13th January 2015

A small team of a dozen aspiring Atlantis swimmers took the opportunity of Level 1 long course competition at the Portsmouth Northsea New Year Open Meet as part of their build-up towards the Sussex County Championships which commence at the end of February.

Head Coach Bill Penny`s aim was to get racing experience for his young charges in a 50 metre pool as this year`s Championships will be held in this format and he was rewarded with some outstanding performances in spite of reduced training due to the closure of the Horsham pool for repairs.

The team totalled 24 medals including 10 golds and recorded 20 SE Regional qualifying times and a multitude of County times. Eleven year old Rebecca Barber scooped 8 golds and a Silver from her 9 event programme, all in Regional qualifying times, and she was well supported by her club mates Ethel Whyman (3 silvers 2 bronzes) and Ellie Smith (2 bronzes) as this trio dominated their age group.

Our younger boys also performed well with Michael Pallister(10) prominent with silver and bronze in the 1500 and 400 free events, Kian Cooke (3rd 400 free) and Jacob Davis who emulated his big sister with a 100 breaststroke bronze. Toby van der Hut secured 3 top 10 finishes and gained some valuable race experience.

Junior club captain Lily Davis (15) clipped 2 seconds from her 200 metre breaststroke pb when clocking 2.43.62, which may well earn her a start at this year`s Nationals and then spreadeagled the 100 breaststroke field to take gold with a fast 1.14.95. Beth Britton was ill and had to withdraw on the first day but returned a fast 61.75 100 free and took silver in the 200 back on Sunday.

Club captain Andrew Kershaw(16) swam to gold in his 100 back as well as top 10 finishes in the 400 free and 400 IM. His 16 year old teammates Cavan Murphy with a fast 100 free pb of 56.46 for 4th and George Charter 4th 1500 in 18.17.31 both just missed a podium place but swam solidly throughout their programmes which will improve their prospects for Counties. Our older swimmers have suffered most through the pool closure which has greatly curtailed training time but Bill is hopeful if the Pavillions is reopened on schedule the coaching staff will have time to get them back on track.