So, the Norfolk County Championships finally drew to a close at just after 6pm on Sunday 10thFebruary after 4 consecutive weekends of racing. Some of the swimmers would have competed in all of the sessions, and yet the racing was just as fierce in the last final of the last event on the last day as it was on the first. The championships ended with a great race in the boys 16+ 50m butterfly, and GYSC were proud to have a representative in the race – Ryan Webb. Great Yarmouth were represented in all but 2 of the event finals, with GYSC swimmers racing in 31 finals in total.
With so many swimmers competing it is impossible to mention everyone, other than to say that the Yarmouth swimmers did themselves proud, swimming with spirit and determination, supporting each other and giving some of the loudest cheers when their team mates names were called out at the start of event finals. (Credit must go to the Great Yarmouth parents and supporters here too!).
The undeniable stand out performer of the championship was Ben Every, who with astounding speed and confidence saw off pretty much any competition in his age group, coming away with an amazing 11 County Gold medals and 1 bronze. Winning his finals, in many cases by a considerable distance, Ben is now Norfolk County Champion in boys age 10/11 in: 50m free, 100m free, 200m free, 400m free, 50m back, 100m back, 200m back, 50m fly, 100m breast, 200m breast and 200m IM. Well done Ben!
Other GYSC swimmers who won county medals included Jasmine Coleman (13) who took a great silver in the 200m fly and a bronze in the 50m fly. She also reached the final in the 100m fly where she was just squeezed out of the medals into 4thplace. Anna Pearce (15) won a bronze medal in the 200m fly and also reached the final in the 100m fly finishing 5th. Jacob Zandbergen (15) swam strongly throughout the championships, taking a bronze in the 50m free in 27.55 seconds. He also finalled in the 100m free (5th), 50m back (5th) and was just out of the medals in the 200m back where he was 4th.
Swimming in the youngest age group Charlie Foulger was delighted to make the boys age 10/11 100m freestyle final, qualifying in 8thplace, he improved in the final finishing a creditable 7th. Harvey Larner (13) reached 4 county finals, the 50m free (6th),50m back (7th) the 100m back (where he just missed out on a medal coming 4th) and 50m fly (8). Tommy Chandler showed a return to form, making the final in the highly competitive boys 16+ age group in the 50m breaststroke (8th) and the 100m breaststroke (6th). He also finished 5thin the 200m breaststroke and was just pushed out of the medals by 0.17 in the 400m free into 4thplace. Amelia Dibble reached an impressive 5 finals in her age group showing her potential across the different events. Ollie Grimmer continues to improve and was delighted to reach his first final – finishing 5thin the 100m backstroke and Anna Duffield was happy to be back in the finals this year, reaching the girls 16+ 100m fly final where she placed 8th. Ryan Webb had a positive championships, reaching the boys 16+ finals in 50m back (6th) 100m back (4th) and 50m fly (6th).
The Norfolk County Championships is raced in a 50m long course pool, and for many of the younger GYSC swimmers it was the first time they would have competed in this format. As any swimmer will tell you, swimming long course is a very different experience from short course and yet despite this, there were an impressive amount of new personal best swims achieved. Well done to all of our swimmers who gained new pb times.
The final day also brought a lovely surprise for the ladies 4x50m freestyle relay team, who had been part of the Norfolk County Relay Gala on Sunday 3rdFeb. Having thought they had finished 4th, they had actually finished 3rd in their race, so were each given a county bronze medal. The ladies team was Jenna Utting, Kelsey Wilson, Taylor Hudson and Anna Duffield. We are still awaiting the over all final results from the relay gala to be published.
Many thanks must go to head coach Richard Every, Bridget Every and Sue Lyons for being poolside with the swimmers and supporting them through the highs and lows of the championships. Not everyone can win gold medals, and some of the proudest moments can be when a swimmer takes the disappointment in one race and turns it into determination to succeed in the next. Thanks also to all of the volunteers and officials who gave up their weekends to ensure that the championships could take place.