Region’s swimmers enjoy success at British Championships in Sheffield

SWIMMERS from Plymouth Leander, Mount Kelly and Dartmoor Darts impressed at the recent British Championships in Sheffield.

The championships at Ponds Forge were doubling as trials for all the major international senior and junior competitions this year and all the region’s clubs will be hoping for some representative honours later in the year.

Plymouth Leander’s Adam Chillingworth produced a sensational swim to win silver in the men’s 200m breaststroke event. He was only beaten by Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth Games medallist James Wilby.

Chillingworth set a new PB of 2:12.17 to make the podium. He also set a new PB of 1:01.95 to finish fifth in stacked 100m breaststroke final, which was won by double Olympic champion and world record holder Adam Peaty.

His Leander team-mate Tom Beeley came agonisingly close to also making the podium in the 200m butterfly event.

Beeley smashed his PB to clocked 1:58.60, which was just 0.36 of a second outside Scotland’s consideration time for the Commonwealth Games.

He also finished third in the B final of the 100m butterfly with a 54.48 second swim.

Leander’s Beatrice Varley reached two A finals – the 400m IM and the 400m freestyle. She came seventh in the 400m freestyle with a 4:18.39 swim and finished eighth in the 400m IM in 4:51.16.

Mount Kelly junior Leah Whittaker made the A final of the women’s 50m back, finishing an impressive fifth in a strong field with a 28.77 swim. She was the youngest in the final by three years.

Whittaker also enjoyed success in winning the junior 50m butterfly final in 28.04 seconds.

Team-mate Erin Little enjoyed a tremendous championships, reaching three B finals and a junior final.

Little took third in the 50m freestyle final in 25.83 seconds, came fourth in the 200m freestyle B final (2:01.72) and fifth in 100m freestyle final (56.08). She was also fifth the junior 50m butterfly final.

Leander’s Sophie Freeman enjoyed victory in the women’s 200m B butterfly final. She clocked 2:13.82 with a strong swim.

Her former Leander team-mate Laura Stephens, who has now moved to the Loughborough National Centre after competing at last year’s Olympic Games, won the A final in 2:08.11. University of Plymouth graduate Stephens also won the 100m butterfly final.

There was a B final victory for Mount Kelly’s Calvin Fry in the 50m freestyle. He clocked a quick 22.78 seconds, beating Olympian Jacob Whittle to the touch, and Fry looked like he could go even faster.

Former Leander swimmer Ben Proud, who was competing in Sheffield unrested and unshaved, took second in the A 50m freestyle final behind Lewis Burras in 21.91, but Proud did win the 50m butterfly final in a world-leading time of 23.09 seconds

In the junior 50m freestyle final, Leander’s Aiden Symons-Brown took victory in 23.47 seconds, just ahead of Mount Kelly’s Harry Robinson (23.66).

Mount Kelly’s Blythe Kinsman took silver in the women’s 50m backstroke B final in 29.34. She also reached the Priority Paris final in the women’s 50m butterfly, which was won by her team-mate Hollie Willows and also included Leander’s Sophie Freeman.

Willows enjoyed a great championships, reaching one B final, two Priority Paris finals and winning three junior finals.

She came fifth in the women’s B 200m IM in 2:19.75, won the Priority Paris 50m butterfly (27.33) and won the junior 200m freestyle (2:02.89), 50m freestyle (26.14) and the 100m freestyle (56.50).

Another junior to reach a B final was Dartmoor Darts’ Cameron Williams. He made the top 16 in the highly-competitive 100m breaststroke event, clocking 1:03.43. He finished as second junior.

Williams also reached the Priority Paris final in the 50m breaststroke, clocking 29.08 seconds and finishing as third junior overall.

There was a B final appearance for Leander’s Charlie-Joe Hallett in the same event, clocking 28.51 to finish sixth. Mount Kelly’s Ronny Hallett reached the junior 50m breaststroke final.

In the women’s 50m breaststroke, Mount Kelly’s Amelia Riggott reached the B final, finishing sixth in 32.77.

Leander’s Ellie Kennington came second in the junior women’s 50m breaststroke in 33.23. Mount Kelly’s Chloe Skelt and Jasmine D’Cunha also reached that junior final.

Mount Kelly’s Matthew Ward was another swimmer to have a great championships. He claimed four top three placings in Priority Paris finals. He came second in the 50m backstroke (26.09), second in the 100m backstroke (56.22), third in the 200m backstroke (2:04.22), third in the 200m IM (2:06.97) and seventh in the 400m IM (4:35.49) Priority Paris finals.

Leander’s long distance specialist Thomas Trebilcock enjoyed a good meeting. He won the 400m Priority Paris final (3:58.45) and came 10th overall in both the 800m (8:18.15) and 1,500m (15.59.41).

Club colleague, Evangeline Belt, who is still a junior, came 13th overall in the women’s 1,500m (17:33.19) and 23rd in the 800m (9:14.55). She also reached the junior 400m final, finishing sixth in 4:29.04 and the junior 400m IM final, where she came fourth in 5:04.89.

Dartmoor Darts’ Fritz Dietz reached the Priority Paris final in the men’s 50m backstroke, where he came fourth in 26.16 seconds.

There were also Priority Paris finals for Mount Kelly’s Imogen Lambert (4th, 400m IM, 4:59.78), Sam van der Stroom (5th, 200m breaststroke, 2:20.03) and Jacob Armon (7th, 50m butterfly, 25.26) and Leander’s Aimee Brownridge (7th, 200m butterfly, 2:19.03).

There were top three junior final placings for Leander’s James Hart (3rd, 200m butterfly, 2:06.71) and Mount Kelly’s Josephine Klein (3rd, 50m freestyle, 26.59), while Leander’s Elijiah Kendrick and Evie Floate and Mount Kelly’s Arun Oelkers, Donates Dragasius and Fergus Thomson were also among the junior finalists at Ponds Forge.

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