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Club Championship report 9 and under 25 metre races

The crowd arrived early on Sunday and the Yate balcony was packed for the most tense night of racing of the year: for parents, for swimmers and certainly for officials! Trophies are given out for these events at the club disco in January so competition was keen from the start.

Girls’ races

Jenny Tofts made all four finals, winning the free and the fly, and showing maturity by saving just a little from the heats to go faster when the medals were at stake.

Bethan Payne won three silvers plus the gold in her standout breaststroke – over 4 seconds ahead of second. Bethan is only 8, like Sophie Launay who secured silver, bronze and finalist medals.

Cara Bates was the other young swimmer to make it to all four finals, meaning an exhausting eight races in around an hour and a half.

Our backstroke champion is Madeleine Waite, edging out Bethan in a tight finish, cheered on loudly from the balcony.

Special mention must go to Calli Turner, who at only 7 picked up a backstroke bronze, and our youngest competitor Natasha Williamson (6) who splendidly improved her breaststroke time by 28.5 seconds – in a 25 metre race – well done!

Boys’ races

The star of the show was undoubtedly Jack Baker, winning all four events in some very tight finishes. Jack and his vocal supporters will be able to see on the trophies he has won the names of illustrious Southwold members who have previously achieved this feat of a clean sweep. He should now look to go on and emulate their achievements in future years.

Jack was joined in all finals by: Theo Fitzhugh, Max Ellis, Oliver Thornell and Will Paget. Theo never finished lower than third, Max won two silvers and Will probably had the swim of the night: 19.87 seconds in the 25 free heats, a time that would have won the final.

Well done to all the competitors, especially Benjamin Coles who at 6 will still be qualified to swim these events in 2017.

There were a few DQs but don’t worry, it’s all part of learning and chances are you won’t do it again. Listen to your coaches and keep training hard.

And if any of the 9 & under parents want to volunteer in the future, contact club Chairman David Lowther david.lowther691@btinternet.com to ensure these fantastic young swimmers have a well-run club when they’re still setting PBs and winning medals as teenagers.

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