Gammon, Colbert and Applegate star as Winter Champs starts with a bang

Joshua Gammon, Freya Colbert and Jessica-Jane Applegate were all amongst the medalists as the GoCardless Swim England National Winter Championships 2023 started with a bang.

The trios success began with Bath University’s Gammon stunning the crowd at Ponds Forge to set a new personal best in a thrilling Open 100m Butterfly final.

The British 200m Butterfly champion added another accolade by collecting the John G Hatfield Memorial Trophy for his stunning swim.

A 50m split of 23.15 set Gammon on his way for gold as he pulled away from defending champion Jamie Ingram during the second half of the race.

Gammon clocked in a time of 49.87 to go under the 50-second mark for the first time in his career with Ingram following him home for silver in 50.52.

Gammon’s effort took 1.20 seconds off his time from this event last year which was his previous best effort in the event.

Chelsea and Westminster’s Bryan Leong completed the podium, setting a time of 52.19 to edge out Team England Commonwealth Youth Games athlete Reuben Rowbotham Keating.

Beverley Barracudas swimmer Kieran Grant was the winner of the senior race.

Grant and Loughborough University’s Samuel Tucker were split by just 0.22 in a close battle for the win.

Tucker led after the opening 50m’s but Grant had the legs in the closing stages to claw through the field and take the win in 53.22. City of Sheffield’s George Barber was third (54.18).

Chelsea and Westminster’s Henry Gray made it into the top three twice in both the 100m Butterfly and 50m Freestyle junior finals but it was in the butterfly where he took top spot.

He finished more than a second faster than City of Birmingham’s Cameron Wrapson in a strong showing for the 17-year-old.

Wrapson touched the wall in 54.93 for the runners-up sport with Camden Swiss’ Llewellyn Porter third with a 55.14.

Jessica-Jane at the double

Two scores of more than 900 British para swimming points saw Jessica-Jane Applegate come away with two gold medals on the opening night of the National Winter Championships.

The two-time Paralympic champion started off by scoring a massive 979 points in the Female Multi-Classification (MC) 100m Backstroke final before adding a further 939 points in the Female MC 400m Freestyle final.

In the backstroke, Applegate showed her class as she finished in a time of 1:06.14 to pull away from the rest of the field.

It meant that the 27-year-old set herself a new personal best in the event as she continues her preparation for next summers Paralympic Games in Paris.

It was an all S14 podium with Repton’s Megan Neave recording a time of 1:08.80 and an impressive 870 points of her own to finish second with 16-year-old Siena Oxby in third.

She scored 721 points thanks to a strong swim of 1:13.22.

Later in the session, Applegate returned to the pool to set a seasons best in the MC Female 400m Freestyle final.

Her time of 4:31.64 fell short of her own British record but it proved that she’s still on top of her game as she targets her fourth Paralympics.

S9 swimmer Brock Whiston set a seasons best of her own to win silver with 837 points.

Her time of 4:54.93 saw the Barking and Dagenham finish best of the rest with a personal best from Brooklyn Hale earning her bronze.

Hale’s 5:11.42 was five seconds faster than her previous top time in a strong display from the Cockermouth athlete.

Colbert continues her Otopeni form

Freya Colbert continued her fine form from the recent European Short Course Championships in Otopeni with gold in the Female Open 400m Freestyle final.

After winning a silver and bronze in Romania last week, Colbert stormed to gold in Sheffield to finish more than five seconds ahead of the rest of the pack.

It knocked a few tenths off her personal best time too, setting a new mark of 4:02.38 to target for 2024.

Jemima Hall won what was her second medal of the night with bronze, missing out on silver by just 0.01.

It was a well earnt second place for Beatrice Varley however as the Plymouth Leander knocked a second off her previous best time to set a 4:07.57 for silver.

Erin Little took three seconds off her best to win the Senior 400m Freestyle final.

Like Colbert, she pulled clear of the field as the race went on to set a time of 4:12.72 for the win.

Loughborough University’s Scarlett Orchard was second, finishing narrowly ahead of Jessica Arundale (Barnet Copthall) in 4:17.09.

City of Liverpool’s Lucy Parsons was the junior final winner, being the only swimmer to go under the 4:16.00 mark in the race.

She set a 4:15.95 to finish ahead of City of Manchester’s Ashleigh Baillie and Chelmsford’s Cait Cotter in a close run final.

