The Home Nation Championships in England and Wales featured plenty of RWS swimmers from both the Elite and the National Development squads. Could we carry on the great work from the team at the British Champs the previous week?
We started strongly winning three medals. Five out of six swimmers made finals and all swam best times in the finals.
Chloe Harris claimed her first gold medal in the 400 IM with a great swim, knocking 8 seconds off her previous best time. Dan Parson’s showed great resilience by claiming bronze in the the 100m brs, despite both his goggles filling up off the dive. Keeley Murcott powered through claiming her first national medal with a bronze in the 400 IM. Zak Westwood claimed 5th in the 50 fc and James Brown pushed hard for his 5th place in the MC 100 fc. James is an S9 category swimmer.
In Wales there were lots of best times and finals including Ella Shaw, Theo Clark, Brad Baddams, Abby Shepherd and Jake Morris. Ella claiming Bronze in the 200 fc.
We carried the momentum through to the morning session from the night before. All swimmers made finals with all but one swim best times.
In the finals Chloe Harris set the tone for a fantastic night, winning bronze in the 100m butterfly, in a tight finish ( 0.23 sec between position 1-3) but achieving a new best time. In another tight finish, Tom Watkin was beaten narrowly in the 200fc but gained a Silver medal and new best time. Ben Cope came 9th in a new best time in the 200 fc. The RWS juggernaut was in full flow now, Katie Hawkins ranked 14 on entry smashed 4 second drop over the day and gained a fantastic silver in the 200 brs. Dan Parson’s, with tightened goggles, swam a beautifully timed 200 brs to get gold in the 200 brs and another best time. James Brown smashed a bronze in the MC 50m fc. Lewis Hodgetts claimed 10th in the 100 fly.
The morning session produced four more finalist all with best times. Katie Leary just missing out in the 400 fc.
All the swimmers in the finals did huge best times on the night. James Brown gaining another bronze in the MC 400 fc. Luke Skelding gained an excellent Silver in the 200 IM and in the same event Ben Cope produced a storming finish to grab a joint bronze. Chloe Harris came 6th in a great race when less than 0.8 secs split 2nd to 8th.
In Wales Theo Clark had an impressive swim in the 800 fc smashing a 5 sec pb and gaining a silver medal. Ella Shaw finished 7th in the 100 fc and Jake Morris 6th in the 100 brs.
All the swimmers made finals on day 4 with best times including a 5 second drop by Chloe Harris in the 200 fly.
There were three solid swims in the women’s 1500m. Holly Gregory gaining 10th Katie Leary 11th and Eleanor Bainbridge producing a strong second half of her swim grabbed a bronze and new best time.
The first race of the night, produced one of the races of the meet. Chloe Harris dropped another 5 seconds to snatch gold by 0.1 seconds. Fabulous racing from both girls. Erin Hull placed 9th in the 50 brs and Luke Skelding improved his ranking markedly to finish 8th in the 200 fly.
Three out of four made finals on the final day in Sheffield. Chloe Harris missing out in the 200 bk.
Katie Leary came 14th in he 800 fc.
Tom Watkin, with a new best time came 9th in the 50 fly. Kane Murcott came 5th in the 400 fc. But with a really great swim and a 5 second drop Ben Cope narrowly misses gold in the 400 fc.
Abby Shepherd grabs a bronze in the 800 fc in Wales.
So, including the open water medals (Gold for Eleanor Bainbridge and Silver for George Barber) the Home Nation medal tally came to a whopping 19. (4 Gold, 6 Silver and 9 Bronze).