22nd February 2011

Atlantis Senior Girls’ Club Captain Katy Harris (17) capped a fine weekend for the Club on Sunday by winning the 100m backstroke Open Championship and being crowned an overall County Champion for the first time. 

Katy - competing in her 8th County Championships - stormed through the heats in a national qualifying time of 1.04.50, just pipping to the touch her great friend and rival Vicky Turner of Hastings - 4 secs ahead of the rest of the field.  In the final Katy controlled the race from start to finish and ended up a deserved champion.  Katy had given an early indication of her form on Saturday by going under 1 min for the first time in the 100m free in a confident and committed swim.

Katy’s duel with Vicky Turner was just one of a number of exciting and epic contests involving Atlantis swimmers.

Junior Girls‘Club Captain Issy Dunlop came within a fingertip of taking two County Open Championship titles in 100m and 200m breast.  In the 100m breast she was comfortably fastest in the heats and won the final of the 15 and over age group, with team-mate Bex Lobley taking second place.  In the Open Final she went head to head with Frederica Williamson of Crawley, the top seed in this event.  From the start the two swimmers matched each other stroke for stroke with Frederica just taking the touch in a time of 1.14.49, from Issy, who finished in a personal best time of 1.14.76.

The two girls’ struggle in the 200m was - if possible - even closer, with Frederica going off like a rocket at the start and establishing an early lead.  Issy gradually pegged her back and it all came down once again to the final touch, with Frederica taking it in 2.40.72 to 2.40.89, with Issy having to settle for the runners up slot and another personal best.

Ella Windle (12) who has struggled for form in recent months, rediscovered it magnificently in a wonderful weekend of racing for her; she had to settle for second place behind Emma Eades of Crawley in the 100m breast, but recorded a 2 sec PB.  In the 200m breast she took her revenge on Emma; in a titanic struggle in adjoining lanes she finished ahead in a big PB of 2.57.66.  She also recorded wins in 400m and 200m free.  Jade Stocker (12) - who is coming back from a long-term injury - showed real guts and determination to take 3rd place in 100m breast in 1.24.97 and to finish first in the 200m fly.

Kate Windle (10) dominated proceedings in her age group and demonstrated her all-round excellence, securing firsts in 50m breast, 200m free, 400m free, 50m fly, 200m fly and 200m breast - where her time of 3.05.82 ranks her number one for her age in this event in England.  In the 11 year-old age group, Beth Britton was rarely out of the top three with particularly strong swims in the 100m free in a great time of 1.04.48, and winning the 100m back.

Also catching the eye for the girls were performances from Lauren Pedel, Jess Matlock, Maddie Carey, Tegan Jenkins, Eleanor Morris, Chloe Wheatland, Issy Harrod, Leah Clarke and Issy Davis, many competing for Atlantis for the first time at counties and making it into finals.

For the boys, Senior Boys’ Club Captain Cam Lambourne (15) showed a real turn of speed to record a new PB of 24.76 in the 50 free.  He improved on this with a time of 24.62 in the Open Final to finish in third.  He also showed his versatility winning his age group in the 200m IM and finishing 3rd in the Open final.  Also showing up well were Matt Fulcher, Edward Hundleby, George Boyle and Joe Harrod who all made finals, with Joe Harrod placing 3rd in his age group for both 100 and 200 fly.  Amongst the younger boys, Ben Stevens and Joe Nehme were making their county debuts and both recorded creditable PBs.

The Atlantis under 16 boys 200m IM relay team of Cam Lambourne, Sam Carter, Matt Fulcher and Duncan Smith finished the weekend with a flourish, taking second place in the final after Shiverers were DQd for mistakenly entering an overage swimmer.

Head Coach Bill Penny reflecting on the results said:  “I am delighted with the way Atlantis swimmers performed across the board.  Our swimmers – many of them appearing at Counties for the first time – weren’t just turning up, they were making finals in numbers.  It is a mark of how far the Club has progressed that it was not unusual to see 3 or 4 Atlantis swimmers in a single final.  I’m very encouraged”.