to compete at the English Summer Nationals in Sheffield last week. Once the top 24 swimmers had been identified to swim at the British Summer Nationals the week before, the next 20 qualifiers in England, per event, were invited to swim at these Championships, so qualifying for this prestigious event was an achievement in itself.
Oliver Coote, (15) Nathan Rodrigues (16) Ellis Stanhope (16) Ellie Vowell and Zoë Naylor- Perrott both 15, had qualified for this event before, whilst Isabella Okaro and Eva Okaro (both 11) Imogen Stoddart and Kara Dimond (both 13) Lilie Chambers and Zachary Raymond (both 14) and Aiden McMillan (15) were first time qualifiers. During last week, were held each morning, with the top 10 going through to the finals every evening, and the whole event was live-streamed around the World.
Day 1 saw both Oliver and Imogen compete in the 100m breaststroke, both swimming almost bear to their PB finishing in 14th and 19th place respectively. Swimming in the 50m freestyle, Nathan began the morning seeded 6th, stormed his heat in a new PB and qualifying for the final, in which he fought hard to earn another PB earning the club’s first medal finishing in 24.80 to win the bronze.
As Day 2 began, no one could have predicted the massive success which would lead acting Head Coach Jo King to conclude this to have been ‘Wicked Wednesday’. Eva, who is still only 11 (but swimming in the youngest category 12/13) swam in the heats of the 100m butterfly. She swam her heat with effortless speed to knock 3 seconds of her PB reach the final, where she reduced that time by another second win a magnificent silver medal in a remarkable time of 1.04.95. Next to swim in the 200 freestyle was Ellis, who was seeking to break the magic sub 2 minute barrier for the 1st time. He did exactly that to reach the final in which he swam another fantastic race to win the silver medal and reducing his PB again to finish in 1.58.66. All this after he had swum the 1500m freestyle between the heats and finals (finishing 8th).
Oliver was the next to compete, giving his all and holding his entry ranking to finish 14th in 2.40.15. Following on was Lilie with her debut nationals swim in the 50m freestyle. Fighting all the way, she deservedly swam a PB of 28.20 to equal her entry ranking of 12th place. Eva then returned in the same event, ranked in first, She didn’t disappoint claiming her spot in the final in the new PB of 27.28. In the final that evening, under pressure, either rose to the occasion and won the gold medal, much to the delight of the swimmers and parents who had travelled to Sheffield to support the club. The final event so Nathan back in the pool in the hundred meter butterfly. Entering the heats in 10th place he, too, produced a PB of 1.00.10 to clean his place in the final where is aim was to break than one minute barrier for the first time. Fighting all the way he did just that with a time of 59.91 and a well deserved 6th place.
Day 3 began with both Zachary and Nathan swimming the heats of the 100m freestyle. Zachary smashed his PB to finish in 57.08 and booking a place in his first National final where he finished in an identical time to take a well deserved place. Nathan, on his 3rd day of racing produced his 2nd fastest time ever of 55.13, narrowly missing a place in the finals, finishing 11th. The next event saw Zoë and Eva in the heats of the 50m backstroke, Zoë finishing close to PB to finish and Eva with a PB which took her into the final where later that evening she produced another PB and another remarkable time for her tender age of 31.40 to take the silver medal. In between the heats and finals, Eva also swam the 200IM, in 2.37.42 to finish in 19th place.
Day 4, the penultimate day, saw the debut of Aiden in the 200m butterfly. Having just missed out on qualification last year, he swam a fantastic heat swim. From entering the event as the 19th seed, he leapt into the final seeded 5th! That evening, Aiden went on to smash his PB again to finish in 2.14.27, for a throughly deserved 5th place. The next event, the 50m breaststroke saw the debut of Kara producing her 2nd fastest time ever to finish 19th. It was Imogen’s turn to swim the event, digging deep to qualify for the final where she produced her 2nd fastest time ever to finish 9th in 35.99, a great achievement in her first nationals. Last to swim in the morning heat (over 4 hours after warm up) was Zoë swimming in the 100m freestyle and in a highly competitive field improved her seeding to qualify for the final. That evening, swimming from lane 0, she produced a gutsy swim to swim 0.3 faster than the heats and take a well deserved 9th place in 1.00.54. Today was styled ‘Fantastic Friday’
The final day of the English Summer Nationals began with the heats of the 50m butterfly, in which the club had 4 swimmers. Isabella, making her debut produced a solid time of 30.85, to finish in 15th place. Ellie also produced a strong swim to finish in a time of 30.13, a courageous swim, given she was managing an injury coming into the champs to finish in 13th. Zoë, on her 3rd consecutive day, came into the event 17th with no expectation of a finals place. Swimming a strong heat, she equalled her entry time to leap into the finals in joint 8th. That evening she finishes her season with a well deserved PB taking 9th spot in 29.64. Eva’s heat swim almost equalled her entry time to take her into the final qualifying fastest. That evening, she produced another incredible final swim to produce a PB of 28.54 and another gold medal! Not only was she one of the youngest in her age group, but the time she produced was faster than the winner of the 15 and 16 yrs age groups! Winning a total of 2 golds and 2 silver medals, Eva is a an incredibly talented swimmer who produced remarkable swims under pressure.
