County Upper swimmers book their place in final of national competition

Two teams from County Upper School have qualified for the finals of the English Schools Swimming Association.

In what was the school’s first ever appearance in the qualifying event, they combined for several notable achievements.

The girls team won the regional round in Watford, while both the Boys and Girls relay teams qualified for the National Final.

And on top of that, most of the pupils will be getting their first opportunity to compete in the impressive London 2012 Olympic Swimming Pool at London Aquatic Centre on Saturday, November 18.

But perhaps most impressively, the Girls’ team — consisting of Ella Hale, Hannah O’Connor, Charlotte Hudson and Lucy Hudson — won the regional qualifier in the 200m freestyle relay and qualified sixth fastest in the country.

They also came second in the 200m individual medley relay, while the Boys’ team — made up of Ollie Pyle, Sam Wortley, Alex Harrison and Taylor Bowen — qualified third in the 200m individual medley relay.

With the help of Ben Wilkinson, they also qualified for the National Finals in the 200m freestyle relay.

All nine swimmers will now get the chance to compete against some of the top swimming schools in the country such as Millfield, Mount Kelly and Plymouth College, who boast their own swimming pools on site and scholarship programmes in the sport.

Over 100 schools entered the competition nationally and to highlight the size of the achievement, the four relay teams from County Upper School will go into the Olympic Pool ranked no lower than 12th in England.

The opportunity for the pupils, all members of West Suffolk Swimming Club, was made possible by the inspiration of parent, Elaine Bowen, who entered the teams in the regional rounds of the competition at Watford and summed up the excitement of both the swimmers and their parents when she said: “The kids don’t often get to represent their school in swimming so this is a great achievement.

“I’m thrilled for them all and the parents of course who now get to see their kids swim in the Olympic Pool.”

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