Melbourne-Smith retains 800m Freestyle title

Loughborough University’s Tyler Melbourne-Smith retained his title in the Open 800m Freestyle with another sensational swim.

After taking last year’s title in a time of 7:50.08, Melbourne-Smith took ten seconds off to touch the wall in a time of 7:40.53 this time around.

He beat off some fine competition for the title with his Loughborough teammate Toby Robinson following him home just seven seconds further back with Reece Grady completing the podium in third place.

Robinson set a time of 7:47.54 with Team England’s Commonwealth Youth Games star Grady finishing in 7:49.32.

Litchfield leads Loughborough 200m IM rout

Joe Litchfield impressed from start to finish as he took home the gold medal in the Open 200m Individual Medley final.

The Loughborough Performance Centre swimmer was two seconds ahead of his nearest challenger in an impressive swim from the Tokyo Olympian.

It was a dominant display from Loughborough with three University swimmers completing the remainder of the top four.

Charlie Hutchison was second in 1:57.21 with Ben Harrison coming from behind to snatch the final podium spot from teammate Alexander Casey.

Just 0.01 split the two swimmers as Harrison took the bronze from his more junior clubmate with a time of 1:58.53.

Winning the junior final was Mount Kelly’s Jonathan Turck, leading a front three that finished within 0.32 between each other – setting a time of 2:00.47.

He was followed closely by Camden Swiss’ Llewellyn Potter – who impressed at just 15 years of age – with City of Birmingham’s Cameron Wrapson in third.

The senior final was won by Nathan Wells of West Norfolk.

The 25-year-old’s time of 2:01.17 saw him finish narrowly ahead of Moritz Baumgartner from Loughborough University. Mount Kelly’s Hubery Gdaniec was third, finishing in 2:02.06.

Personal best sees Booker win gold

A new personal best from Lily Booker saw her take home the FR Edwards Trophy in the Female Open 200m Breaststroke final.

Booker’s time of 2:20.60 saw her finish almost a second ahead of Loughborough University’s Sienna Robinson to take the title.

Robinson had the lead heading into the final 50m’s but Booker times her race to perfection to surge past and finish ahead of her opponent.

City of Leeds’ Leah Schlosshan returned from her exploits at the European Short Course Championships to take bronze in a time of 2:23.96.

The junior final was won by Maxwell’s Holly Whaymand.

She impressed, becoming the only swimmer in the race to go under the two and a half minute mark.

Her time of 2:29.41 was more than two seconds faster than City of Birmingham’s Bonnie Mooney – who swam well for second place.

Both Mooney and third place swimmer Joni Dunne (City of Liverpool) performed strongly to make the top three despite being the two youngest swimmers in the race.

The 14-year-olds were split by just 0.22 with Mooney finishing in 2:31.88 and Dunne in 2:32.10.

Surrey University’s Emily Farr won the senior race with the 19-year-old topping the timing sheets in an competitive final.

Farr and Royal Wolverhampton’s Louise Jones pulled clear of the rest of the field as they battled it our for the lead throughout the contest.

The duo both touched the wall well under the two and a half minute mark with Farr coming from behind with 50m’s to go to take the title. She finished in 2:28.10 just ahead of Jones’ 2:28.82.

Repton’s Holly Robinson completed the top three with a time of 2:30.75.

Chapman and Ellard separated by a point

Just one point separated Timon Chapman and William Ellard in the Multi-Classification Open 100m Breaststroke final.

The two S14 swimmers were separated by just 0.03 seconds in the pool with Chapman taking the gold with a total of 761 points.

He finished in 1:07.09, just ahead of the three time Manchester 2023 World Championships medalist.

Rounding out the podium was Preston’s Ryan Potter who touched the wall in 1:08.55.

Nova Centurion got the first para-swimming gold in Winter Championship history courtesy of Owen Say.

The 22-year-old scored 711 points for his time of 29.22 in the Open Multi Classification 50m Freestyle final.

The swim saw him narrowly outscore fellow S8 swimmer Jamie Curtis who finished just 0.15 further back.

Akaash Das made it an all S8 podium with the Oswestry Otter setting a 29.91 to earn himself 663 points and a bronze medal.

Fry dashes to victory

Calvin Fry powered to victory in the ‘splash and dash’ Open 50m Freestyle final.

The Loughborough University swimmer took gold and the Mark Foster Trophy, smashing the timing sheets by recording a time of 21.45.

