Over the weekend of the 12th to the 14th November, a team of thirty-three South Lincs swimmers competed at the City of Leicester Open Meet.
The swimmers had one of their most successful competitions, claiming a total of 125 medals whilst not only setting numerous personal best times, but smashing nineteen club records, some of which had stood for over twenty years.
The team was led by senior swimmers Rico Bringeman, Ellisha Cookson and Emma Croker, who between them claimed fifteen new club records. Rico Bringeman produced outstanding performances in some of the toughest events in the pool. Rico claimed gold medals in the demanding 200m butterfly in a new personal best time and all time club record of 2.05.88 and matched this achievement over half the distance in the 100m butterfly with a time of 57.93 seconds. Rico also set a new all-time club record in the 200m freestyle in a big new personal best time of 1.55.35, which was inside the qualifying standard for National Winter Championships in this event.
Ellisha Cookson also had a record breaking weekend in the breaststroke events. Ellisha smashed her own records across all the distances starting with the 50m breaststroke where she claimed the gold medal in a new best time of 33.40 seconds. The 100m breaststroke gave Ellisha the opportunity to do the double, as she claimed another gold, in a brilliant swim of 1.11.25 to set her second all-time club record. The final day of competition saw Ellisha take on the 200m breaststroke, a controlled start allowed Ellisha to bring the race home strongly to claim a silver medal this time, but in another all-time club record of 2.38.49. For good measure Ellisha also set new personal best times in both the 200m and 400m individual medley events and claimed silver medals in each of these swims.
Emma Croker collected six gold medals from six swims over the course of the weekend. Emma’s all time club record came in her first event of the competition, the 50m butterfly. Emma was pushed hard through the race, but took the touch in a new best time of 28.95 seconds. Emma then turned her attention to her favoured freestyle events and saw her dominate the 50m, 100m and 200m distances. Emma set new personal best times in all three events on her way to gold, in the 50m freestyle she touched home in a time of 26.41 seconds. In the 100m freestyle Emma broke the fifty-seven second barrier for the first time to stop the clock in 56.91 seconds. In the 200m freestyle Emma lowered her personal best by almost a second to finish in 2.03.06.
It wasn’t only the senior swimmers who turned in impressive performances. In the 10 years age group both Kitty Lamb and Charlie Bisby made their mark. Kitty Lamb finished the meet having collected nine gold medals and two silver medals. Kitty collected her medals across a range of distances and strokes, but made significant drops in her 200m events. Kitty topped the podium in the 200m individual medley, the 200m backstroke and the 200m breaststroke. However, it was in the 100m breaststroke that Kitty really shone. Taking the race out fast Kitty touched the wall in a time of 1.32.91 to set a new club record in her age group on her way to yet another gold medal.
Charlie Bisby also collected nine gold medals from nine races. Charlie also collected his medals across a wide range of strokes, including his preferred freestyle events and his less preferred butterfly events. Charlie’s outstanding swim came in the 200m backstroke where he lowered his personal best time by more than twenty seconds to touch the wall in a new personal best time of 2.54.44.
Isobel Gosling marked a return to her very best form at the meet. Isobel struck gold in the girls 200m butterfly in the girls 13/14 years age group in a new personal best time of 2.37.59. Isobel went into the junior final as the fastest qualifier with her result from the heats and didn’t disappoint as she swam strongly in the second half of the race to overpower all other contenders and claim a second gold medal for this event. Isobel added to her personal haul by collecting silver in the 400m freestyle and a bronze medal in the 50m butterfly in her age group.
Alfie Bisby was on gold medal winning form over the weekend as he claimed top spot in the boys 13/14 years age group in the 200m backstroke in a new personal best time of 2.22.76. Alfie made it a double gold by winning his age group 400m individual medley. Alfie’s swim was also another club age group record and a new personal best time of 5.07.49. Alfie also set another club age group record in the boys 13 years age group as he took silver medal in the 200m freestyle in his age group in yet another personal best time of 2.07.90.
Another swimmer topping the podium was twelve year old Sigourney Bolton. In her much favoured breaststroke events Sigourney posted a new personal best time in the 100m distance taking over four seconds off her previous mark to claim her gold medal of the meet in the girls 11/12 years age group. Sigourney added to her gold medal in the 200m breaststroke by taking bronze in her age group again in a new personal best time of 3.08.66.
