Girls excel at national championships

Two Weston swimmers excel at two national championships.

FOR the majority of competitive swimmers, their performance goal is to achieve a national qualifying time (NQT) and compete at the British Gas National Age Groups and National Youth Championships at the end of July.

This year, Weston was proudly represented at both events, the best representation they have received for nearly five years.

Qualifying for her first nationals aged 12, Evan King took part in both the 100m and 200m butterfly. In the weeks since achieving her NQTs, she had worked incessantly, attending six to eight training sessions per week and committing to morning sessions before school, to ensure that she would be able to perform well during the heats.

Evan’s 100m qualifying time (1.09.45) meant that she stood a good chance of achieving an outside lane in the final. Her outstanding heat swim of 1.07.81 far surpassed all expectations and qualified her second fastest for the final.

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Raising her game once again to set yet another lifetime best (1.06.92), Evan finished in a fantastic fourth place, with an amazing final swim.

The next day brought the 200m butterfly, which Evan had qualified for in 14th (2.35.81). Another phenomenal swim (2.30.34) meant that Evan was seeded fourth going into the final.

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Making the most of her last swim of the championships and attacking the third length, Evan finished sixth in her age group in the country in 2.30.46.

Following a two-day break, the National Youth Championships began, for swimmers aged 14-18 (female) and 15-18 (male). Female club captain Esme Gullick competed for her second year, this time qualifying in twice as many events.

Following a shoulder injury, which resulted in weeks of disrupted training, Esme was not overly confident about completing her 200m butterfly, but a lifetime best of 2.24.68 was well received.

Having the 200m backstroke in the same session was also not ideal, so a two second lifetime best of 2.23.17 was an impressive result.

Following a well-deserved rest day, Esme achieved two more personal bests of 1.05.74 in the 100m butterfly and 1.06.50 in the 100m backstroke to complete an extremely successful 10 days in Sheffield for the Weston girls.

In addition to the support that Esme received from Hutton Moor Leisure Centre and Weston Chiropratic Clinic in the run up to the Nationals, the club would like to thank Taunton Deane Swimming Club for providing supplementary sessions so that Evan and Esme were able to train alongside other national qualified athletes from Somerset.

In addition to this, the increased quality of Monday night training sessions at Weston, accommodating talented swimmers from Clevedon and Backwell, has also helped to create a focused and motivated training group.

For more information regarding club swimming from LTS ( up to national level ( in Weston, please contact Tina or Rachel.

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