Exmouth swimmers excel at County Championships
PUBLISHED: 10:08 20 February 2019
It was fitting that in the club’s 125th anniversary year, Exmouth Swimming and Life Saving Society (Exmouth S&LSS) were well represented at the recent Devon County ASA Championships.
Nine swimmers achieved qualifying times for 25 events at the annual championships, which were held at the Life Centre in Plymouth.
The event was an opportunity for the swimmers to test themselves against the best of Devon in their age groups. There was a bronze medal for Joshua Smith in the 200m butterfly, whilst James Griffin made it through to the final of the 50m fly final in the 15 years age group, setting a new personal best in the process.
Another finalist was Joseph Bollington, who made it through to the last eight of the 100m backstroke and was unlucky not to have made the podium. There were six girls competing from Exmouth. Grace Gillingham displayed her all-round ability by qualifying for nine events and setting a new personal best time in the 200m individual medley.
The club was well represented in the girls’ breaststroke, with Sophie Raven and Megan Harris joining Grace in the 50m and 100m breaststroke events.
This was the first time at County Championships for both Megan and Sophie, and they swam really well, with Megan getting a personal best in the 50m breaststroke.
Clara Woodhead joined the girls for the 100m breaststroke, and also swam the 200m breaststroke. Another couple of girls who were competing at County Championships for the first time were Lily Allen and Jessie Cooper.
Backstroke specialist Lily qualified for the 50m and 100m in her favoured event and was unlucky to miss out on the 100m backstroke final. Jessie, age 10, was the youngest of the Exmouth swimmers and left the championships with a great deal of credit after competing in the energy sapping 200m butterfly.
The swimmers are grateful for the training and encouragement from head coach David Hill, and the next focus for some will be pushing towards regional qualifying times.
The efforts of the swimmers were also a proud moment for Exmouth S&LSS life member Jane Easton, who was there to witness the swimmers in her role as Devon County ASA president.