Sedgefield 75 swimming club attended their first competition of the new swimming season last weekend, an event hosted by Billingham swimming club at the excellent Billingham Forum pool in the presence of spectators for the first time since March 2020.
Eleven swimmers represented the club very well and showed fantastic team spirit supporting each other enthusiastically over the two days. They put on some memorable performances in the 53 swims racking up 31 new personal best times, 3 new club records, 17 medals and even some cash prizes.
Oliver Turnbull had a perfect return of 4 out of 4 PB’s and hit the milestone of breaking the 1-minute barrier for 100m freestyle for the first time, also finishing first out of 15-year olds in 50m freestyle. Charlie McEwan came in 2 places after in the same 50m freestyle event.
Mateusz Wilczynski was thrilled to go under 30 seconds in his 50m fly and also setting a new PB in 100m fly coming away with a gold and silver medal.
Dylan Forster made significant improvements to 4 out of 5 of his best personal bests and Chloe Harding swam very well, very close to her best times in six races.
Charlotte Lee took over 2 seconds from her 50m freestyle PB and took another PB in 200m breaststroke and Tom Curran, swimming in 6 races, setting new bests in 100m backstroke and a particularly good 200m freestyle.
Evie Weston had a gala to remember in setting 7 new PB’s out of 8 including huge improvements over 200m breaststroke and 200m individual medley. Evie took bronze in 200m freestyle and silver in that 200m IM which also saw her qualify for the 12 & under skins competition.
Zoe Hodgson swam 5 races and made super improvements in her 50m freestyle and fly personal bests.
Emma Price swam 8 races winning 8 medals, 4 gold, 2 silvers and 2 bronze. Emma set a new club record for a 13-year-old for 50m freestyle, a time that not only won her age group but was the fastest female time set at the gala over all ages with many swimmers up to 17 years old competing. She repeated that feat with the competition’s fastest 200 IM time overall and she set 5 new PB’s.
Filip Wilczynski also returned a 100% medal result as he won 4 gold and 1 silver medals, setting 4 big PB’s in the process. Filip set 2 new club records for 12-year-old boys in 50m and 100m backstroke.
The gala also staged ‘skins’ competitions, a special event involving quick-fire knockout races to leave the last one standing as the winner. Medals were not at stake but cash prizes instead, always popular with young swimmers.
Qualification is by finishing in the top 6 of the 200m individual medley races because to succeed at skins, swimmers need to be quick in all 4 strokes.
Two age groups of 12 & under and 13 & over each for boys and girls meant 4 competitions and 3 of our swimmers managed to qualify.
Each competition starts with 6 swimmers who swim a 50m race, the stroke chosen at random before each round and the swimmer finishing last is eliminated. Each round is swum exactly 3 minutes after the last one started meaning very little recovery time. Eventually only 2 swimmers remain and swim off for the first prize. To succeed takes incredible endurance and versatility in stroke competence as it is not known which stroke will be chosen next.
Evie swam in the 12 & under competition and progressed through one round picking up £15. Filip got all the way through to the final of the boys 12 & under and was just pipped for the first prize but still netted £30. Emma swimming as a 13 year-old in amongst 15 and 17 year olds also got all the way through to the final swim, just touching in second on breaststroke and also received £30.
Overall a superbly exciting and entertaining end to the morning sessions where the vociferous supporters were probably as worn out as the competitors!
Chief Coach, John Moore, said of the weekend, “Great swimmers, great results, great Aycliffe. Heartfelt thanks go to all the support staff at Sedgefield 75 and NALC.”
The club is recruiting younger swimmers for a new development squad, so if you can already swim 50m check out the club website The club is also running weekly adult sessions for those wanting to swim for fitness under a coached environment. Sedgefield 75 are aided by GAMP and we thank them for their generous support in helping us through challenging financial times.