Oscar Goldmsith was not only a gold medallist, but also a record breaker as well. Oscar swept to victory in the boys 13/14 years age group 200m butterfly with a stunning swim of 2.25.28. This swim also saw thirteen year old Oscar qualify through to the junior final, which was for fifteen and under swimmers. Oscar was not daunted taking on swimmers several years older than himself and took the bronze medal in the final. Oscar also collected a silver medal in the ever demanding 400m individual medley and bronze medals in the 100m and 200m breaststroke in his age group.
In the girls 15/16 years age group Mollie Briggs collected medals of every colour. In another display of strength Mollie collected gold in her age group in both the 100m and 200m butterfly. Mollie achieved a place in the senior final of both events and went on to take a bronze and a further gold respectively. Mollie added a silver medal to her personal collection in the 400m freestyle in her age group as well.
Daisy Rummery had plenty to celebrate following her weekend of swimming. In the girls 17 years and over age group, Daisy swept to gold in the 200m backstroke with a new personal best time of 2.24.47 and took the fastest spot in the senior final of this event. Daisy maintained her form to win this final and claim a second gold medal. Daisy also set new personal best times in the 200m freestyle of 2.12.05 where she claimed a bronze medal and in the shorter 100m backstroke where her time of 1.07.70 saw her add silver to her kitbag.
Another up and coming backstroke swimmer is Alfie Robinson. In the boys junior final of the 200m backstroke, no one could match Alfie’s speed and determination to touch the wall in first place and he was rewarded with his gold medal of the meet. Alfie went on to make more junior finals and collect a terrific bronze in the 100m backstroke in a new personal best time of 1.04.83 and a further bronze in the final of the 200m breaststroke, again in a new personal best time of 2.42.34.
Other medallists over the weekend included Francesco Monaco, who at nine years old was the youngest swimmer at the meet. Francesco took a gold medal in the 100m backstroke in a new personal best time of 1.33.72.
Older brother Matteo Monaco collected three silver and five bronze medals over the course of the competition. Matteo’s outstanding swim was in the 200m breaststroke where he lowered his best time by more than thirteen seconds to finish in 3.05.35 in the boys 11/12 years age group.
Daniela Bringeman struck bronze in the girls 13/14 years age group 200m butterfly in a new personal best time of 2.48.85.
Hannah Bruce in the girls 11/12 years age group also took a bronze medal, however this came in the 200m freestyle, again in a new personal best time of 2.27.37.
Older brother, Thomas Bruce, is showing his potential as a sprint swimmer as he claimed bronze medals in the junior finals of the 100m freestyle and 100m butterfly, both in new personal best times of 56.46 seconds and 1.03.75 respectively.
Beatrice Finch also collected a host of medals in both her age group and the junior finals. 15 year old Beatrice took bronze in the 200m individual medley and the 200m backstroke and in a superb display of swimming took silver in the 200m freestyle in a new personal best time of 2.14.40.
Frank Lamb racked up the medals over the course of the weekend claiming four gold and eight silver’s. Frank topped the podium in the boys 11/12 years age group in the 200m individual medley, the 200m butterfly, the 200m Freestyle and the 100m butterfly. Frank took all four golds in new personal best times.
Jess O’Herlihy made it double bronze in her 100m butterfly. Jess took third spot in the girls 15/16 years age group and then went on to take bronze in the junior final of this event in a new personal best time of 1.11.65.
Alex Sadler continues to show his prowess in the butterfly events. Alex took the gold medal in the boys 13/14 years age group 100m butterfly with a new personal best of 1.04.77 and added a bronze medal in the 50m butterfly.
In the same age group, Oliver Sorrell collected a bronze medal in the 400m freestyle with a personal best time of 4.40.46.
Anya Strickland was also a bronze medal winner in the 400m freestyle with a new personal best time of 4.45.83. Anya also struck bronze in the girls 15/16 years age group 200m butterfly before repeating the achievement in the junior final of this event with another personal best time of 2.40.69.
Head Coach, Keith Haynes, commented that "the team performance at Leicester was out-standing. It is definitely one of the highlights of the last three years during which I have been Head Coach at South Lincs. It was wonderful to see so many medals won and by such a range of swimmers. Also to have so many club records broken at one meet was a real achievement. The swimmers performances thoroughly deserved to win them the top club award. They should all be very proud of their achievements."