Written by Jez Birds
Wednesday, 11 February 2015
The first full weekend of racing at this year’s Gloucester Blocks gave host to the fast 5 events: all 4 50s and the 100IM; as well as the 200m Butterfly and 400IM events in a packed out flurry of personal bests (PBs) and medals for Bristol Henleaze SC. I remember writing last years report, amazed by just how many individual best times were set – and so witnessed the approach to this weekend with the apprehension of expectation upon the swimmers, parents and coaches shoulders alike… but boy did it not disappoint!!
There were one, two, miss a few, Thor knows how many PBs across the weekend – and short of listing every single swimmer that took part for their outstanding achievements, I will instead recap on just those few who excelled themselves into a coveted top 3 finish and a Gold, Silver or Bronze medal in their age group…
The weekend began with the 400IM and though a super brave debut performance from Rebecca Wheatcroft (6th) and a 5th place finish for Oriana Munden, it was in the Mens event where ‘Polish Guy’ no.2 Michal Kotlewski gained his first ever Gloucester County medal in his first season in the south West with a Bronze in the 18/over category.
The competition moved swiftly on to the 50 fly, with Sean Simmonds winning silver in the 10 yrs age group and our premier ‘Polish Guy’ Bartek Karpisz claiming the gold (18/over) and silver in the Championship Final. The Girls event saw a hat-trick of silvers in the 12, 13 and 14 years age groups from Francesca Gilpin, Helena Conger and Oriana Munden respectively; whilst resident poolside coach and Performance swimmer Annie Brown claimed her first gold of the weekend (18/over) and a Championship Final gold AND a new Championship record!!
Bartek was back in the fray again in the 50 freestyle claiming a bronze in the 18/overs, with Alysia Maestri marking her place on the weekend with gold in the 13s age group of the same event. There was a bronze for Oriana and Holly Tanner in the 14s and 18/over categories respectively and another age group (18/over) and Championship gold for Annie. There was also a great performance from Maddie Nairn (17) who earned a place in the Championship final where she placed 8th.
Sean Simmonds was back in action with a second silver in the 10 years 50 backstroke, preceding a dream moment of a podium dominated by Henleaze with a 1,2,3 in the girls event in the same age. Hettie Damassa took the gold, with Martha Richards claiming silver and Megan Hornung the Bronze – a great moment!!
On the Sunday Bartek stepped up the distance to race the 200 fly and was rewarded with another silver medal for his efforts and the joy of having to repeat the exploits in the final where he placed 4th. James Edmonds then came into action and after qualifying 5th for the final of the 50 breaststroke, stepped up his game to claim a bronze medal in the final. In the girls version of the same event there was a second gold for Alysia (13) and a 3rd double gold for Annie, taking her tally to 6 medals in 3 races!
The 100IM was next and an age group gold and Championship silver for Bartek was followed with a bronze for Jimmy Flanaghan (18/over); a third age group gold for Alysia Maestri (13); a fourth age group gold (18/o) and a Championship bronze for Annie Brown as well as a bronze age group medal for Holly Tanner (18/o).
Last Updated ( Thursday, 12 March 2015 )