This was a lovely meet as always with all the events fiercly contested but in good humour and with a sense of community. For me though, three things stood out.
Firstly, our 8 yrs and under swimmers. This is the only meet they can compete in (ASA rules mean you have to be 9 to compete in an open meet) and they certainly made the most of it with 11 girls and 7 boys in this age group. Of these 3 of them entered - and completed - all 7 events. They were our girls champion Chihiro Ishida and the runner-up Lottie Bell and our boys champion Sashankan Chandrakumar - well done to them, excellent swimming.
At the other end of the age scale we had 25 year old Sharks coach Jomelson Ramos who was 'persuaded' to enter the 100 breaststroke. As a teenager Jomelson had been National champion in this event for 3 years running. He took a break for a few years and has recently started training in Masters and clearly training hard. In the final heat of the 100 breast he gave a demonstration to his fans (Sharks swimmers were lined up three deep at the end of the pool cheering him!) of how to swim breaststroke. He turned in 30.22 and finished on 1:07.91 - fantastic!
Thirdly, I would like to mention the results of Senior swimmer Charlie Boldison. On Saturday evening - as well as his 400 backstroke previously mentioned - he went 23.60 for 50 free. On Sunday, chasing Jomelson, he swam a huge PB in the 100 breast (not his specialist stroke!) to finish on 1:08.81. He went on to knock 6 seconds off his 200 IM time and completed the day with a very impressive PB of 52.46 in the 100 free. PBs become harder and harder as swimmers get older and this was a great set of results.
There were three club records at the Club Championships. Yaron Ash formerly shared the 13 years 50m free record with Jomelson but now takes it on his own with a 25.97. Eleven year old Freddie Cornwell has already come close to setting a new record since his recent arrival at Copthall - he takes what may well be the first of many with a 1:10.56 in the 100m back. Another new swimmer, Yutaro Sahara, had an impressive Club Championships and topped it off with 1:24.34 in the 100 fly to break the record for 9 year old boys. Great swimming boys!
A total of 148 (86 girls and 62 boys) swimmers took part in the club championships, with 722 swims between them. Of these 71% were PBs - a very good percentage in a meet for which the swimmers will not have tapered their training. Of the 148 swimmers, 12 swam PBs in all 7 events. Well done to Yaron Ash, Hari Bandey, George Carter, Kristofer Charles, Curtis Coleman, Aidan Doherty, Chihiro Ishida, Phoebe Jackson-Virk, Oliver Keegan, William Keegan, Mirren Stewart and Eadaoin Vincent.
In the 8 and under girls, Chihiro Ishida won all 7 of her events to finish with a perfect 56 points. Lottie Bell was in second place with 4 silvers and 3 bronze and Innes Clark came in third winning 3 silvers and 2 bronze. In the 8 and under boys, the winner Sashankan Chandrakumar took home 5 gold and 2 silver medals to finish on 54 points. Petar Djordjic was second on 23 points (silver and 2 bronze) and Sora Kawaguchi was third with 21 points (silver and bronze). The other two gold medals (50m and 100m free) were taken by Ayush Shah.
Olivia Cichon won the 9 year old girls with 7 wins and 56 points, followed by Analise Carver-Varela on 45 points (3 silver and 4 bronze) and Sophia Panteli on 34 points (4 silver and a bronze). Another swimmer with a perfect 56 points was 9 year old Yutaro Sahara . In second place having won 3 silvers and a bronze was Mishka Fibbens on 37 points and third on 34 points was Ben Statman.
10 year old Paige Powell also won gold medals for 56 points and the runner-up in this age group was Alice Bell with 4 silver and 3 bronze producing 46 points. In 3rd place was Saki Kawaguchi on 32 points including a silver and a bronze. Haris Bandey and Matt Savitz tied on 51 points for first place in the 10 year boys competition having both won 3 gold, 3 silver and 1 bronze. William Keegan won a silver and 4 bronze and finished third with 41 points. The remaining gold medal (for 100 breast) in this age group was won by Konstantin Kapanadze.
Mirren Stewart won the 11 yr girls championship with 52 points - she won 3 golds and 4 silvers. Chiara De Simone was 2nd with a gold, a silver and 2 bronze and a total of 40 points and Gemma Hunter was 3rd with 38 points (silver and 3 bronze). Poppy Chapple won the remaining 3 gold medals in this age group. Freddie Cornwell is 11 yr boys champion - another swimmer with a perfect 56 points. In second was Jan Andrzejczyk who won 2 silver and 3 bronze and ended on 42 points and in third was Yaron Gerber with 31 points.
The 12 year girls championship was very close with Emily Bell (3 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze) winning on 49 points, Akari Ishida (1 gold, 2 silver, 3 bronze) on 45 points and Anum Bandey (1 gold, 1 silver, 2 bronze) on 42 points. Karis Fuller won the other two gold medals (50m and 100m free). Aidan Doherty had an almost perfect score ending with 55.5 points to win the 12 year boys competition - he dead-heated for 1st place with George Kapanadze (who finished 3rd overall on 28.5 points) in the 200IM. Colum O'Riordan came second in this age group with 39 points.
Maddie Tichborne is 14 year girls champion on 54 points with Megan Boldison close behind on 49 points. Caroline Wong was third with 31 points. George Carter won the 14 year boys championship on 55 points with Curtis Coleman second.
The winners in the remaining age groups were Jo Zambelli and Oliver Keegan (15 yrs) and Rachel Van Der Merwe and Charlie Boldison (16 and over).
Many congratulations to all these swimmers.
Our thanks go to all our helpers. We had lots of new volunteers - parents whose children were competing for the first time - and we hope that this will encourage them to continue to offer their help at our meets. Special thanks to Andy Woska and Melanie Kramer who organised all our volunteers.