2019 SWIM ENGLAND NATIONAL COUNTY TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS, DIV 1 & 2
The annual County Team Championships took place in Sheffield today, where more than 1100 swimmers representing 37 counties across 2 divisions raced for titles and team honors. 20 counties challenged for the Division 1 title, while 17 battled for the Division 2 trophy.
Individual events were contested over age groupings of 12/13, 14/15 and 16/17. The 100m distance of each stroke was included in the meet program, with one swimmer competing from each county in each age group.
Additionally, squads raced in the 4x50m medley relay and mixed 6x50m freestyle relay. Points were distributed as 20 for 1st place, 19 for 2nd, 18 for 3rd, etc., with 20th place earning 1 point.
The final competition results determine where county teams compete in this same tournament the following year, with the bottom four teams from Division 1 moved to Division 2 for next year. Conversely, the top 4 from Division 2 get upgraded to Division 1’s competition.
Division 2 Highlights
Taking the Division 2 title for the 3rd time in its history, Swim Wales West stood atop the podium with a total of 466 points. Head Coach Matt Williams said of the team victory, “It feels amazing to be the winners. The skill level among all the swimmers was really high.
“We are extremely happy to be going up to Division One.”
Joining Swim Wales West in moving up to Division 1 for 2020 will be Worcestershire, Cambridgeshire, and Leicestershire.
|1.||Swim Wales W||466|
Among the Welsh West winners was Medi Harris, the 2019 European Junior Championships swimmer who took the girls 16/17 years 100m backstroke in a time of 1:01.32 after having taken silver in the 100m freestyle earlier in a mark of 57.34. That fell just .06 shy of winner Sacha Adams‘ winning result of 57.28 for Norfolk.
The boys 14/15 200m medley relay foursome of Max Elkin, Aneurin Davies, Antonio Rodriguez and Dylan Morgan surged to the top of the podium for Swim Wales West as well, clocking a winning effort of 1:49.02. Splits for the young men included 27.96 for Elkin, 30.48 for Davies, 26.21 for Rodriguez and 24.36 for Morgan.
Additional individual winners from Swim Wales West included Rhys Edwards snagging gold in the boys 16/17 100m fly in 56.00, while Chloe Pritchard got her hand on the wall first for the 14/15 girls 100m back in 1:04.54.
Of note, Leicestershire’s William Bell put up strong performances in the 100m free (51.93) and 100m breast (1:03.64) in the boys’ 16/17 category, while Michael Klimaszewski of SE Herts got it done in the boys 14/15 100m free (52.58) and 100m fly (55.15).
Division 1 Highlights
Devon earned its first-ever National County Team Championships trophy to end Yorkshire’s 3-year reign. Devon finished 2nd in 2017 and in 3rd place last year before finally climbing to the top this time around in a total of 469 points.
Runner-up status went to Northcumberland & Durham, while 3rd place went to Kent in 438 points.
|2.||N & Durham||439|
Devon coach Glenn Currie said of the victory, “We love this event – it’s awesome and a great bonding event for us.
“We come here and we have some fun. We try and race hard from the start of the season and it’s just a great experience for us all.
“We’ve tried a yo-yo team over the last few years and we’ve thought about how we can strengthen our team and its really paid off.
“Winning for me personally is a great result. We said in our team meeting last night that we should just go have some fun, race hard and it’s worked.”
Finishing in the final 4 slots of Division 1 and thus being relegated to Division 2 for next year were Cheshire, Derbyshire, Northants, and Shropshire.
European Junior Championships silver medalist in the 200m back, Honey Osrin, got Devon off to a good start by taking the girls 16/17 gold in the 100m back event. Stopping the clock in 1:01.47, the outing represented 1 of 2 golds for the teen, with the 2nd victory coming in the medley relay.
Teamed up with Lucia Grant (32.44), Olivia Marshall (27.67) and Macy Lawrence (25.70), Osrin led-off the squad in 28.87 to help collectively clock a winning effort of 1:54.68 for major points.
Devon also racked up points courtesy of Cameron Williams, with the athlete taking the boys 14-15 title in the 100m breaststroke, reaping gold in 1:04.14.
The boys 16/17 200m medley relay squad of Ra’Ez Warley, Filippo Coacci, Samuel Perks and Reid Jones also topped the podium, with the team hitting the wall in a time of 1:43.36.
The fastest 14-year-old 100m freestyler (LCM) ever was in the water, as Derventio Excel’s Jacob Whittle (now 15) dove in for Derbyshire. The teen fired off a winning effort of 50.21 to take the boys 14/15 100m free, while also collecting bronze in the age group’s 100m fly race in 57.62.
Winning the boys 14/15 100 fly was Samuel Tucker of Berks & SBucks, putting up a gold medal-worthy mark of 56.55, while Devon’s James Hart touched just .10 behind in 56.54.
Whittle was also a member of Derbyshire’s 200m medley relay, firing off the fastest 50m fly split of the entire field in 25.15 before the squad was ultimately disqualified.