The 19-year-old saw off a competitive field which saw Chelsea and Westminster’s Jason Mahmutoglu finish narrowly behind him.

The rest of the pack were split by less than a second but Mahmutoglu got off the blocks well to secure silver with Aiden Symonds-Brown holding on to claim the final medal spot.

Symonds-Brown finished in 22.32 that was just 0.07 faster than 17-year-old Maddox Roberts who put in a standout performance in fourth.

Jordan Cooley knocked almost a second off his time in the heats to win the Open Senior 50m Freestyle final with a time of 21.80.

A dramatic race saw Euan Taylor and Adrian Ting tie for silver behind him with both swimmers clocking in at 22.51.

The two 21-year-olds go home as joint runners-up with Isle of Man’s Joel Watterson finishing just 0.10 behind the pair.

Mount Kelly’s 15-year-old swimmer Abduljabar Adama won the junior final in an scintillating display.

He set a time of 22.20 to power to gold from lane two.

There was more success for Chelsea and Westminster with Henry Gray finishing second and two Mount Kelly swimmers made the top three with Joseph Wey setting a 22.60 in third.

Personal best brings gold for Hall

There was a personal best and a gold medal for Jemima Hall in the Female Open 50m Backstroke final.

She set a 27.87 as she was the only swimmer to go under the 28 seconds.

City of Manchester’s Mollie Garratt ran out the winner of a close battle for second between the next five swimmers.

Garratt finished in 28.07 with sixth place Sophie De Groot less than 0.20 further back.

It was Garratt and Team Bath’s Rue Fowler who completed the podium however as they both finished well to touch the wall in the top three.

Charley Jones edged out Isable Iley by just 0.01 to win the Female Senior 50m Backstroke final.

The pair were neck and neck throughout the contest but Jones just touched the wall first in a time of 28.79.

Hackney’s Iley will be happy with second at just 18 years of age with City of Birmingham’s Maya Kirlew taking third.

It was 14-year-old Amalie Smith who won the junior final by not much more of a margin.

She clocked in a time of 28.49 that was just 0.03 quicker than Wycombe District’s Annabelle Compton.

Poole’s Halle Harris was third just ahead of Annabel Crees (Repton).

Home pool glory for Greenbank

There was gold for City of Sheffield inside their home pool as Samuel Greenbank came away with the crown.

His effort of 51.85 saw him win the Open 100m Backstroke final and the Henry Dixon Trophy.

The time saw him finish clear of the ten competitors with Jean Lamorisse swimming well for silver clocking in just 0.08 faster than third place Shakil Giordani.

The Loughborough University swimmer came from behind Giordani at the halfway mark to snatch the silver medal.

Charlie Brome raced to a new lifetime top time in the Open Senior 100m Backstroke final.

An incredible swim saw the City of Leeds swimmer finish more than two seconds ahead of Derby Excel’s Ethan Lawton.

He finished in 53.23 with Lawton and Fabian Brudnicki impressing to complete the top three.

The junior final race was won by Finn Broekhoven of Plymouth Leander.

The 17-year-old completed the four lengths in 54.52 with Fergus Thomson (Mount Kelly) and Toby Godsell (Millfield) just behind in second and third respectively.

Pryor rounds out opening night

Georgina Pryor completed a thrilling first night at the National Winter Championships by winning the Female Open 50m Butterfly final in a time of 26.11.

The Derby Excel swimmer was narrowly ahead of City of Manchester’s Jessica Calderbank and Loughborough University’s Harriet Rogers.

The leading trio were the only swimmers to break the 27-second barrier with Calderbank finishing  in 26.42 and Rogers clocking in at 26.60 in a fast finale.

Izabella Okaro of Repton won the junior race in a time of 27.55

She dashed to the line just ahead of the rest of the pack with Charlotte Smith edging out Ella Thornburg and Julia Pawlik for silver.

Smith’s 27.89 saw the Norwich Swan take second with Crawley’s Thornburg in third just 0.03 further back.

Betsy Wizard won the senior final to bring joy to Northampton.

The 20-year-old got off the blocks brightly and powered through to the finish ahead of Loughborough University’s Maisie Elliott.

Braunstone’s Milly Scotchbrook was third in 27.76.

You can find all the results from the opening day of the GoCardless Swim England National Winter Championships 2023 here.

Images: Will Johnston Photography