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Deeping Swimming Club make long-awaited return to action at Ponds Forge International Pool in Sheffield

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Deepings Swimming Club returned to competitive action last weekend at the Derventio Welcome Back Meet at Ponds Forge International Pool in Sheffield.

A series of outstanding performances saw the squad of 18 bring home 11 medals, seven of which were gold, while achieving an incredible 105 personal bests.

It was the first ever open meet for many younger members of the team while others were experiencing racing in a Olympic-size 50m long course pool for the first time.

The Deepings squad ready to compete at Ponds Forge in Sheffield.
The Deepings squad ready to compete at Ponds Forge in Sheffield.

Thirteen-year-old Jacob Briers went seven for seven in his heavy schedule, winning gold in the 50m, 100m and 200m breaststroke, 100m and 200m butterfly and 200m backstroke.

He then showed his versatility across all the strokes by claiming silver in the 200m individual medley.

Jacob swam all his events in new long course personal bests, including dipping under 40 seconds in the 50m breaststroke for the first time, stopping the clock at 39.07.

Deepings enjoyed most of its success in the 13-years age group with Sadie Hunter and Holly Roffe both medalling.

In the 200m butterfly, they went one-two with Sadie just edging Holly in a thrilling finish to claim gold.

Both swam massive personal bests with Sadie taking off 10 seconds to finish in 2:45.86 and Holly dropping 12 seconds from her entry time to touch in 2:46.04 for silver. Sadie underlined her talent in the butterfly by taking bronze in the 100m event against a high-quality field.

Eleven-year-old Joe Black, competing in his first ever long course meet, completed the medal tally with an excellent bronze in the 200 freestyle.

Deepings Swimming Club finished an outstanding ninth out of 20 clubs in the Top Club table, despite having one of the youngest squads, with all members of the team, aged 10 to 24, making valuable contributions.

Several swimmers narrowly missed the podium but almost all came away with personal bests.

Bailey Jackson-Chilvers showed the benefits of his recent hard training with personal bests in the 50m freestyle, 100m backstroke and 200m freestyle, displaying impressive underwater skills in each.

Maddie Taylor knocked a massive 22 seconds off her previous 200m individual medley best, which she set just a month earlier in a short course pool, finishing seventh. She also narrowly missed out on bronze in the 100m butterfly with fourth place.

Five bests in freestyle, backstroke and individual medley events marked an excellent day of swimming for Ella Gerrard with her best placing in the 14-years 100m freestyle where she came fifth.

In her first long course meet, Samantha Munro placed sixth in the 12 years 200m freestyle, fifth in the 50m freestyle and fifth in 200m individual medley.

Older sister Jemma also impressed with a string of personal bests, including in the 13-years 200m backstroke where she placed eighth.

Sixteen-year-old Harry Cardell, competing in the 17/O age group, narrowly missed going under one minute in the 100m freestyle for the first time, clocking 1:00.48, but did swim his first sub 30-second 50m butterfly with a powerful 29.83.

Jack Bell, in his first long course competition, came a creditable eighth in the 200m individual medley and fifth in the 100m backstroke, just beating team-mate Antony Hall, who came sixth. Antony improved his placing in the 200m freestyle with fifth.

Masters swimmer George Shaw, aged 24, rolled back the years to come close to his personal best in both the 50m butterfly and 100m breaststroke.

Also catching the eye were Harry Newman, with a new 50m breaststroke best, and Robyn Gerrard, who swam a new personal best to come sixth in the 15-years 200m backstroke.

Sixteen-year-old national swimmer Olivia Hunter, ageing up to compete in the 17/O age group, had a trio of excellent swims in the butterfly events, coming seventh in the 50m, sixth in the 100m and 5th in the 200m, all close to her personal bests.

Competing in their first open meets were youngsters Vincent Clarke, Matthew Hall and Eydee Chilvers. Each put in some strong swims and showed excellent potential for next season.

Deepings Swimming Club head coach Lynn Chapman said: “The Derventio meet wasn’t about swimming fast.

“I wanted the swimmers to focus on their skills and swim hard but, most of all, simply enjoy being back at our first open meet for almost 18 months.

“They exceeded my expectations with some outstanding racing and that resulted in them all swimming impressive times.”

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