Finally, Ellis swam in the 400m freestyle produced an excellent heat swim to produce a PB and jump from being seeded 13th to book his place in the final ranked 5th. Swimming later that evening, he produced a spellbinding performance to reduce his PB by a further 4 seconds to take a well deserved 5th place in 4.12.89.
Coaches Jo King and Paddy Ham were understandably incredibly proud of every swimmer who had fought so hard to qualify and then produce the ‘fabulous week of racing’ they did. They are excited to build on this cusses, particularly as the Club will be welcoming their new Head Coach Kieron Piper who starts in September. More exciting times ahead!
Here we are again back in Sheffield for the start of this years English National Championships.
Sevenoaks SC has an excited group of 14 qualifiers and the first one in the water is 15 year old Oliver Coote in the 100 breaststroke. His second year at nationals, he was slightly off his best time with a 1.12.38 and just outside the evening qualification. He is back in the water in the morning for his 200 breaststroke.
Racing for the first time at this level and next to swim was 13 year old Imogen Stoddart, she swam well with a 1.22.44 and was perhaps a little nervous at the level of this swimming and will be calm and ready for her main event the 50m breaststroke later in the week.
Last but not least was 16 year old Nathan Rodrigues with the 50 freestyle, he was going in with a 6th place ranking and absolutely stormed his one length with a 24.88 and 3rd place going into the final. A very well paced and planned swim! He then went on to swim even faster in the final and brought home the first medal of the whole championships with a 24.80 and 3rd place bronze. Well done Nathan.
He is swimming tomorrow in the 100 fly.
As the day began early for SSC we none of us suspected the great successes that were to come for our fabulous swimmers later on!
The first event of the day was the 12/13 year old 100 fly and our not quite 12 year old, Eva Okaro who is 11, 12 in November was ranked in 19th place with a 1.8.14. She swam the most fantastic easy speed fly to finish in a 1.5.08, a huge pb and 1st place into the final. With an incredibly exciting swim against 13 year olds she knocked her time down to 1.04.95 and came in second place the first silver medal of the meet for SSC. A truly special swim and time for a very young and very talented swimmer.
Next in was 16 year old Ellis Stanhope with the 200 freestyle, he has been trying to break 2 minutes for sometime and showed us what he’s really made of with a fabulous 1.59.56 and taking his entry ranking from 10th to 3rd for the evening final. He went on to lower this time even further and win a super bronze medal with a 1.58.66 a remarkable swim after a very demanding 1500m race at lunchtime!
15 year old Ollie Coote had his 200 breast next and swam very well to hold his entry ranking with a 2.40.15 a good solid swim.
14 year old Lilie Chambers made her debut into National level swimming with the 50 free and was in great form with a lovely pb of 28.20 and equalled her ranking entry slot also, a very good first National swim.
Eva Okaro was then back in to swim her 50 freestyle and was ranked in first place, she performed to her ranking and swam a great pb of 27.28, putting her in first slot for the final. She went on to show her true ability with a first place win and a 27.44. A first Gold for Sevenoaks.
The last event of the morning saw 16 year old Nathan Rodrigues in the 100 fly and he was starting in 10th place which he stormed through to finish in 3rd ranking for the final with a nice pb of 1.00.10. He had a big aim to break 60 seconds, 1 minute in the final! This he achieved very nicely with a really lovely swim of 59.91 and 6th place.
As this session ended the lunchtime distance event began and Ellis Stanhope was racing in the 1500m freestyle, this is always a tricky event to race as the swimmer has to try to maintain 15 x 100 at the same fast pace. He gave a valiant effort and was just off his time, finishing in 8th place with a 17.18.71.
Gold, silver and bronze all in one day and some very exciting times - Wicked Wednesday!
Sevenoaks continued its sparkling Swim England nationals performance after wicked Wednesday!
The morning started off with Zach Raymond and Nathan Rodrigues in the 100m free. Zach smashed his PB, going 57.08 and qualifying for his first ever national final in the afternoon. Nathan produced his 2nd fastest time ever, producing a 55.13, narrowly missing the final in 11th place. After 2 brilliant performances over the previous 2 days, Nathan should be very proud of himself of what he has achieved.
This was followed by the girls 50m backstroke. Zoë Naylor-Perrott produced a strong swim of 32.45, narrowly off her entry time and finishing 19th. Eva Okaro continued her fine form, PBing with a time of 31.68 and going 2nd fastest into the final.
