Sophie and MegOver the Bank holiday weekend (3-5 May), 11 GCSC swimmers took part in the South West Regional Championships at the 50m Plymouth Life Centre pool. Credit should go to each one of our swimmers who gained qualifying times to compete at these championships – Aimee Carter (20), Henry Fletcher (19), Sam Gaskins (18), Chris Powell (17), Craig Munden (17), Megan Hartery (16), Ed Walsh (16), Sophie Tebbs (15), Will Carter (15), Jodie Hatton (15) and Ashling Keeble (15) and also those who couldn’t make it due to sickness/injury – Jordan Lee (17), Ryan West (16) and Sophie Hall (15). Several of our swimmers were targeting National Qualification times (NQT) and some came very close indeed!…

Sophie Tebbs (15) won Gold in the 200m free final in a time of 2:09.11 which was just 0.2 seconds outside NQT. She also finished fourth in the final of the 100m free in a time of 1:00.51, 0.7 seconds outside NQT and 8th in the final of the 50m free in a lifetime best of 28.31, 0.2 seconds outside NQT…. I’m sure given the choice she would have swapped her Gold medal for 3 national times over the weekend !

Megan Hartery (16) competed really well all weekend with PB’s in 6 out of her 8 events. Her best performance came in her form stroke of butterfly. In the 200m fly she finished 2nd in the heats in PB time of 2:31.97. She stepped up her game again in the final and took the Silver in a fantastic life time best of 2:29.39. In the 50m fly heats she placed 7th in a PB time of 30.69 and then PB’d again in the final to clinch the Bronze in a time of 30.00. Megan was unlucky to finish fourth in the 100m fly in a PB time of 1:06.95 and just over a second outside NQT!

henrysmallestHenry Fletcher (19) was competing in the Para S14 category over the weekend and did exceptionally well. He won Gold medals in the 200m free with a 6.98 second PB, 100m breast with a 7.44 sec PB and 100m fly (first time LC). He also took Silver in the 50m free in a time of 32.42.

Craig Munden celebrated his 17th birthday at Plymouth on the Bank Holiday Monday and was probably the youngest racing in the 17 years and over category. He had an exhausting programme of 19 races (individual events and relays) over 3 days of competition. He qualified for 9 finals and his best performance was in the 200m free with a 4th place finish in a PB time of 1:58.19 and just 1 second outside NQT. He also came very close to NQTs in the 100m free (just 0.02 secs outside!), 400IM, 100m back and 50m free.

Several more GCSC swimmers qualified for finals over the weekend. Aimee Carter qualified for the final of the 200m breast and finished 7th in a time of 2:57.21 and the 200IM where she finished 8th in a time of 2:31.17. Ash Keeble (15) competed in the 200m breast final and finished 9th in a time of 3:00.71 and Chris Powell (17) qualified for the 200m back final and finished 8th in a time of 2:22.44. Jodie Hatton (15) made the trip to Plymouth determined to swim in the 50m back. She was very happy to swim a lifetime best of 35.35 and a 1.32 second PB.

One of the GCSC highlights of the weekend was the performance of our Mens Open relay team in the 4 x 200m free relay event. Congratulations to Sam Gaskins, Ed Walsh, Craig Munden and Chris Powell who have qualified to compete in this event at the Youth National Championships in Sheffield in August!

Post Youth Champs Update: Good news! Sophie Tebbs, Craig Munden and Ed Walsh competed at L1 meets on the following weekend and all achieved NQTS! Sophie achieved her 200m free NQT in a lifetime best of 2:07.95. Craig achieved his 400IM NQT in 4:44.23 and 100m free NQT in 53.28. Craig also swam a 100m fly QT (56.93) for the British Gas International Meet in Manchester in June! Ed achieved his 100m free NQT in a time of 54.90. Congratulations Sophie, Craig and Ed from all at GCSC.