British and County Records Fall!

Daniel BennettOn Sunday 12 January, 41 GCSC swimmers took part in the long distance events at Bath University. This was the first time in the history of the Gloucestershire County Championships for distance events to take place in a 50m pool (long course). For the boys it was a 1500m event (30 lengths) and for the girls the 800m event (16 lengths).

For Daniel Bennett (17 years) it was certainly a day to remember. This is the first year of our County Championships that Disability swimmers have been able to take part. A huge positive step forward, for able bodied and disabled swimmers to compete side by side in our County Championships. Sincere thanks go to Josh Pattison (Lead Disability Coach) for his tireless campaign and determination to make this happen. Daniel completed his first attempt at a 1500m in an excellent time of 24:18.08 to a rapturous applause from swimmers, coaches and supporters from all clubs. Daniel set a new S8 British 1500m record for this event. Congratulations Dan from the whole of GCSC, very well deserved!

The youngest of our boys was Jamie-Ray Manley (10 years) taking part in his first County Championships and first attempt at a 1500m long course! He swam a very mature race, pacing the race really well and was rewarded with a silver medal in a time of 24:26.65. Duncan Bisset, Daniel Wells and Cameron Lewis, all 11 years old, were also taking part in their first 1500m events. All 3 swam good solid races and learnt a lot from the experience. Cameron won a bronze medal in a time of 23:05.34 with Daniel and Duncan finishing in 5th and 7th places respectively.

The GCSC boys were dominant in the 12 year old age group taking the top four places. Eddie Maddocks took gold in a time of 19:00.87 and set a new County AGBT. Adam Hall won silver in 19:38.28 and Jacob Dowler took bronze in 20:09.12. Kaspar Wickens-Shaw finished 4th, Ben Hall 8th, Donald Bisset 9th, Jacob Brown 10th and James Maiden in his first 1500m race finished 12th. What an exciting group of lads this will be to watch grow up and compete for GCSC in the future.

In the 13 year old age group, Chris Malone swam a solid race in a time of 18:04.71 to take Gold and set a new County Age Group Best Time (AGBT). Callum Dickson also taking part in his first 1500m LC race did an excellent job and finished in 8th place.

Training partners, Alex Seymour, Matt Munden and Ben Sarachi represented GCSC in the 14 year old age group. All 3 are experienced 1500m race swimmers and didn’t disappoint with huge PB’s across the board. Alex Seymour swam a fantastic and determined race in an outside lane to clinch gold in a time of 17:17.32. This time is 17 seconds inside National Qualification time (NQT) and 19 seconds inside the Open Water NQT! Alex also set a new County AGBT for 14 year olds. Congratulations Alex! Matt took silver in a time of 17:37.85 to qualify for the Open Water Nationals and Ben finished in 4th place in a life time best of 18:48.38.

In the 16 year old age group Craig Munden, Ed Walsh and Jordan Lee didn’t disappoint with Craig taking gold in a time of 17:02.84 to take the Senior County Championship and setting a new AGBT. Ed won silver in 17:47.32 and Jordan finished in 5th place in 18:20.66. Club Captain, Sam Gaskins (18 years) put in an excellent swim to take gold in a time of 17:40.03 and set a new AGBT in the process.
Time for the girls and the 800m event…

Our youngest swimmers in the 10 year old age group were Maisie Rackham-Woods, Tutku Ciftci and Ilana Turner. All 3 swam very well in their first 800m event and gained from the experience. Maisie finished just outside the medals in 4th place in a time of 13:47.79, Tutku in 6th place in 13:56.53 with both getting a top 8 place medal. Ilana put in a solid swim but was unfortunately just outside the county QT. Suki Wickens-Shaw (11 years), also taking part in her first 800m event, put in a great performance in a time of 12:53.04 to finish in 7th place.

For the 13 year old girls, GCSC had 8 swimmers competing with 4 of them finishing in the top 8. Nathalie Walsh pulled out all the stops to take the silver in a quick time of 10.28.77 with Abbie Giles finishing 4th in 10:37.19. Tessa Hepburn enjoys the 800m event and posted one of the biggest PB’s of the day (improvement of 89 seconds!) to finish in 6th place with Matilda Hall in 8th place and Emma Hatton in 10th. Laura McPeake is progressing really well as a distance swimmer, and as one of the youngest competitors in this age group (with an end of March birthday) finished strong in 12th place with Izzy H-B in 13th and Trinity Donohugh in 17th.

Mollie Perks, Bethan Blakelock and Paige Bruton all 14 years were all up for the challenge of this event. For Mollie and Paige this is their first County Championships competing for GCSC. Mollie posted a lifetime best to take the silver in 9:54.25 with Beth in 4th place and Paige finishing in 10th place.

In the 15 year old age group Sophie Hall posted the quickest 800m time of the day in 9:10.50 to be crowned both County and Junior County Champion. Sophie set a new Long Course Competition Best time, County record and new AGBT. This was also a NQT and Open Water QT. Sophie Tebbs took advantage of being in a slower heat to lead the race and finished in an excellent time of 9:38.61 to take silver. Megan Hartery finished in 7th place with Ashling Keeble finishing in 10th.

A great start to the Gloucestershire County Championships for GCSC swimmers with a total of 6 Golds, 7 Silvers, 2 Bronze medals, 1 Competition Best Time, 1 County record, 6 Age Group Best Times (AGBT) records, 1 overall County Champion, 1 Senior County Champion, 1 Junior County Champion, 2 NQTs, 3 Open Water QTs and lots of PBs! Well done to all GCSC swimmers who took part at Bath in these events and thanks also to the coaches, team chaperones and officials.


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