Weston swimmers set national qualifying times

Holly Hudghton.

Holly Hudghton. - Credit: Archant

Weston Swimming Club members recorded excellent times to qualifying for the National Winter Short Course Championships in December.

After starting the season with a couple of months of training, Weston Swimming Club was out in force, with a weekend of competitions.

The South West Regional Championships allows the fastest athletes to open their season against strong opposition, in an attempt to post qualifying times for the National Winter Short Course Championships in December.

With a bigger team qualified than in previous years, Weston swimmers had 46 races across the two days. New best times were achieved by all, including Hollie Wilcox, who took more than five seconds from her 200m butterfly PB and Maddy and Ruby Soper, who were competing at this level for the first time.

The biggest personal best (PB) of the meet went to Freya King, who took a whooping 17.8 seconds off of her best 800m freestyle time. She backed this up with additional six new best times, including a seven seconds PB in the 200m butterfly and 1.5 seconds PB in the 50m breaststroke.

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Megan Richards (2), Evan Brunsdon (3) and Holly Richards (4) all added to the team tally of new best times.

James King’s six new best times included a 400m individual medley, which saw him take more than seven seconds off his previous best time, taking 14th place in the open age group in the South West.

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Evan King’s three new best times included a five second PB in the 400m freestyle, taking second place and qualifying her for the event at the winter short course meet in Sheffield in December.

She also achieved second place in the 200m butterfly and sixth in the 100m butterfly. Evan’s heat time in the 200m freestyle was another new national qualifying time.

The biggest improvements of the meet were seen from Holly Hudghton, who took more than 32 seconds off of her best times over seven events. These sizeable step-ups have left Holly within touching distance of three national Qualifying times, a level she has yet to achieve in her swimming experience.

Meanwhile, in Bristol, Weston’s nine to 12-year-olds were invited to take part in the junior development gala hosted by Bristol Penguins. With lots of younger swimmers competing for the first time, Weston’s team managers worked hard to get swimmers to the right place at the right time.

Alex Caunter, Ruby Eleanor, Archie Waitmorris and Lily-Em Spearing all kick-started their swimming careers with multiple events.

The ASA Competitive Swimming Performance Awards are time-based awards and are great to show swimmer progress and are stepping-stones towards achieving county qualifying times.

On analysis of the race times and splits, the young swimmers achieved 15 gold speed awards, 21 silvers and 31 bronzes. Impressive as these statistics are, the highlight of the gala was the motivation shown by the young athletes.

Weston had no 12-year-old boys available for the gala, which would have led to empty lanes. However, younger boys and several girls pounced on the opportunity to post new best times, despite their swims not earning additional points for the team.

If you are interested in joining the team that is focused on helping every swimmer to become the best that they can be, please contact ltswsmsc@hotmail.co.uk or headcoach@weston-super-mare-swimming-club.co.uk

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