South West Age Group District ChampionshipsThe 2013 South West Age Group District Championships took place at Millfield School on the first two weekends of June. 19 Age Group swimmers from GCSC took part in these Championships swimming in a total of 143 events and qualifying for 57 Championship Finals (fastest top 8 in the SW District). All 19 GCSC swimmers deserve a mention for achieving tough qualifying times to compete at these championships, some for the first time.

Congratulations to Donald Bisset (11), Bethan Blakelock (13), Jacob Brown (11), James Chantler-Mayne (12), Ruby Forbes (11), Abbie Giles (12), Adam Hall (13), Matilda Hall (12), Sophie Hall (14), Emma Hatton (12), Izzy Hewson Barsellotti (12), Ashling Keeble (14), Eddie Maddocks (11), Chris Malone (13), Matthew Munden (13), Ben Sarachi (13), Alex Seymour (13), Nathalie Walsh (12) and Kaspar Wickens-Shaw (11). 

All of our swimmers really stepped up to the mark in one of the toughest Districts in England. The PB rate of 90+% was testament to the hard work by both swimmers and coaches at GCSC throughout the season. Our swimmers won a fantastic medal haul of 13 Golds, 8 Silvers and 3 Bronze medals to place us 3rd overall on the medal table in the South West District. Our swimmers also amassed a fantastic 17 individual National Qualification Times (NQTs)! In addition the girls performance hub team qualified for the 4 x 100m free and 4 x 200m free Nationals along with our very young 13 year old boys team for the 4 x 200m free National relays.

Sophie Hall (14) was on fine form in her favoured freestyle events winning 4 gold medals in the 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m free. She also achieved NQTs in all four of her freestyle events. Sophie was also part of the Hub relay team, along with Sophie Tebbs (CWPSC), Jorji Longdon and Evie Reed (both Soundwell) to qualify for Nationals in the 4 x 100m and 4 x 200m free.

Eddie Maddocks (11) had a memorable Districts this year winning gold in the 100m, 400m & 1500m free and 400IM, silver in the 200m free and 200m back and bronze in the 100m back. Without a doubt his best performance came in the 1500m free when Eddie achieved his first NQT of 18:54.28 and a 9.71 sec PB in the process. Congratulations Eddie from all at GCSC! Eddie also won BAGCAT points (British Age Group Category) for the 11 year old boys in the District.

In the next heat Chris Malone (13) was also going for his first NQT in the 1500m free and thankfully it was a double celebration for the Maddocks and Malone families! Chris nailed his first NQT in a time of 17:59.10, a 14.9 sec PB and a silver medal in the process. Congratulations Chris from everyone at GCSC!

Matthew Munden (13) had a busy Districts competing in a total of 16 heats and finals! He won gold in the 100m and 200m back, silver in the 200IM and 200m fly and bronze in the 400IM and 100m fly. He also achieved NQTs in 6 of his events and took 4th on BAGCAT points in the 13 year old age group.

Alex Seymour (13) was on superb form in his favourite event of 200m fly winning gold in a lifetime best of 2:17.50 which is 10 seconds inside NQT for his age group! Alex also achieved another 3 NQTs in the 100m and 200m back and 100m fly and took 5th on BAGCAT points in the 13 year old age group.

Ruby Forbes (11) had an amazing first experience of Districts. She qualified for the final of the 100m and 200m breast and then went on to win gold in both events! The 100m breast was in a lifetime best of 1:26.51 and the 200m breast also in a lifetime best of 3:04.35.

Ashling Keeble (14) was delighted to qualify for the final of the 200m breast in a PB time of 2:58.30. She went on to place 8th in the final.

Bethan Blakelock (13) and Abbie Giles (12) were up for the challenge of a LC 200m fly and didn’t disappoint as both made it into their first final at Districts. Abbie swam a 7 second PB in a time of 2:49.59 while Bethan swam a 4 second PB in a time of 2:42.78.

Matilda Hall (12) qualified for a final in the 100m and 200m breast in a time of 1:26.09 and 3:11.17 respectively. Donald Bisset (11) also qualified for the final in the 100m breast with a 7 second PB in a time of 1:30.18 and the final of the 200m breast just outside his PB. Ben Sarachi (13) and Izzy Hewson-Barsellotti (12) performed consistently well during the championships with PB’s in all of their events. Adam Hall (12) was swimming in his first District Championships and swam a cracking 400m free with a 10 second PB in a time of 5:11.19.

Craig Munden (16) joined the GCSC team to do a time trial for the 200m fly. It was a successful trip as Craig dipped just inside the NQT in a PB time of 2:13.63.

A great Championships for GCSC swimmers. Thanks go to Andy for his support and words of wisdom over 2 long weekends. Thanks also to our officials, helpers and parent supporters. Our sights are now set on Age Group Nationals which take place at Ponds Forge, Sheffield at the end of July and Youth Nationals during the first week of August.