Deepings' stars of the future shine in Grand Prix event
Six members of Deepings Swimming Club travelled to Sheffield to compete at the first weekend of the East Midlands Regional Youth Championships, hoping to emulate the success of their junior age-group team-mates at their recent finals.
The gala featured the 50-metre sprint events in all four strokes at the Ponds Forge long-course pool, with the longer distance events taking place over the weekend May 18-19.
Louis Metselaar, Tom Adams, Holly Leggott, Bethany Eagle-Brown, Hannah Matthews and Christian Rollinson made the qualifying times in 14 events, swimming 11 personal bests on the day and making four finals.
Bethany had an excellent weekend, reaching the final in all three of her swims in the 16yrs age group, and narrowly missing winning two medals.
In the 50m butterfly, she finished fifth in a new personal best of 29.48 and came close again in the 50m freestyle with another fifth place finish. Bethany also made the 50m backstroke final, coming seventh in a new PB of 32.70.
Deepings girls’ club captain Holly was one of the youngest girls to make the 17/over 50m freestyle final, after a strong swim in the heats.
Still aged 16, she competed hard to finish a highly commendable 10th against much older swimmers. Holly also qualified for the 50m backstroke, where she was 15th overall after setting a new best of 32.42.
Seventeen-year-old boys’ captain Louis was also competing against much older rivals after qualifying for all four events in the 17/over age group.
He set a new personal best of 31.70 in the 50m breaststroke, finishing 14th, and repeated the feat in the 50m butterfly with a new mark of 27.40.
Louis’s third best of the day came in the 50m backstroke, 30.29 to finish 19th, while he was just off his best in the 50m freestyle.
Competing against Louis in the 17/over races was Tom. He set a pair of bests, in the 50m breaststroke (32.31) and 50m freestyle (26.52), and was just outside his best in the 50m butterfly.
Hannah and Christian were both making their debuts at the regional championships and did themselves and the club proud with a couple of outstanding swims.
Hannah took almost half a second off her 50m freestyle long course best to dip below 30 seconds for the first time, at 29.79, while Christian set a new mark of 30.46 in the 50m butterfly.
While Deepings’ elite swimmers were competing in Sheffield, some of the club’s future stars were racing in the final round of the Grantham Grand Prix Series, which featured swimmers aged nine to 12.
After a dominating display of swimming over the four-round competition, Lucia Karic finished as the top girl in the 10yrs age group, with teammate Grace Edwards coming joint second.
Lilly Tappern was third in the 11yrs category, just two points from second place, after a series of strong swims.
With medals given to the top six finishers in each age group, the boys were also amongst the awards. William Burdock finished fifth in the 9yrs age group, while Ryan Weise took fifth in the 12yrs. Top performer was Alex Sadler, who came second, just four points off first place.
Lynn Chapman, Deepings head coach, said: “It was great to see such excellent performances across the club, from our youngest swimmers to our most experienced.
“We have some great talent at all levels that I’m excited about developing over the next few years.”