Four golds for Diss Otters

Diss Otters recently enjoyed many terrific successes at this year’s County Swimming Championships.

Out of a total of 192 swims they achieved 125 personal bests. There were 27 final appearances for the Otters and in total the team picked up 45 medals, including nine bronze, two silver and four new county champions picking up gold medals.

Katie Halmshaw proved herself to be a breaststroke champion in the 10 year age group 50m event picking up gold and was not phased when it came to the longer event the 200m where she placed thirdgroup Jude Ashken picked up four medals in his first County Champs experience finishing fourth in the 100m individual medley and the 200m freestyle, and fifth in the 50m backstroke and 50m breaststroke. This superb tally of medals put Jude fourth overall in his age group.

George Wallace competed very strongly in two tough events the 50m breaststroke and 50m freestyle smashing his previous best times but unfortunately narrowly missing out on the medals on both occasions finishing in 7 seventh.

Benjamin Brooks also raced in the 50m freestyle were he set a six second pb to finish in 11th overall. For the nine year girls Charlotte Palmer represented the club in the 50m and 200m backstroke, 50m freestyle and 100m individual medley with her biggest personal best time of 19 seconds coming in the 200m backstroke to propel her into sixth position overall.

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In the 10 years age group Harvey Sarson set personal best times in the 100m individual medley, the 50m backstroke and butterfly and another staggering 19 second pb in the 200m freestyle.

Katie Halmshaw proved herself to be a breaststroke champion in the 50m event picking up gold and was not phased when it came to the longer event the 200m where she placed third. Katie also competed strongly in the 50m backstroke, 50m freestyle and the 100m and 200m individual medley.

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Lauren Smith qualified this year for the 50m backstroke event and raced superbly well to achieve a two second pb while Samantha Murphy managed to pull out a terrific four second pb in her favourite event the 50m freestyle.

Finally in this age group Stephanie Brown competed in her strongest event the 50m breaststroke where she set a one second pb to make it in to the final only to smash that time by another second in the final and walk away with a medal for sixth position.

The 11 years age group saw Pippa Rice achieve a total of over 18 seconds worth of pbs as she competed in 12 events over the two weekends with her best result coming in the 50m butterfly where she finished in eighth position. Luc Van Rensburg for the boys totalled 36 seconds worth of personal best times by destroying each of his previous times in the 100m individual medley, the 200m and 50m freestyle, the 200m and 50m backstroke and the 50m breaststroke.

Jessica Nash raced twice in her favourite stroke the backstroke achieving pbs in both the 50m and 100m. James Hutchings raced in two sprint events, the 50m backstroke and freestyle and setting new best times in both, as did Iwan Lloyd in the 50m backstroke and 50m breaststroke.

Ellie Sarson competed strongly in the 50m and 200m backstroke and the 100m individual medley attaining three personal best times from three swims, Amber Smith also achieved a 100 per cent success rate of best times in the 50m backstroke and 50m freestyle.

The 12 year age group included Emma Halmshaw who swam superbly well in seven events achieving five personal bests and then finished with a bang in the last event of the meet the 200m breaststroke in which she sprinted into sixth position.

Diss had three boys also in the 12 year age category with Will Hutchings and Jacob Blades both competing well in the 50m freestyle setting new pbs. Jacob also proved his all round talent in the 100m IM while Will swam upside down in the 50m backstroke, again both boys setting personal best times.

The final boy, Sam Neal, swam in seven events achieving a total of almost nine seconds worth of personal bests with his best result coming in the 100m individual medley finishing in 12th.

The 13 years age group consisted of four fierce competitors. On the girls side Francesca Wallace and Caitlin Davy swam in a wide variety of events.

Caitlin raced hard in the 50m, 100m and 400m freestyle and the 50m and 100m backstroke with her biggest pb of four seconds coming in one of her preferred events the 400m freestyle.

Having had two near medal finishes in the 50m and 100m breaststroke, Francesca finally pulled out the medal winning performance she had been hoping for in the 200m breaststroke picking up fifth position.

For the boys Daniel Brooks and Gwylim Lloyd displayed typically strong, powerful performances in both the 50m backstroke and freestyle with Daniel also in the 100m freestyle.

Between the three 14 year old swimmers, Emily Lutkin, Hannah Blades and Jordan King there were 37 individual races including 12 final appearances.

For the 14 year boys Jordan put his hard training to good use finishing fourth in the 200m breaststroke, third in the 50m and 100m breaststroke, second in the 100m backstroke and finally a county gold in the 50m backstroke.

Hannah also medalled on five occasions with third in the 50m backstroke in her age group and fifth in the open final, fifth in the 50m and 100m freestyle and third in the 100m backstroke.

Emily Lutkins’ most impressive swim came in the 100m individual medley where she set a four second pb to propel herself into the bronze medal position. Emily also achieved medals in the 50m backstroke, 50m breaststroke, 50m freestyle, 200m IM and 200m freestyle.

The penultimate age group of 15 years contains two further county champions in Katie Nash (50m backstroke) and Maya Harris (50m breaststroke). Katie racked up a medal tally of one gold, one silver, three bronze and four further top six finishes. On top of Maya’s win in the 50m breaststroke she also medalled in the longer distance of 100m and achieved sixth position in the open category in the 50m.

Finally the 16 year old and over category was busier than ever this year and representing Diss Otters were Sophie King, Ryan Hargrave, Liam Harvey, Hattie Miller, Katie Bull, and the swimming president, Adam Lelean. Adam may well be the first county president to swim at the event in the same year as being president.

With his colourful waistcoat displays on poolside Adam did not disappoint in the pool either with his best result coming in the 400m freestyle where he finished in eighth position. Ryan Hargrave proved his typical endurance by competing in every session in a total of 13 events picking up fourth place in the gruelling 200m butterfly, fifth place in his new signature event the 400m individual medley and sixth in the 200m breaststroke.

Liam Harvey took on the 50m and 100m freestyle events and the 100m backstroke coming very close to his peak performances with times just shy of his personal bests.

For the girls, Sophie King four top ten finishes in the 200m backstroke, the 50m breaststroke, the 200m individual medley and a medal for her sixth place in the 100m IM.

Former head coach Katie Bull came back to stun the crowds with a new personal best in the 100m butterfly earning her a final place and a fourth place medal. Katie also medalled in the 200m freestyle.

Finally Hattie Miller competed in four events with a top ten finish in the 200m IM and a top 10 finish and personal best in the 100m backstroke.

Well done also to Katie Nash, Hannah Blades and Maya Harris who achieved the East Region qualifying standard for this year.

Well done to all swimmers. Coach Rush would like to remind the club that there are only now 49 weeks of training until next year’s county championships, the hard work starts here for the Olympic year of 2012.

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