Region’s swimmers impress at South West Winter Championships at Millfield

THERE was plenty of success for the region’s swimmers at the South West Winter Championships at Millfield School at the weekend.

Plymouth Leander’s world para-swimming champion and world record holder Reece Dunn was among the big names competing.

Dunn, who only finished his long-course season in mid-September, shared the men’s open 100m freestyle gold at the weekend with his Leander team-mate Freddy Clampett. Both clocked 50.81 seconds.

Adam Chillingworth led the way for Leander in the senior races. He picked up two golds, one silver and a bronze medal. He won the 100m and 200m breaststroke titles in 1:00.35 and 2:08.91, respectively. His silver came in the 50m breaststroke (28.32) and his bronze was picked up in the 200m IM (2:03.57).

Chillingworth was the only person to beat Dartmoor Darts’ highly-rated Great Britain junior international Cameron Williams in the 100m breaststroke. Williams, 15, was second and first junior in that event.

Mount Kelly College newcomer Leah Whittaker was another junior to impress. Whittaker, at just 14, won two senior titles and a bronze medal on her South West debut. Her overall gold medals came in the 50m freestyle and 50m backstroke events. She clocked 25.82 seconds to win the freestyle and 28.10 in the backstroke, while she was third and first under-16 in the 50m butterfly (27.85).

Another Mount Kelly 14-year-old, Erin Little, also became a senior champion. She took overall gold in the 100m freestyle in 56.32 seconds. In addition, she was second behind Whittaker in the 50m freestyle (25.92) and came third in the 15 and under 800m, which was won by Leander’s Great Britain junior international Sophie Freeman.

Freeman also took the senior and junior titles in the 200m butterfly, which she won by three seconds in 2:12.35.

Leander team-mate Tom Beeley claimed five medals at Millfield. The Plymouth University student won the 200m butterfly (1:59.59), took silvers in the 50m backstroke (25.67) and 100m backstroke (56.05) and bronzes in the 50m butterfly (24.78) and 100m butterfly (54.39).

Young team-mate Sam Perks claimed two overall titles. The 17-year-old won the 50m and 100m backstroke events in 25.37 and 55.83 seconds, respectively.

Among Leander’s other open gold medallist were Edoardo Valsecchi (50m butterfly, 23.90), youngster Nicole Ricci (400m freestyle, 4:17.54), Great Britain international Tom Fannon (50m freestyle, 22.03) and Roman Scherer (50m breaststroke, 28.01).

Mount Kelly’s Robbie Jones picked up a medal of each colour, winning the men’s 100m IM (57.09), taking silver in the 200m IM (2:03.48) and claiming bronze in the 400m IM (4:27.72).

Kelly team-mate Katelyn Bergin took open gold in the 100m butterfly (1:00.95) and also won silvers in the 50m backstroke (28.48) and 100m backstroke (1:00.17).

Leander’s Greta Kolbeck ended up with four open medals. She collected silvers in the 400m IM (4:53.51) and 400m freestyle (4:19.63), where she shared the second spot on the podium with Mount Kelly’s Sophie Main, who also clocked 4:19.63). Kolbeck took bronzes in the open 200m freestyle (2:01.12) and 200m butterfly (2:17.37).

Dartmoor Darts’ head coach Henry Matthews, uncle of 100m breaststroke star Cameron Williams, took silver in the 50m butterfly (24.53), while fellow Darts swimmer Hollie Steer won bronze in the 200m breaststroke (2:33.79).

There were also open silver medals for Leander’s Clampett (200m butterfly, 2:01.49), Liam Davis (200m breaststroke, 2:18.18), Valsecchi (100m butterfly, 53.70) and Reid Jones (50m freestyle, 22.89). Jones also won a senior bronze in the 100m freestyle (50.87), while there were also open bronze medals for fellow Plymouth swimmers Lana Broekhoven (400m IM), Jadon Wuilliez (50m breaststroke)and Daniel Esmeralda Rivas (100m IM). Hubert Gdaniec won the 15 and under 400m IM.

Mount Kelly’s Macy Lawrence took overall silver in the 100m freestyle (56.78), while 16-year-old colleague Hazal Ozkan took second in the 200m breaststroke (2:32.63) and won open bronzes in the 100m IM and 100m breaststroke. Another Mount Kelly pupil Ethan Hansen was third and first under-18 in the 200m butterfly (2:01.66).

There were multi-class medals for Leander’s Dunn, Mount Kelly’s Sebastian Williams and Devonport Royal’s Xander Harris and Abigail Daly, who was top scoring female para-swimmer.

Devonport’s Finley Bowden just missed out on a medal in the 50m butterfly, where he came fourth. He was also fifth in the 100m IM final. Team-mate Luke Crofts also reached two A finals, while he, Aiden Symons-Brown and Nathan Greenwood were B finalists.

Dinnaton’s Jasmine D’Cunha showed her tremendous talent by reaching the senior final at just 13-years-old in the 50m breaststroke, while Caradon’s Jackson Spry was a B finalist.

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