Historic day for Beccles swimmers

BECCLES Town Swimming Club made history by winning the County Development Championships for a third time in a row, the first club to do so.The championships, over a weekend at Ipswich, brought together the county's top 13 teams.

BECCLES Town Swimming Club made history by winning the County Development Championships for a third time in a row, the first club to do so.

The championships, over a weekend at Ipswich, brought together the county's top 13 teams.

Beccles also had two swimmers, Richard Clarke and Eleanor Chick, winning the top boy and girl awards. Richard won four gold medals for his individual events and Eleanor picked up five golds.

They were closely chased for top boy and girl by their team-mates Steven Kirby and Louise Shepherdson, who both finished close seconds. Steven picked up a massive seven gold medals in his individual events.

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Experienced seniors swam with the younger up-and-coming swimmers, which produced a great team atmosphere. The senior swimmers certainly led the way. Rachel Doran, Ellie Clarke, Amber Bircham and Ellen Nelson collectively won 10 gold medals. Rachel won all five of her events.

They were good examples to the younger girls with Kirsten Howe, Sophie Long, Phoebe Chick, Kate Maguire-Buck and Eleanor Dwyer all taking part in the competition for the first time and all producing great swims and points.

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Rounding off the 11 and under groups for the girls were Katy Howell, Sophie Thurtell, Eve Waller, Nina Howell, Imogen Long and Tamara Spooner who collectively took part in a massive 55 individual swims.

Eve won gold in her 100m breaststroke and Tamara in her 100 individual medley event.

In the 12 year group Rhianna James picked up a gold for her 100m fly event, followed by some impressive swims from Lauren Howe, Felicity Putam and Hannah Barnes all completing a total of 42 swims.

The 13-year-old group proved to be one of the toughest. Eight swimmers won nine medals. Robert Thurtell picked up the only gold in his 50 breaststroke and Dalton Yallop took home two bronzes in his 50 and 100 fly.

Amy Howell won silver in the daunting 200m butterfly and Nina Bircham collected two bronzes in breaststroke. Laura Podd, Bonnie Birch, Elizabeth Byrne and Bethany Rogers completed the line-up for the age group.

In the girls' 14/15 and open group a further five medals were picked up. Sophie Podd on gold in 100m backstroke, Jenny Seaman earned gold in breaststroke and Zanna Yallop won her first ever medal, a bronze in 100m backstroke. Sophie Bircham and Lucy Pye put in some great swims and personal best times.

The smaller squad of boys did equally well. The more senior swimmers Will Pye, Jacob Barber, Tom Taylor and Tim Millett collected a haul of medals. New younger swimmers Harry Pye, William Chalk, Oliver McHugh, Jamie Hinsley and Jack Seaman were competing at this level for the first time.

The 10-year-old boys also included swims from Matthew Doran who finished just outside the medal places with some great 200m efforts and Henry Barnes who picked up two gold and a silver in his three events.

Six boys took part in the 11-year-old group with Matthew Seaman just missing out on a top boy award with four gold medals. Ross Barnshaw, Josh Birch, Elliott Fenn and Kieran Hayward also took home silverwear, collectively winning 10 medals, and Herbie Beamish-Mann put in some strong swims to gain five new personal best times.

Matthew Hayward fought in the 12-year-old group by himself and picked up vital points.

In total 54 Beccles swimmers competed in 364 events, winning 102 medals.

Placings: 1 Beccles 1,149 points, 2 Ipswich 828, 3 Stowmarket 687, 4 Deben 603, 5 Lowestoft & Oulton Broad 522.

Thank yous went to Helen Clarke who organised all of the entry times; to Brian Kirby, Andy Holland, Stuart Long, Julie Yallop, Sarah Seaman, Nicky Taylor and Jamie Fenn who helped manage the team poolside; and to all the club's officials and stewards who were at the event.

If you would like to know more about the club or are interested in joining then please contact the head coach, Tim Millett on 07727125427 or tim.kingfishers@hotmail.com

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