The last weekend in May saw Tigersharks swimmers split over 2 locations. Millfield School were hosting the 2nd round of the age group Regional summer championships whilst the others went to Cardiff for their international level one meet.
The team at Millfield were quite simply outstanding with every swimmer putting in PB performances as the whole team rose to the occasion. Andrew Smith has been in stunning form all year and he capped off a hugely successful championships with 4 more gold medals, winning every event he swam at the weekend. He dominated the 100m FC with a huge new PB, showed his all-round talent in both IM distances and took revenge in the 100m Fly with a clear margin of victory, having been so close in both the 50m and the 200m Fly. Andrew’s haul over the 2 weekends stands at 6 golds, 2 silver and a bronze medal, one of the most successful swimmers at the championships.
Gabriella Doughty had hopes of winning a medal coming into these championships. A great heat swim in the 50m backstroke set her up as fastest going into the final where despite swimming even faster, she was just touched out but finished 3rd to take the bronze medal. This gave Gaby a huge amount of confidence to attack her best event, the 100m backstroke. She powered her way through the first 50m and at 75m was a long way clear. The field came back at her over the last 25m but she won convincingly to take her first regional title in a huge PB. Gaby now sits in the rankings at 8th in the UK on the 50m back and 9th on the 100m back. The 50m FC also proved to be incredibly close but despite a huge PB Gaby was just outside the medals in 4th, but she can be really pleased with a great weekends swimming.
Dina Nejkic took on the 200m Breaststroke having taken bronze in the 50m event a few weeks back. Qualifying in 6th place for the final Dina showed her strength and was an agonising 0.08 seconds of taking another bronze as she moved up to 4th place overall.
The biggest PB of the weekend came from Marshall Fitchett who took massive 40 seconds of his 1500m FC, a PB that had only been set 4 weeks early. Sophie Walker also took a huge 18 seconds of her best time for the 200m breaststroke only 6 months after her recording previous best time. Marshall Fitchett also put in some strong swims on the 200m & 400 IM as he, Ryan Lawrence, James Andrew, Sam Dubarry, Matilda Hart and Poppy Turner all put in massive PB performances.
At Cardiff the competition was also tough but again Tigersharks had some strong performances. Laura Edwards, Ryan Lawrence and Matilda Hart had the pleasure of swimming at Cardiff and Millfield, recording good swims at both locations. Laura was desperately close to breaking 3 minutes for the 200m breaststroke at Cardiff, whilst Ryan and Matilda swam the same event at each location recording PB’s at both pools in the same event on consecutive days.
Leia Griffiths and Grace Osman both made finals with some excellent swimming in the 100m FC and the 100m Fly respectively and picked up much deserved medals in the 200m Butterfly. Grace scooped the Silver and Leia the Bronze medal. Amelia Skittrall joined her team mates swimming her best times in every event she entered. Our 14 year old girls put in a string of fine swims with Jess Lawrence, Amy Jackson, Abi Cook and Jasmine Poole all recording PB’s over the weekend. The boys were not to be outdone as Harvie Greenwood and Alexander Reeves added to their PB tally as well.
There is no doubt about it, May has been a great month for Tigersharks. We have more regional titles, medals and finalists this year than we have had for a long time. There is a great attitude and ethic within the club and we are moving forwards at pace. It is great to watch the swimmers reaping the rewards of their hard work. With the National Qualification window now closed we are hopeful that both Andrew Smith and Becky Cook will make qualification for either British Championships or English Nationals, we will wait and see.