Great Yarmouth Swimming Club has this year introduced new events into their annual championships, adding distance events, whilst retaining the history and traditions built up over many years. The weekend saw swimmers competing in the distance championships, over 1500m, 800m and 400m freestyle along with 400m individual medley. As the championships were licensed, swimmers will be able to use the times for entry to open galas (and County Championships, if they are fast enough!).
The weekend started on Friday evening, with the girls taking on the 800m freestyle and boys competing at the 1500m. For many swimmers it was their first attempt at racing these distances, so pacing was crucial and created a number of great races and close finishes. The outstanding swim from the girls had to be Anna Pearce, who showed her stamina and endurance by winning her age 12/13 age group and qualifying for the County Championships with a time of 10.50.29 despite never having swum the event before. Lucy Gordon, Mollie Medler and Francesca Brown also competed in the 12/13 age group, showing strength and determination in their swims. Kelsey Wilson also swam strongly, winning her 14/15 age group with Abbey Secker in a solid second.
Emma Gordon won the age 16 and over age group, and was delighted to be presented with the new Jessica Jane Applegate shield, (for winners of the women’s 800m age 16 and over event) that was kindly donated to the club by Councillor Shirley Weymouth. Jessica Jane came along to the start of the 25m sprint gala on Sunday 29th October to present Emma with her shield, along with Councillor Shirley Weymouth, who has attended a number of Great Yarmouth Swimming Club events, and always shows a keen interest in the swimmers. Jessica Jane also took the opportunity to speak to some of the younger swimmers, answer some of their questions and give them some handy tips before they raced! The club was honoured to have such special guests, and was very grateful to both.
For the boys, their distance was the 1500m freestyle, an event, which again, very few had previously attempted. In the age 12/13 age group, Finley Coman took first place, but had to work hard with Jacob Zandbergen closing the gap with every length, and ending up a mere 0.52 seconds behind him in second place. Ben Bedford, Nathan Pitman and Charlie Shearing also competed in this age group and deserve praise for their gutsy swims in this demanding event. In the age 14/15s, Tommy Chandler showed his experience and ability, winning the event by a comfortable margin. Ernest Blas and Raul Hasmasan took second and third and gaining valuable experience in an event that was new to them both.
Saturday evening saw the swimmers taking on the 400m freestyle and the 400m individual medley. In the girls age 10/11, Jasmine Coleman swam an excellent race, winning her age group in an impressive 6.15.31. Bethany Gordon was second with Zara Buckingham third, Amelia Dibble forth and Skye Nichols fifth. Sam Coman won the boys age 10/11 age group. Once again, Anna Pearce was the clear winner of the girls age 12/13 age group, but Melissa Duffield and Lucy Gordon perhaps fought the hardest, with Melissa taking second place from Lucy on the touch, at the finish, with only 0.06 between them at the end of the 16 lengths. Mollie Medler was forth and Francesca Brown was fifth. Kelsey Wilson won the age 14/15 age group, with 400m free being one of her strongest events. In a fascinating race, she was swimming in the lane next to Finley Coman, and they were neck and neck till the final length when Kelsey pulled away to take the win. Finley did, however, win his age 12/13 age group with the time he swam. Abbey Secker was second, and Emma Gordon won the age 16 and over age group.
For the boys, Jacob Zandbergen took second place in the age 12/13, with Ben Bedford in third, Nathan Pitman in forth and Charlie Shearing in fifth. Ernest Blas won his age 14/15 age group with Raul Hasmasan less than a second behind him in third. Bailey Medler won the age 16 and over age group.
The 400m individual medley is acknowledged to be a grueling event, comprising of 100m (4 lengths) of butterfly, 100m of backstroke, 100m of breaststroke and then 100m freestyle. 9 boys and 3 girls from the club competed in this event, with some taking on the challenge having just finished racing the 400m freestyle. The age 12/13 category provided spectators with another brilliant race, with Anna Pearce and Jacob Zandbergen battling it out in the same heat. Neck and neck till the 300m mark, Anna’s experience in the event paid off as she pulled ahead, winning the heat and her age group in 6.04.73. Mollie Medler swam with determination to take second place. Jacob’s swim was, however, fast enough to win his age group, ahead of Finley Coman in second, Ben Bedford in third, Nathan Pitman in forth and Oliver Grimmer in fifth. In the final heat of the evening, Anna Duffield represented the girls against Tommy Chandler, Finley Coman, Ryan Webb and Raul Hasmasan. Tommy and Ryan went out fast on the 100m butterfly, with Anna pacing herself to save energy. In the end, Tommy won the heat in the fastest time of the whole event, with Ryan Webb second, but winning his age group. Anna Duffield came in third, to win her age 14/15 age group, with Finley in forth and Raul in fifth in the heat but both second in their age groups.
Well done to all the swimmers that took part, and congratulations to all who achieved new personal best times in their events. Many thanks must also go to the officials and coaching team.
You can view the full results at http://www.gysc.org.uk/results/ClubChamps/2017/Distance/index.htm