A record sixty-three clubs attended the 2018 Swim England East Region Short Course (25m) Championships on 2nd-4th November in Luton, to battle for the honour of being the fastest swimmers in the region and gain places in the Winter National Championships. Each event had one qualifying time for Men and Women, so every event was open to all age groups with 12 year old girls and 14 year old boys sometimes competing against 20+ year olds!
Bishop’s Stortford Swimming Club had 19 swimmers qualify for 88 separate swims on 3/4thNov. Considering the Open category, BSSC had some young swimmers in action, showing amazing potential for the future. The swimmers were Kaia Phillips (12 years); Millie Fields, Mehdi El Mansar and Tom Ogden (14 years); Alex Catton (15 years); Anya Fletcher, Jess Penkul, Mia Carter, Nellie Eastland, Sarah Carroll, Bryn Couser, Callum Harold and Nick Botha (16 years); Niamh James, Dan Chada and Will Picton (17 years); Callum Davis and Elinah Phillip (18 years); and finally Bradley Veitch (19 years) who popped back from Uni to compete!
There were so many highlights over the two days with so many swimmers achieving finals and outstanding PBs that it’s been hard to pick the best moments, but here are just a few …
Top performer award goes to Elinah, the current East Region Short Course Senior Women’s 50m Freestyle record holder, who struck Gold in both the 50m and 100m Freestyle events with two commanding performances! The 100m Free was a PB and a BSSC Female Open All Time Club Record (56.43 secs). She also came 8thin the 50m Fly.
Millie had two spectacular final swims, coming 5thin the 100 IM final (1:05.86) and 4thin an amazingly close 200m Free final (2:05.22), where she missed the silver medal by 0.16 seconds! Both swims were PBs and were also BSSC Female Open & 14/15 All Time Club Records!! In fact, the Open 200m Free was one of BSSC’s oldest records, set in 1993 by Kerry Anne Edwards/Newton. Kerry Anne won a medal at the European Junior Champs all those years ago, so it’s a great achievement by Millie to break that record after 25 years!! She also came 8thin the 100m Free final.
Nick came 6thin the 200m Breast final (2:27.05), having qualified in 8th place, just pushing Bryn into 9th position and breaking the BSSC Male 14/15 years All Time Club Record that had stood for 28 years!
Dan came 7thin the 50m Back final, 10thin the 100m Back, and got PBs in all 4 events he entered.
Mia secured a place in the 50m Back final in 3rd place, but unfortunately had to later withdraw due to a shoulder injury she picked up in the 50m Fly! Before injuring herself she also got a PB in the 100m Freestyle.
Niamh also broke a BSSC Female Open All Time Club Record in the 200 Back in a time of 2:16.45.
Although neither Kaia or Tom reached finals, they deserve special mentions for being the fastest 12- and 14-year olds in the pool in multiple races and getting us excited for what they can achieve in the future! In many races Mehdiwas the 2ndor 3rdfastest 14-year-old in the pool, also showing great future potential!
Finally, huge congratulations must go to Tom, Mehdi, Millie, Alex, Niamh and Elinah for achieving qualifying times for the Swim England Winter National Championships to be held in December.