Age_Group_Districts_2014_139The South West Age-Group District Championships is a really tough annual swim fixture. It is held over two consecutive weekends with very strong clubs from across the South West region competing.  This year it was held at both Millfield School and Hengrove, Bristol. GCSC performed very well across all age-groups at both venues.

Firstly congratulations to all swimmers who attained the tough qualifying times to make it to the Regional Championships. This is a fantastic achievement and is a great reward for all those training hours! A particular well done for those attending for the first time. All the swimmers swam strongly and were a credit to GCSC. As a club we secured 7 golds, 10 silvers and 7 bronze medals, a total of 24 medals.  Great swimming!
Age-group qualifying GCSC swimmers 2014 were: Donald Bissett, Duncan Bissett,  Beth Blakelock, Jacob Brown, Morgan Davies, Trinity Donohugh, Jacob Dowler, Joe Fountain, Abbie Giles, Adam Hall, Tilda Hall, Emma Hatton, Cam Lewis, Eddie Maddocks, Chris Malone, Matt Munden, Scott Munden, Mollie Perks, Ben Sarachi, Alex Seymour, Kaspar Wickens-Shaw, Suki Wickens-Shaw.

Here come the GCSC medal highlights, in age order:

Cam Lewis (11) in his first districts, swam extremely well. He reached finals in 5 events and won a terrific gold in the 100m free. He also got bronze in the 100m back and 200m free. A brilliant start to his district career!

Eddie Maddocks (12) had a great districts. He won 11 medals overall with 5 gold (100m free, 200m free, 1500m free, 200 backstroke and 400IM), 4 silver (400m free,  200IM, 100 backstroke, 800m free relay) and 2 bronze relay medals (see later). Of particular note was the gold in the 200m backstroke which also gained him his age 13 NQT. Eddie also won the 12 year old BAGCAT award. Fantastic swimming Eddie.

Chris Malone (14) swam extremely well both weekends in the individual and relay events. He played a key role in the boy’s relay brilliant medal haul. Well done Chris.

Alex Seymour (14) swam strongly across all his events. The highlight was Alex retaining his 200m butterfly gold in some style! He also won silver in the 400m free and bronze in the 200 backstroke and 400IM (as well as gaining 3 relay medals). Alex also did extremely well to come second in the overall 14 year old BAGCAT award – well done.

Matt Munden (14) also had a fine meet with strong performances in a number of key events. Matt won silver in the 200m fly (and his NQT!!), 100m and 200m backstroke (as well as gaining the 3 relay medals). Matt also did extremely well to come third in the overall 14 year old BAGCAT award – well done.

At her first South West Districts, Mollie Perks (14) also had a great meet. She won silver in the 100m free and 100 back and a bronze in the 200IM. Mollie also gained her 100m free NQT in the process. Well done Mollie, excellent swimming in an extremely competitive environment.

In terms of the overall BAGCAT awards, GCSC performed strongly with Eddie (1st), Alex (2nd), Matt, (3rd), Mollie (5th) and Cam (7th) taking the accolades in their individual age-groups. Great swimming all. 

A particular highlight of this year’s districts were the under-14 relay events. In the 4X200 free relay the boy’s team of Alex, Chris, Eddie and Matt (incidentally all left-handed!!) took on the might of Plymouth Leander and finished second behind Millfield (Matt pacing it to perfection!) They also took two further bronze medals in the 4X100 free and 4X100 medley relays (Alex was clearly on something in the 400 free; swimming 56secs in his anchor leg!) This takes them to the Nationals in July where we have high hopes. Go for it boys! The girl’s team (Abbie, Beth, Jorji and Mollie) were not to be outdone and swam really well to finish fourth in the 4×200 free, 5th in the 4 x 100 free and 7th in the 4 x 100 medley relay. The results in the freestyle relays should see them going to Nationals, which is fantastic for them and the club.

There were many other highlights of the two weekends. A few to mention are Chris Malone reaching the 100 breast final, seeded 8th but finishing 6th in a cracking time. He also swam very strongly in the tough 1500m to take fourth position.  Jacob Dowler (12) reached finals in both 100 and 200 free and gained his first NQT in the 200 free, well done – a big achievement.  Don Bissett (12) came a very respectable 4th in the 200 breast, with a brilliant swim.  Beth Blakelock (14) came a very good 6th in the 200 fly final, well done Beth a tough event! Abbie Giles (13) reached the 200 free final, coming 6th in a very competitive field. Well done. All GCSC swimmers stepped up and swam really well. A great effort by everyone. 

Craig Munden (17), Megan Hartery (16) and Sophie Tebbs (15) joined the GCSC team over the weekend and all swam really well. Sophie gained her NQT in the 400m free. Great swimming.

The South West Champs has once again brought us a heady mix of competitive swimming and fantastic racing. GCSC swimmers really put in a tremendous effort and everyone should be proud of their achievements.