County Championships Report
The Hampshire County Championships began with a bang on Friday night for Eastleigh's swimmers, with Alana winning a silver medal in the first event, the girls 12yrs 800m freestyle in a new club record time of 11:07.35. In the 14yrs girls event, Rhyseren and Verity swam well to take 6th and 7th place respectively, both girls beating strong swimmers from Winchester, Southampton and Portsmouth. The boys were also in action in the 800m freestyle. Adam swam an excellent race and broke the club record, finishing in 6th place for the 12yrs boys and his older brother, Freddie, also swam well to finish in 9th place in the 14yrs age group. In the boys 15yrs event, Fraser swam powerfully to set a new club record of 9:37.94 and finish in 6th place.
On Saturday, Alana continued her good form, taking 4th place in the girls 12yrs 400m individual medley. In the 13yrs age group, Phoebe swam an excellent race, knocking 6 seconds off her PB and finishing in 6th place. In the girls 14yrs age group, Rhyseren smashed her long-course PB by almost 20 seconds to win the bronze medal in a terrific time of 5:42.13.
Nathan was next up in the 400m freestyle event and he swam well to set a new PB of 5:08.47 and finish in 7th position.
In the girls 400m freestyle, Megan swam a brilliant race and was very unlucky to miss a bronze medal by a fingernail, taking 4th place in the 10/11yrs age group in a time of 5:36.75. We went one better in both the 12yrs and 14yrs age groups, with Alana winning her second medal of the championships in the younger category and Issy taking third place in the 14yrs age group. Rhyseren and Verity again swam strongly to take 6th and 9th place in the 14 yrs age group, with Verity doing particularly well to smash 10 seconds off the PB she'd set in the same event last year.
Saturday also brought the excitement and intensity of the 4 x 50m freestyle and medley relays, and deafening noise, especially from the parents in the spectators' gallery! As the club has grown over the past 12 months, we were delighted to be able to enter two teams into some of the relay events.
In the 10-12yrs girls races, there was extra excitement in the medley relay as the A-Team of Lolah, Alana, Ffion and Megan dipped under the old club record, taking 4th place in a time of 2:31.53. Lolah in particular has reason to be delighted with this race because she managed to break the club record for 50m backstroke in the lead-off leg! The B-Team of Izzie, Jess, Jorja and Emily S also had a strong performance, taking 12th place in the medley relay. The teams were shuffled for the freestyle relay, with the A-Team of Alana, Megan, Lolah and Jess just missing the club record by under a second, taking 10th place and the B-Team of Izzie, Jorja, Emily S and Ella finishing in 18th place, one position and 9 seconds better than Eastleigh's A-Team finished 12 months earlier - a great improvement for the club.
In the boys 10-12yrs relays, we entered just one team. The A-Team of Adam, Ethan, Toby and Elliot took 12th place in the freestyle relay and an excellent 9th place in the medley relay. It was great to see the smiles on their faces after this event, especially those for whom this was their first County Championship experience.
In the older age group of 10-14yrs, we were able to enter A and B teams for the girls and the boys. The girls A-Team of Issy, Evie, Rhyseren and Phoebe set a new club record in the 4 x 50m freestyle, finishing 7th in a time of 2:00.81. In the same event, the B-Team of Verity, Isla, Alana and Rosie finished in a strong 14th place with a time of 2:10.62. The teams were shuffled for the medley relay and the A-Team of Issy, Maisie, Evie and Rhyseren took 7th place and the B-Team of Verity, Phoebe, Rosie and Isla took 20th place.
For the boys, the A-Team of Freddie, Max, Nathan and Ollie took 8th place, just a second outside the club record in the freestyle. The B-Team of Harry O, Lucas, Seb and Harry G, finished in 17th place. There was a slight shuffle of the teams for the medley. The A-Team of Harry O, Max, Freddie and Nathan finished in an excellent 6th place and the B-Team of Seb, Harry G, Ollie and Lucas again took 17th place.
Sunday was a day for the endurance swimmers, with the 1500m freestyle individual events and the 4 x 200m freestyle relays.
Amazingly, Alana added another silver to her medal tally with an excellent, determined swim in the 1500m freestyle, finishing in a new club record time of 21:15.93 in the 12yrs age group. In the 14yrs girls race, Rhyseren finished in 5th position and also lowered her own club record with a time of 19:42.72. In her third distance swim of the weekend, Verity swam well to finish in 8th place in 20:33.13.
Our Senior Boys Club Captain, George was our only entry into the boys 1500m event. He finished in an excellent 9th place, breaking Kieran Allsop's club record and becoming our first swimmer under 18 minutes in a long course pool with a time of 17:55.88. George also broke the club record in the 800m freestyle for his 800m split time.
Our final club record in a strong weekend of swims came in the girls 4 x 200m freestyle relay. The team of Issy, Emily P, Katie and Rhyseren finished in 9th place in 9:31.89, breaking the previous club record, which had stood for the past 13 years, by 2 seconds . The boys team of George, Felix, Fraser and Zak equalled the girls' finish, taking 9th place with a time of 9:00.88.
It was particularly pleasing to hear reports from our team managers and the swimmers themselves of the excellent camaraderie in the team, with the swimmers giving each other vocal support during races, celebrating each other's successes and learning together when swims did not quite go to plan. We can look forward with anticipation to the next weekend of County Championship racing in two weeks time.