Wells Swimming Club hosted another fantastic 2 day swimming meet over the first weekend of April with clubs attending from all over the south of England and Wales. Almost 500 swimmers and their families visited Millfield School for the event which was kindly sponsored by several local companies including Bovis Homes, Crest Nicholson plc and Nigel Marks Accountancy.
The Wells team was a full one with a number of younger swimmers competing for the first time. There were numerous personal bests (too many to count!), County qualification times, Regional qualification times and medals galore including 18 golds, 11 silvers, 11 bronze and 19 4th-6th place medals.
Cameron Taylor was on great form all weekend, winning 10 golds in 50m, 100m, 200m and 400m freestyle, 100m breaststroke, 50m and 100m butterfly, 50m backstroke, 200m and 400m medleys and 1 bronze medal in the 50m breaststroke. His brother Lachlan achieved gold in the 50m breaststroke, 4 silver medals in 100m and 200m breaststroke, 50m and 400m freestyle and a 5th place medal in the 100m freestyle.
Max Banwell won 3 bronzes (50m backstroke, 100m breaststroke, 50m freestyle), a 4th place medal in the 100m backstroke and 5th in the 50m breaststroke. His sister Maisie was one of the top girls from Wells, winning 4 gold and 1 bronze in the 200m IM, 100m and 200m backstroke, 100m freestyle and 50m backstroke respectively.
Imogen Smith aged 12 proved she is a swimmer to watch with some huge personal bests in her races and winning 2 golds (50m freestyle and 200m breaststroke), 3 silvers (100m breaststroke, 100m and 200m backstroke), 1 bronze (50m butterfly) and 3 place medals (200m IM, 50m breaststroke, 50m backstroke). Elizabeth Chambers added to her silver in the 400IM with a 5th place in the 400m freestyle and 200m freestyle and 6th in the 200m breaststroke.
In the older age groups, Eloise Yeadon Caiger, who has been such a strong Wells swimmer for many years, battled hard to win silver in the 100m butterfly and bronze in the 50m freestyle. Ethan Wright aged 14 was swimming only his second meet and won silver medals in both his events, the 100m backstroke and 100m freestyle. Max Gittens took bronze in the 200m backstroke and narrowly missed dipping under 30 seconds for the 50m freestyle by 0.01 seconds! Poppy McGhee took bronze in the 50m breaststroke, one of her favourite events.
One of the new swimmers for Wells is Pippa Kane aged 9. She is also one to watch, taking bronze in the 50m breaststroke. Another breaststroke medallist was Ailsa Richardson who won 4th in the 100m and 6th in the 200m. She finished her weekend with an enormous pb and another medal in the 50m butterfly.
Evelyn Wigley swam a strong debut 400m freestyle to take a bronze and Jack Freeman attacked the gruelling 200m butterfly to be rewarded with a gold medal! He also won place medals for his 5th in the 400m IM and 200m backstroke. Tom Maitland-Smith swam a variety of events too, taking gold in the 100m breaststroke, 4th in 50m breaststroke, 5th in 200m breaststroke and 50m butterfly. Theo Truan-Thatcher swam well winning bronze in 50m and 100m butterfly, 5th in 200m IM and 6th in 100m backstroke. Unfortunately his brother Declan has again been suffering from ill health and was unable to compete and the team missed him – both in the pool and in the supporters gallery!
Head Coach Miles Denyer was delighted with all the swimming from the Wells team and especially glad to see so many new swimmers competing. The camaraderie amongst the swimmers and genuine delight and excitement to be taking part was infectious!
Wells Swimming Club would like to thank all the volunteers who helped out over the weekend to make the event run so smoothly and also all those who donated raffle prizes and easter eggs for the tombola. Finally a huge thank you to the sponsors this year – Bovis Homes for the medals, Crest Nicholson for the new Wells team hats and Nigel Marks for the programme. The club is already starting to plan for the next meet and would be delighted to hear from anybody who would like to get involved – swimming, coaching, fundraising or organising events!