Blocks 2016

Another year - another Gloucester Blocks! But this time round, instead of the usual 6 week spread between weekends, it was all crammed in to what has to be described as Frantic February. The heavy schedule however, didn't deter the swimmers and as usual there was some great swimming to be seen from swimmers of all ages and representing many different clubs. As great as it is to see home club success (of which there was loads) it is also a great spectacle for the sport to see some excellent results across the board and for all and everyone to be able to witness and be part of!

But on to the Henleaze swimmers - and not wanting to copy from last years report too much, but there really were SO many incredible swims and personal records set that to mention them all would be a mammoth task - so again we will concentrate on those hitting medal positions. We will however, only allow those to follow on from a MASSIVE congratulations to all swimmers and your achievements. We are very proud of what the club has and is achieving and how we are represented by each and every individual that wears a BHSC t-shirt or hat, swimmer and parent, coach and volunteer - WELL DONE ALL!

We’ll start the flurry with a quick comment on the long distance events: not a massive day of competition for BHSC and no medal but a mention for Luca Gunawardena who knocked well over a minute off his personal best to bag a 5th place finish in the 13 years 1500m freestyle.

The first medal of the ‘normal’ events came from that man again though, this time in the antithesis of the longer distance but still with a weighty PB - a 2 second drop saw Luca grab bronze in the 13s 50 freestyle. Matt Bray followed suit but upped the anti claiming silver in the 16 and over - with his efforts pipped again by Hettie Dammassa who struck gold in the 10-11 years 50m breaststroke. Alyssa Maestri matched Hetties gold with one of her own in the 14s category and finally a silver for Annie Brown was claimed in the 16 and over. The 2 50m events then went into the Championship finals where Matt Bray claimed a championship bronze, Annie a second silver and Alysia finishing in 5th.

The meet then descended into the purgatory of the female 100 IM where Hettie (10-11) and Alysia (14) came clambering out with a gold a piece to add to their burgeoning collection. The mens 50 fly saw Joe Franks (15) nick a bronze before we were back again with the (golden) girls Hettie and Alysia in the 50 backstroke. Adding to the medal haul in the same event were Frankie Gilpin (13 - bronze) and Lottie Leigh (14 - silver - a BHSC one two - boom) followed by a Championship bronze for Alysia and the same for Matt Bray in the mens 50 fly final.

As if three weren't enough Hettie was back on the podium on the sunday morning with gold in the 50 free, with guess who following suit in the 14 years (Alysia if you didn't guess!) The great comeback from Oriana Munden was topped off by Gold in the 15s age group with BHSC’s 4th gold of the event from super swimmer super coach Annie Brown - with a new championship record to boot. Annie consolidated the event with a victory in the championship final with Alysia coming 6th.

The brief interlude for the men in the IM saw James Edmonds aka The Gruffalo take silver, before Hettie was back in action taking her 5th gold of the weekend in the 50m butterfly. Frankie won her second bronze (best oxymoron ever… think about it….) in the 13s before Alysia took another gold in the 14s, swiftly followed by our mini Viking Helena Conger who took bronze. The Gruffalo finished third in the Championship final of the 100 IM with James Flanaghan taking 6th.

Sean Simmons then sprang into action in his favoured 50m backstroke with a bronze in the 10-11 years before Joe Franks took his second bronze in the 15s and The Gruffalo another silver. He repeated the feat in the champ final too claiming 2nd spot!

The next weekend of action signalled the end of the 50s and the onset of the 200m IM where Alysia claimed a silver medal. Then on to the 100m freestyleand Alysia was back in the fray with a gold and a PR followed by another gold for organa (15). With PR’s a plenty but no medals in the boys 100 breast age groupings we were back to the girls and another gold for Alysia in the 200m breaststroke before she dropped down a distance to the 100m breastwork and took another silver. The men were back in action then with a bronze a piece for Matt Bray and James Flanaghan in the 200 IM and 100m Freestyle respectively to cap off another great weekend of swimming for the Hens?!?!

The girls 100 butterfly was up next and Frankie claimed yet another bronze with a 3 second PR followed by another BHSC one two this time in the men’s for Bartek Karpisz and Matt Bray in the 16 and over age group of the same event. The one two being repeated in the Championship final where Bartman set a new County Record in the process!

The individual events finished with the 100 backstroke where Lottie Leigh claimed bronze in the 14 year age group and the boys once again in and amongst the medals with Sean Simmons taking bronze also (10-11) and The Gruffalo an age group bronze (16 and over) before turning on the beast in the final and grabbing gold!

A great host of individual swims, records and medals gained - full listings of results can be found on the GCASA websites well as final medal tables and points.

Well done to all swimmers and a big thanks to all parents/helpers/volunteers/taxi drivers who assisted in the running of the events, helping swimmers know when and where to race and generally being a great support to the team!

And coming next…. The relays….