St Felix make county splash

FOR ST Felix Swimming Club week two of the counties proved even more exciting than week one with more medals won, more records broken and more exciting relays.

FOR ST Felix Swimming Club week two of the counties proved even more exciting than week one with more medals won, more records broken and more exciting relays.

The first race on Saturday was the 50m breast when Lizzie Nicolson-Lai and Jemima Dye swam a brilliant heat, qualifying them for the final in the 11 and under age group.

In the final Lizzie took the lead after the first 25 metres and finished in gold position.

Other success in the 50m breast were Chantel Whiting with an excellent new time for first in her age group and Georgia Kerridge second in age group.

The boys also gave a brilliant performance with George Stannard getting through to his final and with a great swim, taking two seconds off his time. He just missed a medal by coming fourth.

Jordan Purdy and Luke Bailey in the senior squad proved they too could better their times with Jordan first in his age group and Luke third.

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Each event of the sessions saw St Felix swimmers bettering their times, earning more points for their age group count (BAGCATs) and gaining medals.

In the 200m backstroke, Robyn Ball and Jenny Thompson were drawn in the same heat next to each other. Both wanted good times and went out hard.

The result was brilliant new times for both, Jenny getting a much-wanted national time and both finishing first in their age groups.

Charlotte Hicks was the third St Felix swimmer to come first in her age group in the 200m back and Alex Huston came second and Marina Esteve third in the older age group category.

The boys' 200m backstroke event saw an exciting final heat with Richard Harris fighting to become county champion.

Early on in the race Richard and another lad were pushing each other, together stroke by stroke until in the final 25 metres the other swimmer just edged away. Richard upped his swim but just could not get the first touch and had to accept second place.

Other good swims in the back were Jack Bartlett coming first in age group and qualifying for the nationals, Sam Munro and Luke Bailey second in age group place and George Stannard third.

More stroke domination, this time from the boys, came in the 400m individual medley.

The three St Felix boys, Jordan Purdy, Sam Munro and Luke Bailey all finished in the top three positions in their age groups with Jordan and Luke finishing first and Sam third.

The final part of Saturday was the relays. First out were the girls 15/16 four by 50m medley relay with Alex Huston (back), Sophie Chamberlain (breast), Catherine Hicks (fly) and Robyn Ball (free) making up the team.

In the first leg Alex Huston went out fast, keeping pace with the Ipswich A team and it finished with Ipswich and St Felix slightly out in front.

As each leg developed Ipswich were always slightly ahead and despite fighting to the end St Felix had to settle for an impressive silver.

Three of the squad, Robyn Ball, Alex Huston and Sophie Chamberlain joined Rebecca Wetten for the 4x50 open freestyle relay.

Again they had a fight on their hands with Ipswich A and again had to settle for silver position.

The first session on Sunday started with the 50m fly. This saw Josephine Blades, Chantel Whiting, Pascale Reeves, Tara Coleman and Jack Bartlett all qualifying for their finals.

Competition was strong in this event and although swimmers gained excellent new times they did not quite see them into medal positions.

Age group-wise, Josephine finished first, Chantel second, Pascale first, Tara sixth and Jack first.

Other top three age group placings were Luke Bailey third, Charlotte Hicks third, Robyn Ball second and Jenny Thompson second.

Further success was had in the 100m breast with Sam Munro, Chantel Whiting and Sophie Chamberlain getting through to more finals and finishing well.

Sophie had an excellent swim in her final going out strong and fought hard in the last length to finish second.

Lizzie Nicolson-Lai, after a brilliant 50m breaststroke, proved she could increase the distance and took firsst place in the 100m breaststroke.

Some more first places went to Jordan Purdy, Chantel Whiting and Sophie Chamberlain and second place to Sam Munro.

The 200m free saw a new personal best time by five seconds for Jack Bartlett, giving him another national time and first age group placing.

All the boys swam well and those finishing in the top three were George Stannard second, Jordan Purdy third, Sam Munro second, Luke Bailey second, Michael White second and Richard Harris second.

Richard Harris had a cracking race, breaking the two minutes barrier and recording a time of 1:59.30.

The 100m free again saw some exceptional swims and more top three places gained and more places in the final being taken by St Felix swimmers.

Ellis Jackson had a comfortable final, leading from the start, finishing first in her age group and just missed out on breaking the one-minute barrier by recording a time of 1:00.06.

Robyn Ball also took first place in her age group with Alex Huston, Luke Bailey and Richard Harris finishing second and Jenny Thompson, Alex Harrison, Sophie Chamberlain, Jordan Purdy, Sam Munro and Michael White third.

The 100m individual medley for the 10 years and under age group saw again an excellent success rate with the combination of strokes.

Josephine Blades swam an incredible race, leading in the backstroke, fly and breaststroke and just being overtaken in the freestyle.

Josephine, however, was not going to give up and fought back but was just beaten to second place on the touch but with an improved personal best time by five seconds.

The success with the medley continued with the 200m individual medley race with five more first places gained by Charlotte Hicks, Alex Harrison, Sophie Chamberlain, Ellis Jackson and Jack Bartlett.

Samuel Munro gained second place with Robyn Ball, Jordan Purdy and Luke Bailey third.

Ellis Jackson, always a person to watch, not only finished first but was county champion and broke the county junior record. Jack Bartlett also gained a county record.