The 16/ 17th May saw the first weekend of the South West Regional Swimming championships at Hengrove in Bristol. This was an opportunity for our swimmers to test themselves against their peers from other clubs across the region. It is the next step up from County swimming and races can be decided by the smallest of margins, so performing at your very best is key to success.
Tigersharks had a fantastic weekend with 99% of performances resulting in personal best times. Andrew Smith led the way with 2 golds, 2 silvers and a bronze medal over the weekend. His first came in the 400m FC where he led from start to finish. The shorter events in the swimming programme have heats and finals at the regional level and Andrew showed he can raise his game when required by winning the 200m FC final in style. The 200m fly was desperately close and Andrew was unlucky losing on the touch by 2 hundredths of a second to take silver; he backed this up with another silver in the 50m Fly and a bronze in the 50m FC.
Dina Nejkic is turning into an accomplished sprint breaststroker. Qualifying in a PB for the 50m final in 3rd place, she swam even faster in the final, as the top 3 got away from the rest of the field, taking a fantastic bronze medal. Recent illness has hampered Dina’s preparations for these championships and took its toll as Dina just missed out on making the final of the 100m Breaststroke as a reserve finalist.
Gabriella Doughty had fortune on her side in the 200m backstroke. Having put in a solid swim in the heats she found herself in 9th and first reserve for the final. Fortunately a withdrawal gave her another opportunity and she grabbed it with both hands, swimming far more aggressively to finish in 6th place overall in a new PB.
Marshall Fitchett came close to making the final of both the 200m Breaststroke and the 200m Fly but despite huge PB’s, he had to sit and watch as no-one withdrew. No doubt he will go one better at the next round of the championships and get that place in the final.
The entire team stepped up and delivered some great swimming over the whole weekend: Jasmine Poole went under 10 minutes for the first time in the 800m FC, Matilda Hart smashed her previous 200m backstroke PB in her first regional championships, Abi Cook returned to form with huge PB in the 100m Fly and Laura Edwards continued her progress with a fine 100m breaststroke. James Andrew (200m Breaststroke) and Ryan Lawrence (200m Fly) took part in their first Regional championship despite being a year out of age and both swam exceptionally well as they moved themselves up the rankings. The rest of the team comprising Sophie Walker, Poppy turner, Grace Osman, Sam Dubarry and Alex Reeves also produced PB’s in all their events.
This was a great set of results for Tigersharks and the coaching team were delighted with the attitude and application that the team showed throughout the weekend. The next round of these championships takes place at the end of May where Tigersharks will be looking to continue their success and hopefully add a few more medals to the tally. We wish them well.