Nationals brings curtain down on swim season

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Swimmers from all three local clubs completed their British Gas ASA National Championships action at Ponds Forge in Sheffield last weekend to bring the curtain down on the season.

The Age Group and Youth events are the highlight of the national junior swimming calendar and more than 2,000 swimmers took part over five long days of competition, including some names fresh from the starting blocks of the Tollcross International Pool at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Mansfield and Ashfield were well represented at both events with swimmers competing from all three of our local clubs, Mansfield SC, Sherwood Colliery SC and Sutton SC.

As reported in last week’s Chad, the Age Group event (11-14yr olds) produced two new National champions, Sherwood Colliery SC’s Elliot Clogg (14) and Lily Boseley, (12) both achieving their successes in the 100m backstroke events, and swimming alongside them was Sherwood team mate Dec Smith (14) Mansfield SC’s Rhys Taylor, (14) and Ben Sharrocks (13) and Sutton SC’s Neve Fergie (14).

This week it was the turn of their older counterparts, Sherwood Colliery SC’s Imogen Gould (18) and Mansfield SC’s Tom Howarth (17) and Oli Hempsall (19) to take to the blocks seeking similar successes in both individual and team relay events.

Gould comfortably won the heat of her first event, the 50m butterfly, finished a credible 46th overall out of a field of 88 swimmers and improved on her entry time to swim a personal best time of 29:20.

The 200m individual medley came in quick succession with Gould finishing 27th overall and swimming just outside her entry time of 2:25.73.

In the 100m butterfly, her 1:06.68 gave her a 43rd overall placing before another quick turnaround for the 50m breaststroke where she swam a 34:39 and placed 52nd overall out of 143 competitors. Completing her breaststroke and national event programme, Gould swam a 1:16.38 in the 100m event and placed 23rd overall.

In the men’s 17/18yr breaststroke events, Mansfield SC’s Howarth swam just outside his entry times in the 100m and 200m, placing 32nd overall in a time of 1:08.40 in the 100m event and 33rd overall in 2:33.36 in the 200m event.

Tom then joined his Nova Centurion team mates for the 4x100m medley relay, swimming the breaststroke leg in 1:07.28, helping the team achieve 15th overall out of the 42 teams swimming.

Completing the local line-up, Hempsall swam his favoured 50m freestyle event in a time of 24:37 to finish 26th overall behind the newly-crowned 2014 Commonwealth Champion Ben Proud from Plymouth Leander, who won the event in 21:89.

Nova Centurion, the county’s elite swim squad, finished 14th overall out of the 62 clubs competing in the youth event, and 10th overall out of the 63 clubs competing in the Age Group event.

Swimmers from all three local clubs are now taking a well-earned summer break before resuming training at the end of August for the start of a new season and domestic, county, regional and national competitive calendar.