Steph qualifies for national championships

STEPH Reynolds has qualified for the National Championships to be held at Ponds Forge in Sheffield in August.

STEPH Reynolds has qualified for the National Championships to be held at Ponds Forge in Sheffield in August.

She is only the fourth ever Clevedon swimmer to achieve this after Chantelle Aldom, Helen George and more recently, Sophie Feboul. Steph achieved the all-important time at the ASA South West Regional Youth Championshps at Millfield School for the 100m backstroke event. She beat her existing personal best by 1.5 seconds in the heats, but missed out on a national time by 0.04 of a second. Her time was quick enough to get her into the final of the event and therefore another crack at qualification.

As an elite swimmer, Steph is part of the Somerset Talent Pathway. This means that she gets additional pooltime with other gifted swimmers by training with the Taunton Deane squad (one of the top swimming teams in the country). As a result of this, Steph was swimming at the regionals in the Taunton Deane relay squads.

In her first race for Taunton she led off in the backstroke leg of the 4 x 100m medley, smashed her personal best for the 100m backstroke by a further two seconds and achieved national qualification. The Taunton team achieved qualification for the 4 x 100m medley as well and as Steph swims in the freestyle relay team too, looks set to be swimming in three events at the Nationals in August.

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Steph could not quite top this time in the final of the 100m backstroke, but did well enough to finish fourth. She finished off the day with another fourth place, this time in the final of the 50m backstroke. The entire club at Clevedon is thrilled for Steph, especially as she has only recently recovered from a long period of injury. The guts that she has shown and the effort that she has put into her swimming have been inspirational.

Clevedon are well represented at the Regionals with Steph being joined by Danielle Appleford, Amber Summerell and India Thomas, all of whom have previously competed at regional level, and Lizzie Warnes, Rebecca Parsons and Harry Thornton swimming at this level for the first time.

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Steph and Lizzie both set new personal bests in the 100m freestyle and Harry beat his time in the 100m breaststroke. Lizzie set a personal best in the 100m backstroke, Danielle in the 50m backstroke and Rebecca in the 50m freestyle.

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