Narrow victory for swimmers

Weston swimmers produce some stunning times to win SJL meeting.

AFTER a hard fought second place in the 2010 SJL final, Weston Swimming Club started their 2011 campaign with two strong performances, seeing victories by 50 points over their closest rivals.

Ferndown (winners in 2009) and who had won the 2010 final by 50 points have merged with Bournemouth Dolphins. This new Swim 21 Network Club, with twice the membership and three times the number of coaches as Weston, looked to be the team to beat.

Not to be overlooked, Weston were off the back of their most successful SWR Age Group campaign and Keynsham swimmers had helped Aquae Sulis achieve third place in the SWR Age Group medal table. As usual, SX3 and Swindon Dolphins had also seen large squads achieve SWR medals and National Qualifying Times (NQTs).

The swimmers (aged 9-12) took up their positions for the first set of relays and with three wins out of three for SX3, despite two new best team times for Weston.

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After the first eight relays, six of which saw Weston record their fastest times of the series, the points were Weston 52, Swim Bournemouth 51, SX3 51.

The individual races began and first places were achieved by Rachel Anderson, Jessie Dadds, Evan King and Immy Moroney. Lauren Hodgkin’s lightning fast first 25m in the 11 year 50m fly was too much to claw back and she came home more than two seconds ahead of her nearest rival, in a new personal best time.

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Male captain Reece Trapani went for the same race tactic in the 50m freestyle and finished almost a second clear of a strong 12 year boy’s field in an impressive 28.96. This made the points at the halfway mark Weston 151, SX3 151, Swim Bournemouth 131, keeping the gala on a knife edge.

Female captain, Lucy Davies blitzed the field in the 12 year 50m breaststroke, winning by well over a second.

A tighter finish to the 50m backstroke gained her another eight points for the team. Rachel Anderson also gained full points from her two individual races and Bradley Lucas was never far from the blocks as he held his own against swimmers two years older than him to help out in the less populated age groups.

Altogether the team achieved 18 individual PBs from Toby Daniel, Jess Dadds, Bradley Lucas, Immy Moroney, Evan King, Evan Brunsdon, Lauren Hodgkin, Will Daniel, Reece Trapani, Lucy Davies, James Bramwell, Joe Thorne and Chloe Knight. At the beginning of the final set of relays it was still all to play for with Weston on 247, SX3 244 and Swim Bournemouth 226.

Again SX3 won the first three, despite Weston setting three new best team times, including the nine year boys (Harry Reynolds, Evan Brunsdon, Toby Daniel and Vaughan Clarke), who improved from a previous best time of 1.33.62, to 1.28.18.

Eight of the final nine races were swum in new team best times with an outstanding 58.79 from the 12 year girls’ team of Becca Lucas, Emily Watkins, Lucy Davies and Evan King.

The final race, which showcases the fastest male and female swimmers from each age group, was incredibly tense. The lead changed hands several times and Reece’s storming anchor leg resulted in a fine second place, in a new team best time of 2.07.68 (previous best 2.10.19).

At the final points announcement, a noisy Weston celebrated a fantastic victory with 308 points to SX3’s 300 and Swim Bournemouth’s 284. All three teams won 13 races each, but it was Weston’s 15 second places and no disqualifications that sealed the victory.

Special thanks go to the swimmers that took part in rounds one and two and also those who turned up on the night to cheer on their team-mates. Thanks also to the patience and hard work of the parents.

The club would also like to thank Hutton Moor’s swimming teachers for their support of the Talent ID programme, which encourages young swimmers with potential to achieve, into swimming when they complete their LTS lessons.

The last two Talent ID sessions before the summer break, run by the Weston head coach, will take place at Hutton Moor on July3 and 17 from 5-6pm, for swimmers who are in Stage 7 of the NPTS.

If you have a child who would like to learn to swim, the club also runs highly successful Learn To Swim (LTS) sessions throughout the year.

For more information, please contact Tina Byatt at or Rachel Aldington at

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