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National Summer Champs 2015 kicks off in Sheffield

The first finals session of the ASA National Summer Championships started with a heartfelt tribute to South Ayrshire Swim’s Bill Murdoch, who sadly passed away last week.

Women’s 200m Freestyle

The first final of the evening was the Women’s 12/13yrs 200m Freestyle. Madeleine Hoare (Coventry) and Charlotte Walker (Norwich) got off to a great start, but at the halfway mark it was Lucy Armitage (Shrewsbury) in the lead.

Hoare pulled it back and led down the final 50m, touching in 2:10.13 for the gold. Armitage claimed silver with 2:10.55 and Ceara Barber (Hillingdon) swam a new PB to finish in bronze medal position with 2:11.40.

In the 14yrs age group, Brodie Judge (Ealing), fastest swimmer in the heats, led from the start, with Robyn Moon (Thanet Swim) hot on her heels. The two swimmers were stroke for stroke down the last 50m, with Judge clinching the win in the final 25m, finishing on 2:09.92, a new season best.

Moon touched second for silver (2:10.68) and Katie Laybourn (Hartlepool) received bronze (2:12.31).

“That was a season best for me after not swimming that race well for a long time,” said Judge. “I was so happy about that and it was a really great way to finish the season.”

There was almost nothing to separate Rosemary Whittaker (Plymouth Leander), Nina Holguin (Newcastle) and Emma Whittingham (Southport) in the 15yrs heats, so the battle was on in the 200m Freestyle finals.

Whittingham came back from third place in the closing metres to win in 2:08.86, while Whittaker, who was third in the heats, claimed silver (2:08.92) and Holguin followed up for bronze (2:09.50).

“I am not doing that many events here so I decided to put everything into this race and especially the finish,” said Whittingham. “It paid off. About half way, I decided I had nothing to lose and really went for it.”

The 16/17yrs final was a battle from the start. At the final turn Amrita Robinson (Bo Waltham Forest), Abigail Burr (Lincoln Vulcans), Imogen Smith (Rushmoor Royals) and Kelsie Campbell (Nova Centurion) were within 0.30 seconds of each other, but Robinson powered down the final length to win gold (2:04.38). Smith came second in 2:04.74 and Burr came third in 2:05.95 while Campbell dropped back to fifth.

The 18yrs+ final was also hotly contested, with only six finalists competing and all in top form. Beth Aitchinson of Bournemouth Collegiate took a lead down the last straight to win with 2:03.83.

Linda Shaw (City of Leeds), celebrating her 18th birthday today, claimed silver (2:04.11) and Emily Corry of Plymouth Leander came third for bronze (2:05.06).

Men’s 100m Butterfly

In the Men’s 100m Butterfly events, James Cooper of Romford, who set a new PB in the morning’s heats (1:02.19), smashed it again in the 12/13yrs final to win gold with 1:01.82. Will Morris of Tynemouth and Finnian Trehayne of Bournemouth were almost inseparable in the last 50m, but it was Morris who claimed the silver with 1:02.79 and Treheyne was a flutterkick behind with 1:02.90.

In the 14yrs final, Benjamin Samuel of Bournemouth was like lightning off the blocks, storming ahead of the competition, but was overtaken in the final 25m by Piers Bowden of Guildford who claimed gold in 1:01.83. James Cuthbert of Halesowen touched for silver (1:02.13) and Simon Kilmet of Doncaster took bronze in 1:02.33.

Ben Hooper (Borough of Harrow) led at the turn in the 15yr final with 27.76 but dropped back to third to claim bronze with 59.90. James Eddy (Wycombe District) took the gold with a fantastic 59.21 and Miles Clarke (Ealing) got the silver with 59.74. All three swimmers set new PBs.

“My aim was to go out hard and just try and stick with it,” said Eddy. “I had a good turn and stuck with it in the second 50m. And it worked.”

The 16/17yrs final was won by George Epsly of Basildon and Phoenix in 55.91, with Jacob Jackson of Ellesmere Titans taking silver (56.61) and Freddy Clampett of Plymouth Leander claiming bronze for his 56.99, with all three swimmers lowered their PBs for the second time on day two.

In the 18yrs+ final, Exeter’s Dominic Wooldridge shaved just under a second from his PB to place first with 54.39. Reece Dunn of Plymouth swiftly followed suit for second place (54.95) and William Condron claimed came third with a new PB (55.35).