The South Lincs swimmers were in action over the weekend of the 22nd and 23rd January for the first weekend of Lincolnshire County Championships. The opening events contested were the 800m and 1500m freestyle at Grantham and the swimmers produced a host of excellent results.
Matteo Monaco got the team off to a flying start as he romped to victory in the boys 13 years age group of the 800m freestyle. Maintaining a good rhythm throughout the swim Matteo touched the wall in a new personal best time and broke the ten minute barrier for the first occasion with a time of 9.59.35. Matteo went on to the distance freestyle double as he followed up his win in the 800m event, with a further gold in the 1500m freestyle on the Sunday. A determined race saw Matteo smash his personal best time and finish with a new best time of 18.44.89. Not only did Matteo win his age group in both events, he took silver for both swims in the boy’s junior championship – the second fastest swimmer aged fourteen and under.
Oscar Goldsmith did the distance freestyle double as well over the weekend as he swept to gold in both the 800m and 1500m freestyle. Oscar swam both his events well out in front of the rest of his heat and was racing the clock for the best time possible. In the 800 freestyle, his time of 9.10.57 was a new club record as well as a personal best time and in the 1500m freestyle an excellent swim saw Oscar touch home in 17.39.33. Oscar took gold in the boy’s 14 years age group and won both events in the boy’s junior championship.
In the boy’s 15 years age group it was a South Lincs clean sweep of the medals in the 800m freestyle. All three South Lincs swimmers set new personal best times on their way to the podium. Gold went to Alfie Bisby in a time of 9.09.02, Alex Sadler took the silver medal in a time of 9.13.50 and Oliver Sorrell took the bronze medal in a time of 9.21.49. It was a similar story in the 1500m freestyle event on the following day with all three boys back on the podium in new personal best times it was only the order that changed. Alex Sadler took the gold medal on this occasion with a time of 17.27.71 and also finished third in the men’s senior championship. Alfie Bisby added the silver medal to the club haul with a time of 17.34.06 and once again Oliver Sorrell took bronze in a time of 17.49.87.
Rico Bringeman was the third South Lincs swimmer to do the double and win both the 800m and 1500m freestyle. In two very solid swims, Rico found himself out in front of the rest of the field and was in a race against the clock. In the shorter 800m event, Rico set a new personal best time and club record of 8.45.87. In the longer 1500m event Rico was marginally outside of his best as he touched home in a convincing winning time of 16.59.83. Rico took gold in both the boys 16 years and over age group and the men’s senior championship. Rico was joined on the podium in the 800m freestyle by Luke Blanchard who took the bronze medal in a personal best time of 9.05.00.
The girls were not to be outdone as they bought home a wealth of medals for the club. Daniela Bringeman took a brace of bronze medals as she took third place in both events in the girls 15 years age group. Daniela swam an excellent 800m freestyle to post a new personal best time of 10.23.54. Lillie Hamilton made it a podium finish in the girls 14 years age group of the 1500 freestyle. Lillie swam an excellent race to lower her personal best time by almost one minute. Lillie touched the wall in a new personal best time of 19.54.97 to take the bronze medal in her age group and for good measure took bronze in the girl’s junior championship.
Mollie Briggs was also in action over the weekend and took bronze in the girls 16 years and over age group of the 1500 freestyle. Mollie put in a tremendous effort having only just recovered from Covid, which has caused a lot of disruption to her training programme. Mollie finished in a time of 18.26.58 to take her podium finish.
Emma Croker turned her hand to some distance freestyle swimming rather than her preferred sprint events. Emma swam an excellent 800m freestyle to set a new personal best and club record of 9.09.66 that saw her take both gold in the girls 16 years and over age group and also win the ladies senior championship title. With Emma’s win in the 800m freestyle, the South Lincs swimmers finished the weekend having won eighteen medals, comprised of 9 gold, 2 silver and 7 bronze.
Head Coach Keith Haynes said ‘the swimmers have got County Championships off to a great start for South Lincs. We are aiming to better our medal haul from 2020 and this weekend has been very positive. I’m excited to see how are swimmers get on in the coming weekends of County Championships.’