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Deepings Swimming Club take medal bonanza from the Derventio Excel event at Matlock

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Deepings Swimming Club swam away with seven medals and 15 personal bests last weekend as the 2021/22 season got underway in Matlock, Derbyshire.

A squad of six qualified for the Derventio Excel ‘Early Season Open Meet’ where a high calibre field raced for honours at the 25 metre Arc Leisure pool.

Despite a disrupted start to the swimming year following the closure of Deepings Leisure Centre in July, which forced the club to train at a variety of pools in Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire with greatly reduced hours, the team put in a series of outstanding performances.

The Deepings squad which competed in Matlock. From the left, Ella Gerrard, Molly Briers, Jacob Briers, Harry Cardell, Sadie Hunter, head coach Lynn Chapman and Millie Herrick.
The Deepings squad which competed in Matlock. From the left, Ella Gerrard, Molly Briers, Jacob Briers, Harry Cardell, Sadie Hunter, head coach Lynn Chapman and Millie Herrick.

Three swimmers shared the seven medals, including two gold, two silver and three bronze.

In the boys 13yrs age group, Jacob Briers won a brace of golds in the 50m breaststroke and 200m breaststroke and showed his versatility across the strokes with silver in the 100m individual medley and bronze in the 400m individual medley.

Sadie Hunter continued her impressive form in the butterfly events from last season with silver in the 200m and bronze in the 50m 13yrs age group. She also swam a fine personal best in the 50m freestyle to go 33.02.

Freestyle was fertile ground for new bests, with Millie Herrick dropping almost seven-tenths off her 50m time to claim the bronze medal in the 14yrs age group in 30.09 secs, narrowly missing going sub-30 for the first time.

Underlining the fine margins in sprint swimming, Millie edged out team-mate Ella Gerrard by just 11 hundredths of a second. Ella’s time of 30.20 was also a new 50m freestyle best.

Millie also swam bests in the 100m and 200m freestyle and the 100m and 200m individual medley to cap an excellent weekend of competition, while Ella set new marks in the 100m freestyle and 100 individual medley. Both girls are well placed for a strong season.

Completing the girls’ team was 15-year-old Molly Briers, who was getting back to her best with solid races in seven events - 200m individual medley, 400m individual medley, 50m and 100m butterfly, and 50m, 100m and 200m backstroke.

Meanwhile, 17-year-old Harry Cardell, racing against any older swimmers in the 17/over age group, enjoyed a superb weekend with some stunning personal bests, including almost a second off both his 50m and 100m freestyle, six seconds off his 400m freestyle – finishing fifth - and more than four seconds off his 200 individual medley. Harry also set a new best in the 100m butterfly.

Deepings head coach Lynn Chapman was delighted with the early season form shown by her top swimmers.

Jackii Crockett.
Jackii Crockett.

“We’ve struggled with a lack of pool time and uncertainty about where we were swimming, but you’d never know it by the performances over the weekend,” she said.

“I am really pleased with the way they swam, with their skills and their effort. It’s a great sign for the rest of the season.”

While the club’s top youth and age group swimmers were competing in Derbyshire, one of Deepings Masters’ swimmers was putting on her own show at the Scottish Masters in Glasgow.

Jackii Crockett entered four races in the 60-65 years age group and stood on the podium in each one, with gold in the 100m backstroke, silver in the 50m freestyle and 50m backstroke, and bronze in the 100m freestyle. Both freestyle times were new personal bests.

Speaking after her successful appearance at the Toll Cross Pool, Jackii paid tribute to the work of the Deepings committee in keeping the club going after the closure of the leisure centre.

“The sudden and unexpected closure of the Deepings pool shocked me and, as a regular swimmer with the Deepings Masters, I was left dithering about my future,” she said. “It would have been easy to give up but instead I entered the Scottish Masters.

“The Deepings Swimming Club committee has worked so hard to ensure swimming sessions in pools all around the area and I was able to go to Scotland with at least some training under my belt.”

Jackii’s next competition will be the Swim England Masters at Pond’s Forge, Sheffield, at the end of October alongside a number of the club’s masters swimmers.

The club will also be entering a masters team in the Annual Inter-Counties Championships in Coventry in November, representing Lincolnshire.

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