Thumbs up for young City of Norwich swimming stars
UEA City of Norwich Swimming Club have been racking up the medals at two of the early season's biggest championships.
This year's Norfolk County Championships signalled a new era for the club – the one occasion where it swam together as a team.
With all squads united, 140 competitors took 218 gold, 205 silver and 161 bronze medals – a grand total of 584, and with the county relays still to come.
Eight of the club's swimmers posted national qualifying times – a fantastic achievement given how early it is in the season – while East Region qualifying times were a regular occurrence.
Overall championship and junior championship titles were claimed by Isabel Faulkner, Miles Garner, Sam Heard, Harry Smith, Isobel Page, Nick Thompson, Holly Bateman, Flora Shaul, George Flintham, Ashley Patterson, Mimi Barr, Dominic Waters, Alex Shreeve and Poppy Ingleson.
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Then there was the British Championship, held in Manchester last month – the pinnacle of the ASA's annual competition calendar.
The best swimmers in Britain attended this year's event in Manchester's 50m pool, to compete for the few places available on British teams to the World Championships and the European Junior Championships.
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Miles Garner, Poppy Ingleson and Flora Shaul had qualified from Norwich, preparation had gone very well and all three were looking for strong performances.
Garner, 16, swam in the 200m butterfly well to post a season's best 2 minutes 6.94 seconds – narrowly missing his best ever.
He placed 24th overall, first in his age group and eight seconds inside his national youth qualifying time.
Ingleson, 15, was also competing in the 200m butterfly at her first British Championships. Her training has been getting better and better over the past 10 weeks and she finished in 2:22.06 – a huge step in the right direction from her swim at the zonal competition in January. She duly secured her national youth qualifying time, placng 18th overall and fourth in her age group. It was also 14-year-old Shaul's first British Championships too and her superb run of results continued in the 50m freestyle, where she took half a second off her personal best, which she set only five weeks previously.
Her 28.35 was also her first national youth qualifying time, placing her 31st overall and sixth in her age group.
'The three swimmers represented the club impeccably, thoroughly enjoyed their experience and most importantly continued our progress,' said coach Alex Pinniger.
'Next year's British Championships will double up as the British Olympic Trials and will be the first swimming meet held at the new Olympic Swimming Pool in London, so one not to be missed.'
• The Bagcat results – Boys 9 years: 2nd Jack Riches, 3rd Samuel Ross; 11 years: 1st Casey Barrett, 3rd George Bennett; 12 years: 2nd Ryan Smith, 3rd William Cooper; 13 years: 2nd Jack Thomson, 3rd Jordan Staff; 14 years: 1st Adam Crafer, 2nd Jack Chapman. Girls 9 years: 3rd Chloe Galindez; 10 years: 1st Megan Mann, 2nd Allegra Cerea, 3rd Isabel MacDonald; 11 years: 1st Lilyella Craw-Seaman, 3rd Sasha Dyke; 12 years: 1st Chloe Hazell, 2nd Sophie Alden; 13 years: 1st Isobel Page, 2nd Harriet Clarke, 3rd Natalie Flintham;