The concluding events of the day one finals saw Samuel Peck take an impresive gold in the men’s 400m IM and Plymouth on the podium three times in the team relay events.
The Men’s 12/13yrs 400 IM saw Joshua Cowham of Thanet knock an incredible nine seconds off his PB to claim a gold medal, with James Newman of Leicester touching an arm’s length behind with 4:54.11 for silver and Joe Basedeo-Taylor of Kingston-upon-Hull claiming bronze (4:58.18). All three swimmers beat their previous personal bests in this event.
The 14yrs age group final was almost impossible to call, with William Hawkes of Grantham and James Pettener of Liverpool claiming gold and silver just 0.08 seconds apart. Hawkes touched in a PB 4:53.62 for gold with Pettener claiming silver in a lifetime best 4:53.70. Billy Harrison of Romford was second fastest in the heats, and took the bronze medal in a PB 5:54.68.
The 15yrs age group was won by guest swimmer Cadan McCarthy of Munster, but the ASA Age Group gold medal went to Samuel Peck of Norwich, who had already lowered his PB by just under seven seconds in the heats (4:52.79), did it again in the final to touch 4:47.17. Connor Joyce of Cockermouth received silver (4.48.87) and Rhys Taylor of Nova Centurion received bronze (4:49.77).
I really wasn’t expecting to get gold to be honest. But I really kicked out in the back, maintained in the breast then really pushed it hard in the last 25 metres of the free. This seemed to work and I took gold in the end. – Samuel Peck
In the 16/17yrs age group, Nathan Wells showed he was a cut above the rest after winning gold over four seconds ahead of the field in 4:35.75. Jordan Honour of Thanet followed up for silver in 4:40.03 and Thomas Milburn of Cockermouth swam 4:41.19 for bronze.
The 18yrs+ age group had four swimmers going stroke for stroke at the halfway mark, with James Reidy of Borough of Kirklees leading at the end of the breaststroke leg. Hayden Griffiths of Ellesmere College dug deep to match Reidy in the freestyle and powered to gold touching in 4:33.91. Reidy claimed his silver in 4:34.33 and Oliver Jermy of Portsmouth took bronze in 4:34.69.
The women’s 50m Butterfly final 12/13yrs was in contention right down to the touch, with Charlotte Wynne-Jones of Bicester claiming gold in 29.25 and Rebecca Pearson of Stockport and Kaylee Dekker of Mt Kelly both touching in 29.38 to take silver medals.
The 14yrs final was no easier to judge, with Laura Brookes (Doncaster Dartes) touching in 29.07 for gold, Holly Rowlinson (Trafford) touching in 29.09 for silver and Rhiannon Bowen (Aquae Sulis) taking bronze with 30.18.
In the 15yrs final, seven swimmers went into the finals with PBs, and all three medallists lowered them again in the final. Milly Scotchbrook of Leicester won gold with 29.04, Emily Spencer of Liverpool claimed silver with 29.29 and Lucy Hawley of Kingston Royals took bronze with 29.48.
The 16/17yrs saw the five top swimmers all go under 29 seconds, with Emily Crane of Leicester taking gold with 28.28, Ellie Nut of Abingdon Vale claiming silver with 28.65 and Abigail Burr of Lincoln taking her second bronze of the evening with 28.80.
The 18yrs+ final saw Evie Edwards of Preston win gold in a new PB 28.28, while there was almost nothing to separate second and third place with Imogen Gould of Nova Centurion claiming silver in 28.73 and Megan Basford of Dover taking bronze in 28.74.
The final events of the evening were the Freestyle Team Relays. The men’s 14/16yrs 4x100m Freestyle relays brought the crowd alive, with the noise at Ponds Forge reaching near deafening levels. Northampton took the gold with 3:42.10, City of Derby took the silver with 3:43.40 and Plymouth Leander received bronze with 3.44.61.
In the men’s 17yrs and over final, Plymouth Leander had near perfect changeovers and took the gold medal with 3:38.34. City of Coventry were silver medallists with 3:32.38 and Cockermouth were runners up in bronze medal position with 3:32.93.
In the women’s 14/16yrs 4x100m Freestyle Relay, Derventio Excel and Southport were perfectly in synch at the second changeover, and it looked like nothing could separate the two teams. Derventio kept their cool at the final change and kept the lead for gold in 3:58.78. Thanet closed the gap to claim silver with 4:00.13 and Plymouth Leander clawed back for bronze, their clubs third relay medal of the night (4:02.19).
In the 17yrs+ the leading team shifted at every single change, with Mercia looking strong in the first couple of legs. Wigan took the gold with 4:02.12, followed by Beckenham who touched 4:03.10 for silver and Poole who came third and walked away with bronze (4:03.23).