February saw the first full weekend of the Kent Swimming Championships 2023 at the London Aquatics Centre in Stratford. Tonbridge Swimming Club (TSC) saw a group of 11 swimmers compete over the course of the four sessions on the weekend.
The most successful TSC swimmer of the weekend was Amalie Smith (14) who raced in all seven events across the weekend, resulting in seven personal bests (PBs), five new club records, two Kent Event Best Performances for her age group with two open and two Junior trophies.
Amalie won Kent titles in the 200m Individual Medley (IM), the 400m IM and the 200m Fly. In the latter two events she also won the overall Kent Open and Junior age group trophies.
She won Silver in the 400m Free and 200m Back, bronze in 200m Free and 4th in the 200m Breaststroke. All her swims place her higher up in the British National rankings for her age group.
Another busy swimmer was Cheryl Tse (12). Cheryl raced in five events, some for the very first time in a long course (Olympic 50m length) pool. She set four new PBs and finished 8th in 200 Fly, 10th in 400m IM, 16th in 200m IM and 6th in 400m free. An unfortunate infraction at the start of the 200m breaststroke saw all chance of a PB slip away. A bright future ahead of this young swimmer. Holly Geake (18) raced in four events and set four PBs and three new club records. Holly brought home Silver in 200m Breast and finished 4th in 400m Free, 6th in 200m Free and 8th in 200m Back.
Ming Li (15) was kept busy in these longer distance events with five events. He finished 14th in 200IM, set a huge PB in the 200m Fly to finish 7th and set a new club record. He was back in action on Sunday first thing with another PB and club record in 400m IM finishing 4th and brought it home with yet another PB in 200m Free when he finished 9th.
Charlie Brice was also in action on both days. He swam in three events and set three new PBs. He set a new Club Record in 400m Free and absolutely shattered his previous PB in 400m Free (13th), 200m Free (14th) and 200m Back (8th).
Ellie Rogers (15) had a lighter program with just the two events on Saturday but she certainly gave it her all finishing with a six second PB to finish 8th in 200m IM and saved the best for her preferred breaststroke events when she stormed to another PB and a bronze medal in 200m Breaststroke. Willow Kienlen was also in action on the Saturday in the same two events as Ellie. She was on target for a possible new PB in the 200m IM but an infraction at the start cost her. She came back slightly later for the 200m Breaststroke and swam to a season’s best time to finish in 8th place.
Eliza Wynne Thomas (15) arrived for the girls 200m Back, her preferred stroke but perhaps not her preferred event! Nonetheless she stormed to a new PB time by over two seconds to finish in 14th place in her age group. Elodie Parton (13) swam in her preferred stroke breaststroke in the 200m event and despite ongoing injury which is hampering her training somewhat she stormed to a four second PB finishing 12th.
Sprint specialist Toby Henbest (19) also raced in his preferred stroke but again not his preferred distance. He too smashed out a new PB time and set a club record in 200m Breaststroke to finish in 5th place. Mitch Brosch (16) set two new PBs from his two events on Sunday with a seven second PB in 200 free to finish in 9th place and a 10 second PB in 200 back to finish in 7th.
Fantastic efforts by all 11 Team TSC swimmers. The Championships continue on February 25/26 when all the 50m and 100m events will take place.