The top swimmers from all six Eastern Counties recently came together for the 2-day Swim England East Region Short Course Championships. Sixteen Bishop’s Stortford Swimming Club members qualified: Alex Catton, Bryn Couser, Callum Davis, Callum Harold, Jess Penkul, Josie Pretious-White, Kaia Phillips, Mehdi El Mansar, Mia Carter, Millie Fields, Mohamed (Sami) Zemzami, Nellie Eastland, Niamh James, Nick Botha, Sarah Carroll, Tom Ogden.
All swimmers performed superbly against stiff competition in the Open age group, but Niamh James (18 years) was on sizzling form, with personal best (PB) times securing her Silver (200m Back), Bronze (100m Back) and 10th in the 50m Back. She was also 7th in the 200m IM heats. Millie Fields (15 years) also medalled, taking Silver in the 200m Freestyle and 7th in the 100m Freestyle, where she was the fastest 15 year old in the pool.
Other finalists were Mia Carter (17 years), 4th in the 50m Back; Alex Catton (16 years), 6th in the 200m Back; and Bryn Couser (17 years), 7th in the 200m Breaststroke and 8th in the 100m Breaststroke.
Given the single Open age category in this Championships, our younger swimmers found it tough to get into the finals, but they showed huge potential for the future being some of the fastest when results were split by age group. Tom Ogden was the fastest 15 year old in the pool taking 12th place in the 100m Back, 2nd fastest taking 13th in 200m IM, 14th in 100m IM and 16th in 50m Back, and 3rd fastest in 50m Butterfly in 36th place, whilst Mehdi El Mansar was the 3rd fastest 15 year old in the 200m IM in 20th place. Sami Zemzami was the fastest 14 year old taking 14th in the 200m Butterfly, and the youngest competitor in the team, Kaia Phillips, was the 3rd fastest 13 year old in the 50m Back taking 29th place out of 72 swimmers and the 4th fastest in the 100m Back in 40th place out of 62 swimmers.
Next stop for some of these swimmers is the Swim England National Winter Champs in December. Good luck!