Eva continued her swims with a strong 2.37.42 in the 200 IM. It was her 3rd fastest time ever in this event by the 11 year old, finishing 19th.
The finals session started off well with Zach hitting exactly the same time as his heat, finishing 7th. A fantastic debut performance and he will comeback stronger next season, benefiting from the experience he has picked up from this years championships. Eva was up next and produced a dazzling swim to finish 2nd in the 50m back final with a new PB of 31.40. It was Eva’s 3rd medal in 2 days making her total 2 silvers and 1 gold. It was a fantastic swim and she was very pleased!
This sets up Sevenoaks for an exciting penultimate day with Aiden McMillan making his debut national swim in the 200 fly along with Kara Dimond in the 50m brs. Imogen is also competing in the 50m brs along with Zoë Naylor Perrott in the 100m free. Bring on tomorrow!
Days 4 & 5
After Wicked Wednesday and Thunderous Thursday, Sevenoaks continued the theme onto the Fantastic Friday. The day will be remembered for the breakthrough performance of Aiden McMillan. Aiden wasn’t up first in the 200 fly and delivered in style. It had been a long wait for Aiden to swim in his first ever nationals championships and he didn’t disappoint. Aiden went 2.16.08, a 2 second Pb off his entry. He also PBed at 50m and at 100m giving him 3 PB’s in 1 race. He stormed up the rankings from 19th to 5th and qualified comfortably for his first national final in the evening.
Next up was the girls 50m breaststroke. Kara Dimond produced a solid 36.79 in her debut nationals, just off her entry time but it was the 2nd fastest time she had produced in this race. Imogen Stoddart was next; producing a solid 35.79 in the heat to qualify 7th into the final.
Last in the morning was Zoë Naylor Perrott who put the disappoint of the following day behind her to produce a 1.00.85 in the 100 free heats and qualify 9th into the final, in a very competitive field.
The finals session kicked off with another breathtaking performance from Aiden. Aiden finished off his season in style with another 2 second PB of the day, smashing his time from earlier going 2.14.27. He didn’t breathe the last 10m, pacing the race superbly and finishing 5th place with his reputation greatly enhanced in English swimming. A superb debut performance and one that was thoroughly deserved.
Next up was Imogen Stoddart who performed well and produced a strong 35.99 - just off the time from the morning, finishing 9th. To even make a national final is an achievement and Imogen had a great debut nationals where she stated she was going to comeback even stronger next season!
Finally it was Zoë who produced a gutsy swim from lane 0, going faster than her heat swim in a time of 1.00.54. This is the 2nd fastest time Zoë has ever done and she was pleased to have gotten her time back down close to her PB.
The last day of the Swim England National championships did turn into a Sevenoaks version of ‘Super Saturday’.
The start of the day brought the 50 fly for the girls. Izabella Okaro, making her debut swim at nationals produced a solid 30.85, just off her entry time and narrowly missing qualifying for the final, finishing 15th in a very close field. Eva Okaro produced an excellent heat swim, going 28.80, 0.01 off her entry and qualifying fastest for the final in the evening. Ellie Vowell was next, producing a strong 30.13 and again, just missing the final finishing 13th. After managing an injury leading into this championships, it was a good performance from Ellie. Zoë Naylor Perrott was next up and went exactly her entry time of 29.90, qualifying joint 8th into the final for later.
Finally, after a long wait, it was the return of Ellis Stanhope to the pool in the 400 free and it didn’t disappoint. Ellis produced an excellent performance, PBing in the heat with the time of 4.16.52 and moving up 8 places in the rankings from 13th to 5th.
This set up the finals sessions comfortably and Sevenoaks finished off championships in style. Eva Okaro produced an incredible final swim, going 28.54 and winning her 2nd gold medal of the championships despite fiece competiton going into the final. Given that Eva is not even 12 and is competiting against girls 18/24 months older than her, Eva’s medal tally of 2 golds and 2 silvers is a stunning achievement.
Eva’s final set the tone for the rest of the finals session. Zoë was up next and finished her season off with a PB in the 50 fly, going 29.64 and finishing 9th! A lovely swim to finish off a good week.
Finally, it was the turn of Ellis and again, it didn’t disappoint. Ellis produced a spellbinding performance, knocking off nearly 4 seconds from his heat earlier in the day, going 4.12.89 and finishing 5th in an incredibly close final. Ellis’s last 50m lit up poolside as he dropped 3.5 seconds from his previous 50 to nearly sneak a bronze medal.
It was a fabulous finish to fabulous week of racing. It sets up the start of next season nicely and every swimmer should hold their heads high. All the swimmers have helped inspire the swimmers that didn’t qualify to make it their aim to get to nationals next year. The meet has galvanised the club; with sessions stopping to allow swimmers to watch and cheer on their teammates and witness the success Sevenoaks has had. This positive energy will help Sevenoaks go even further next season. Congratulations on a superb week.