Joanna Percy is the Press Officer at Sevenoaks Swimming Club and she certainly has her hands full as she tries to keep tabs on all the success the club are experiencing. She gives us a round up of the first two Kent County Championship meetings, where it’s pleasing to say, we’re doing rather well!
The Kent Swimming Championships 2018 commenced in January with over 5,500 entries from swimmers over the County and 4,600 accepted entries. Kent is one of the largest swimming counties in England with some of the toughest qualifying times in the country.
For the past year, Sevenoaks swimmers have been seeking qualifying times in competitions, both National, Regional and local across the County and beyond. A new record has been set with over 100 Sevenoaks’ swimmers across all age groups achieving the required level and qualifying for over 700 races.
Those aiming for glory in the longer events began their quest at Crystal Palace.
Crystal Palace, January 20-21
Saturday races consisted of the 400 individual medley and 400 free events with standout performances for the girls from Amy Farthing (20) and Eva Okaro winning the Gold and becoming Kent Champions along with a superb Silver for Elspeth Watson (12) in the Girls 400 individual medley.
In the same event Millie Armstrong (12) gained a 4th place, Holli Gushlow (13) and Sarah Williams (16) gained 6th places with Katie Vowell and Megan Marter (14) gaining 10th and 13th respectively.
In the 400m freestyle, Amy was once again crowned Kent Champion and Gold medallist while Millie Childs (14) swam a brilliant race to gain a Silver. Eva Okaro (12) proved her metal and won Bronze and there were superb performances from Elsbeth Watson (13) and Maddie Glen (15) gaining 4th places, Izabella Okaro (12) came home in 5th place, Daisy McMillan (12) gained an excellent 6th while strong swims also came from Jasmine Wallace (15) and Lillie Chambers (14) both in 8th place along with Millie Armstrong (12) in 10th and Millie Lodge (15) in 12th.
Meanwhile for the boys Louis Hayes (14) won Gold and was crowned Kent Champion in both the 400m Freestyle and 400m individual medley. Ellis Stanhope (16) claimed a Silver in the 400m Freestyle and a Bronze in the 400m individual medley.
Aiden McMillan pulled out an incredible PB to gain Silver in the 400 individual medley and a superb 4th place in the 400 Free. Also joining him for 4th place in the 400m Free were Nathan Rodrigues (16) and Oliver Denis (11).
Other competitors also producing excellent swims in this event were Euan Terry (14) and Ethan Hunter (16) both coming home in 5th. Ben Strebel (14), Noah Enticknap (13) and Macualay Johnston (12) produced good swims for 8th places and Jacob Hudson was 14th in the 14 yrs age group.
In the 400 individual medley Jacob was back in the pool and gaining 6th place with Euan Terry (14) and Oscar Wilson (15) swimming well to come 8th. Eddie Hammond (15) finished strongly in 9th with Ben Strebel (14) & Robert Allen (15) both finishing well for 11th and 12th respectively.
Sunday was the long distance swims in the form of the boys 1500m and girls 800m freestyle races. Amy Farthing added another Gold in the 800m event with Daisy McMillan swimming a brilliant race to finish in the Bronze medal place. Fabulous swims from Elspeth Watson and Millie Armstrong saw them gain 4th places, while Jasmine Wallace and Emma Evan-Wilson also swam great races for 8th and 7th places.
The boy’s gruelling 1500m race saw Ellis Stanhope grab another deserved Bronze medal and Aiden McMillan join him winning the Bronze after a huge PB. Euan Terry finished his successful weekend off with a great 4th with Noah Enticknap coming home in 5th and Ben Strebel a strong 7th.
Crystal Palace, January 27-28
Sevenoaks continued their fine form at the second weekend as the Kent Championships 2018 got well under way with the 200m and 100m events in Fly and Breaststroke for the boys and Backstroke and Free for the girls.
Starting proceedings on Saturday were the boys in their quest for glory in the 100m fly. First off to a ‘flying’ start were the youngsters, Oliver Dennis, Thomas Johnston (11) and Max (10), shortly followed by Joseph Box (12) Jaedon Lynch & Caiden Hibbert (13), Euan Terry, Louis Hayes and Ben Strebel (14), Oscar Wilson & Aiden McMillan (15) and finally Nathan Rodrigues and Ellis Stanhope (16).
Ben battled hard for 5th with Euan following in 6th and Louis bagging yet another Gold medal in the 14 yrs category.
Shortly after came the 15 yrs final and Aiden grabbed another Silver medal. Then Nathan and Ellis went head to head with Nathan bringing home the Silver medal and Ellis 4th.
