Chillingworth and Stephens among individual medallists on final day of National Winter Champs

PLYMOUTH Leander’s Adam Chillingworth and Laura Stephens were among the senior individual medallists on the final day of the National Winter Swimming Championships in Sheffield on Sunday.

Leander and Mount Kelly also claimed more relay medals and enjoyed success at junior level to cap off a fine three-days at the short course competition at Ponds Forge.

Stephens has enjoyed a tremendous championships. On the opening day she produced a world class performance to win the women’s 200m butterfly title and win a relay medal. She then won a silver medal in the 100m butterfly on Saturday and she topped that off by claiming national bronze medals in the 400m IM and 50m butterfly on Sunday.

Stephens swam 4:41.01 in the 400m IM to finish behind Loughborough’s Abbie Wood and Sheffield’s Amy Bell.

In the 50m butterfly she touched in 26.44 to claim another national third place, with 14-year-old club colleague Sophie Freeman also reaching the A final and clocking a PB time of 27.21 to win junior gold. Mount Kelly’s Emily Haimes also reached the A final and clocked 27.54.

Stephens, showing her versatility, also reached the final of the women’s 200m freestyle, where team-mate Honey Osrin won junior silver.

Chillingham produced a great swim in the men’s 200m breaststroke event.  The 21-year-old (pictured top) set a new PB and club record of 2:07.84 to win silver behind Edward Baxter. Mount Kelly’s Ben Harrison finished fifth in the B final of that event.

Leander’s Edoardo Valsecchi finished third overall in the men’s 50m butterfly final with a 23.38 second swim, with club colleague Tom Beeley finishing eighth in 24.39. In the B final, Leander’s Freddie Clampett took second (24.45), with Mount Kelly’s Alessandro Burdisso third (24.49).

Mount Kelly’s Niamh Robinson reached the women’s 200m breaststroke A final where she finished ninth in 2:29.12. In the B final, Leander’s Lana Broekhoven finished third and claimed junior gold in a PB and Dutch record time of 2:29.04.

Athena Clayson of Mount Kelly reached the women’s 100m backstroke final, where she clocked 1:00.74. Team-mate Katelyn Bergin finished third in the B final in 1:01.13, while Leander’s Tegan Drew clocked 1:01.80 in ninth.

Mount Kelly’s Robbie Jones made the men’s 400m IM A final, while team-mate Ben Harrison reach the B final. Mount Kelly’s Harry Noble finished second in the men’s 100m backstroke B final (54.80), where Leander’s Sam Perks was sixth (55.70).

Mount Kelly took national silver in the women’s 4x100m freestyle relay in 3:43.97, which broke their club record by seven seconds. Macy Lawrence, Clayson, Georgina Dennis and Haimes made up their team.

The Leander team of Valsecchi, Freddy Clampett, Reid Jones and Adam Davies took the England silver medal in the men’s 4x100m freestyle relay in 3:19.58, while Mount Kelly took first and second place in the new challenge68 relays.

Challenge68 is a mixed relay race where teams of four from the same club with a combined age of up to 68 years compete to win cash. Each race began with the backstroke but the order of the next three legs was drawn at random after teams had already confirmed their line-ups.

Athena Clayson, Alessandro Burdisso, Macy Lawrence and Sam Dailley pocketed £400 after winning the 200m race which was the final exciting event of the championships.

The quartet clocked 1:52.14 to finish ahead of their team-mates, Mount Kelly B, who finished in 1:54.09.

It proved to be a profitable evening for the Mount Kelly B team of Alex Mason, Ben Harrison, Emily Haimes and Georgina Dennis as they collected £320 for second place on top of the £140 they had already won for finishing first in the heats.

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