The last May Bank holiday saw six BSSC swimmers head to Norwich for weekend two of the 2019 East Region Age Group Long Course Championships. The Youths (15/Over) had already made their mark on the region early May, and this time it was the turn of the Juniors (11-14 Years) to demonstrate the strength and depth of the club. They did not disappoint, continuing to push excitement levels ever upwards with lots of impressive performances, huge PBs, nail biting finishes and even more medals. The 7 BSSC qualifiers were:
- 12 years: Alice Longman, Kirsty Neill
- 13 years: Grace Mason, Jago Derrington (unfortunately injured!), Kaia Phillips, Lilian Opiyo
- 14 years: James Gisborne
Alice and Kirsty, our two youngest competitors, were really tested against top-class swimmers and had some sensational results. Despite being 2nd reserve (10th place) in the heat and an unexpected finalist, Kirsty battled superbly to take 7th in the 100m Breaststroke final and also finished 11th in the 200m Breaststroke. Alice was a well fought 7th in the final of the 200m Breaststroke, 11thin the 50m Breaststroke, 13th in 100m Breaststroke, 15th in 50m Freestyle and 27th in 100m Butterfly.
Grace kicked off the 13 year olds campaign with an outstanding 200m Butterfly, outclassing everyone in her heat to secure her place in the final where she came 7th. She also came 18thin the 100m Butterfly. Lilian cruised to a well deserved 13th in the 100m Freestyle and 20th in the 50m Freestyle. Kaia battled to the end in the 50m Backstroke to take Gold in a race where only 0.36 seconds split Gold to Bronze and she had an equally tough battle in the 100m Backstroke, taking the silver by 0.12 seconds! She also took 6th in the 100m Freestyle final, 9th in the 200m Backstroke and 13th in the 50m Freestyle. Kaia’s superb results saw her recognised as the 6th best female swimmer in the East Region in the 13 year age group and her 50m Backstroke time puts her 10th in Britain!
James was our only 14 year old and he narrowly missed out on two medals to come 4th in the both the 100m & 200m Breaststroke. He was also 14th in the 50m Breaststroke, 30th in 50m Free and 39th in 100m Free.
The great performances across both championship weekends meant BSSC ended up 10th on the final Regional medals table and 2nd out of all Hertfordshire clubs, beaten only by Hatfield which is an amazing achievement! Every swimmer that competed and represented the club should be very proud of their efforts.
Focus now turns to the East Region Inter-Counties early July where the club has a record 10 swimmers representing Hertfordshire, whilst eleven swimmers will be focussing on the British and English Summer Nationals in late July and early August. Congratulations on their selections and good luck to them all!