Next came the turn of the girls with the 200m Backstroke. Starting the medal haul for the girls was 11 yr old Jessica Harmer who managed a Silver with Alyze Gentles finishing well in 5th. Millie Armstrong added to the medal haul with a Silver in the 12yrs age group. Elspeth Watson and Imogen Stoddart (13) battled strongly and were rewarded with Silver and Bronze respectively.
dding to the Silver medals was Millie Childs (14). Next up were the 15 yr olds with sole competitor, Jasmine Wallace, finishing superbly in 6th place. The only 16yr old competing was Emma Evans-Wilson who battled hard throughout and finished strongly for 4th place.
The second session of the day got underway with the boys gruelling 200m butterfly. Aiden McMillan was the only 15yrs entry for Sevenoaks and made it count by adding a Bronze medal to his haul. Finally, Ellis Stanhope (16) was back battling it out for the medals, this time he showed true class and finished victorious with a Gold Medal and Junior Champion Cup too.
Finally, after a long day, the girls headed to the starting blocks for the 100m backstroke and with Jessica Harmer (11) swimming brilliantly to win Silver and Alyze Gentles gained 4th place. In the 13 yrs Imogen Stoddart and Elspeth gained fabulous Silver and Bronze and in the 14 yrs the battle was between Katie Vowell, Daisy Widdowson and Millie Childs with Millie bagging the Silver. Jazzy Wallace was the only finalist for the 15 yrs along with Emma Evans-Wilson in the 16yrs winning a wonderful Bronze.
Sunday commenced with the boys 100m Breaststroke. William Jarrett, Zach Howard, Macauley Johnston & Josh Crombie all swam well in the 12 yrs with Albert Whitlock and Seamus Hamilton qualifying for the finals. Thiago Gentles also produced a great swim in the 13 yrs with Tom Creasey, Noah Enticknap and Jaedon Lynch bagging places in the final.
In the 14 yrs Zac Raymond, Louis Hayes & Jacob Hudson swam their way to the finals. In the 15 yr age group, Eddie Hammond, Oscar Wilson and Ollie Coote all bagged a place in the finals. Dominic Percy, Ellis Stanhope & George Tyler, Sevenoaks’ only 16 & 17 yr old breaststrokers, also swam well with Dom & George gaining places in the finals.
In the finals Seamus and Albert battled hard with Seamus gaining a Bronze. Jaedon produced a strong finish to add another Bronze to the Sevenoaks tally. The 14yr old final finished with a battle for Gold and Silver between Jacob & Louis with Jacob pipping Louis to the Gold medal with a storming finish and Zac finishing in 8th place. Oscar, Ollie & Eddie battled it out in the 15 yrs, with Ollie winning the Silver medal, Oscar just missing out finishing in 4th and Eddie a strong 6th. In the 17ys & over, a fantastic swim was produced by George, finishing in 5th place.
Next up were the girls in the 200m freestyle: In the 10/11 yrs, Jessica Harmer won Gold with Alyze Gentles finishing in 5th. The twins were back battling it out in the 12yrs age group along with Millie Armstrong. Eva finished victorious with sister Izzy in 6th and Millie in 7th. In the 13yrs Eslpeth Watson bagged the Silver, and Millie Childs finished 4th in the 14 yrs. Maddie Glen & Ellie Vowell had storming races in the 15yrs with Maddie winning the Bronze medal.
The evening Session on Sunday commenced with the girls 100m freestyle with the finals producing some outstanding results for the Sevenoaks swimmers. In the 10/11-year age group, three girls managed to qualify for the exciting race with Sevenoaks winning Gold for Jessica Harmer, 4th for Alyze Gentles and 7th for Amelia Tovey.
The twins battled it out in the 12 yrs final with Eva Okaro winning Gold and the Silver going to sister Izabella. Imogen Stoddart gained 4th in the 13yrs with Elspeth Watson finishing in 5th. In the 14-year-old category, Millie Childs finished in 5th while Lillie Chambers gained 7th place.
In the 15 yrs Sevenoaks won the Silver with Zoe Naylor-Perrot, along with Maddy Glen and Ellie Vowell securing 5th & 8th respectively. In the 16 yrs Emma Wilson came a fabulous 8th.
Finally, the boys 200m breaststrokers were up in the pool. The races saw George Tyler producing an excellent swim securing Bronze medal in the 17 yrs and over.
The 16-year olds Ellis Stanhope & Dom Percy posted excellent swims to manage a 4th & 8th place respectively and in the 15 year old event Oliver Coote, Oscar Wilson & Aiden McMillan made a great race with Coote securing another fine Silver, Wilson an excellent 4th and Aiden a great 6th place. In the 14 yrs Jacob Hudson stormed home for another Gold Medal with Jaedon Lynch (13) winning a fabulous Bronze and Noah Enticknap 5th and Tom Creasey 8th along with Albert Whitlock (12) finishing in 4th. Finally, in the 10/11yrs Johnny Vowell swam well to come home in 8th.
The final flourish of medals meant over the whole weekend Sevenoaks managed eight Gold, 16 Silver, 10 Bronze and an astonishing 63 finalist medals. Well done all for some superb racing!