WEST Suffolk Swimming Club had a busy weekend schedule, with more than 50 swimmers representing the club at the British Gas ASA Suffolk County Development Championships and the Eastern Junior Swimming League.
They posted a stream of exceptional performances at the County Development Championships, held at Newmarket, beating their previous best times by margins of up to 30 seconds.
In an excellent team effort, West Suffolk finished in third position in the team points table.
Star of the championships was 12-year-old Gregory Buckle, who finished the weekend in second place in the boys’ overall points table, having won a stunning eight gold and three silver medals in his events.
In the same age group, Beth McCartney also swam superbly to claim three golds and a silver medal.
In the youngest age group, nine-year-olds Sophie Maggs and Esther Little swam to gold medals.
Esther stormed to a 33-second personal best time while winning her second gold medal of the weekend, in the 200m backstroke.
Fourteen-year-old Thomas Edwards set a series of new best times to win three golds, a silver and two bronze medals.
Georgie Brittain (13 years) took three golds and a silver medal.
Also winning two gold medals each were 11-year-olds Clara Ryen and Chloe Riches, and 10-year-old Annabelle Farrell.
West Suffolk’s other gold medallists included Katie Shea, Eleanor Shields, Beth Mottram, Sancia Wheate, Kerry Clark, Anna Brittain, Alex Parke, Sam Wortley, Jonny Greenslade-Cross and Alex Profitt.
Also winning medals, some of them competing in their first championship competition, were Sirena Neaves, Finlay Drummond, Lucy Cutts, Lorna Wright, Molly Ollington, Charlotte Orriss, Jess Walters, Georgia Wisker, Caine Robinson and Ruth Burgess, who beat her personal best time by a 25 seconds in the 200m breaststroke.
Many of the younger swimmers headed to Cambridge on Saturday evening, to compete in the Eastern Junior League final. Although fielding a somewhat weakened team, the squad nevertheless showed great spirit with some excellent individual performances.
The nine-years age group, competing in their first ever team gala, secured valuable points for the team.
Chloe-Jeane Parsley stormed to victory in the 25m freestyle, and was narrowly pushed into second place in the 25m butterfly, while Esther Little led from the start to take first place in the 25m backstroke as well as second in the 25m breaststroke.
The girls were joined by Niamh Perry and Maisie Mannion, who put in confident swims to help the team claim second place in both the medley and freestyle relay events.
Also in the nine-years age group, William Harpur-Davies displayed fine form in the boys’ 25m butterfly to earn another second place finish.
In the 11-years age group, Myles Turner earned maximum points for the team in the 50m freestyle, while Nella Walters took second place in the 50m backstroke.
Myles was joined by team mates Ollie Trent, Jack Treacy and Johnny Greenslade-Cross to finish second in the freestyle relay.
Overall, the team finished fourth, just a few points behind host team Cambridge, with the clear winners being UEA Norwich and runners-up City of Peterborough.
It was particularly encouraging to see the strength of talent in the nine years age group.