Last month saw 16 of Tonbridge Swimming Club’s swimmers compete over three weekends in the South East Regional Swimming Championships.
Tonbridge saw four swimmers making their Regional debuts in the Age Group championships being held at Winchester. Congratulations to Sophia Hildebrandt (38th in 50m Butterly), Amelia Fisher (34th in 50m and 25th in 100m Breaststroke), Dexter Waterton (24th in 50m Breaststroke) and Iona Winnifrith (four events – see below).
All debutants dealt with the pressure of competing at Regional level in their stride. Whilst three of their debuts just missed setting new PBs in their events. It was an excellent achievement qualifying for regionals as the South East is one of the most competitive and most difficult regionals to qualify for.
Tonbridge had two para-swimmers competing over the three weekends too. The para events were run as a Multi-Class competition; this means that all classifications raced against each other and medals/placings were awarded based on their swim time versus the world record in their own swim classification for that event.
Callie-Ann Warrington raced in two events and won both her races. She is now ranked No. 1 in GB in her para S10 category for the 50m freestyle and 2nd in the 100m freestyle. Callie is training hard and is hoping to be eligible to qualify for selection for next year’s Paris 2024 Para-Olympic Games. Iona Winnifrith had a brilliant set of four races on her debut at this event. She won two Gold medals in the 100m Breaststroke and 50m Butterfly.
She also set a new PB in 100m Freestyle and finished 4th in that event and the 50m freestyle. Iona’s GB rankings in her S6 classification are 2nd in 50m Free, 4th in 100m Free, 2nd in 50m Fly and 2nd in 100m Breaststroke. Some fantastic swimming from Tonbridge’s two para-swimmers and we look forward to further successes from both of them at the British Summer nationals at the end of July.
In the Age Group Regional championships held over two weekends, Tonbridge Swimming Club saw Dominic Waterton finish 19th in 50m Breaststroke, Xian Ming Li finish 12th with a new PB time in 50m Butterfly, Elodie Parton finished 27th in 50m Breast and 25th in the 100m.
Amalie Smith had a magnificent regional Championship as she won five Gold and two silver medals from her 10 events. Amalie won the 200m IM, 200m Fly, 400m Free, 50m Backstroke and the 400m IM. Her silver medals were won in the 100m Fly and 100m Free.
New PB times were set by Amalie in 200m and 400m IM, 50m Back, 100 and 400m Free.
She also finished 5th in 50m Fly and 50m free and qualified 5th for the final of 100m Breast but did not swim in the final. Amalie’s medal haul was just outside the club record of South East Regional titles set by Caitlin Ebbage when she was Amalie’s age winning seven Gold, one Silver and one Bronze back in 2018.
Amalie’s amazing swims now give her a British top 10 rankings in 9 of the 18 events available. She will have a busy summer ahead of her as she has qualified to swim in eight events at British Summer Age Group Nationals at the end of July, plus a couple of events at English Summer Nationals 10 days later.
Meanwhile over the middle weekend it was the turn of the 15 and over swimmers to compete at the South East Regionals at Wycombe. Mitch Brosch was making his regional debut and swam two fantastic swims in the 50m Backstroke to finish 19th and the 100m backstroke to finish 15th. Mitch swam his races as if they were just like any other races and did not let the big time event affect his race plans and executed them well.
Ruben Cowley Antelo had four races and brought home a Bronze medal in 50m Fly, 5th in 100m Fly, 6th in 50m Free and 12th in 100m Free. Ruben has qualified for four events at English Summer nationals (50m and 100m Free and 50m and 100m Butterfly).
Ellie Rogers returned to the South East Regionals to race in her favoured Breaststroke events. Ellie added to her Regional medal haul from last year by swimming to a Bronze in 50m Breaststroke, 5th in 100m and 11th in 200m Breaststroke.
Holly Geake swam in the 50m Breaststroke and finished 27th after illness in the lead up to the weekend saw her withdraw from the 100m and 200m events. A very gutsy effort to race when she still was not feeling 100% recovered. Toby Henbest finished 27th in the oldest open age group 18 nd overs in his favoured 50m breaststroke event in his last competitive race for the club before he heads off to university in September.
Also swimming in her last races for the club before university beckons was Caitlin Ebbage. Caitlin only entered the three backstroke events this year due to her A level exam revision but illness on day one saw her withdraw from the final of the 200m backstroke and withdraw from the 50m event. She recovered partially and raced in the 100m backstroke to win Silver just outside her PB time. A valiant effort in amidst an illness and strength sapping virus. Caitlin has withdrawn from the Summer nationals events that she had qualified for.
The club heaped a huge thanks to Head Coach Peter Withey for all his support and guidance.