Sevenoaks Swimming Club was represented this year at the Swim England National Summer Meet (31st July- 4th August) by 12 of its swimmers ranging from 12 to 17 years old.
The Summer Meet forms part of a swimming competition structure in Great Britain whereby the 24 top ranked swimmers in each event are invited to compete at the British Swimming Summer Championships held between 23rd-28th July.
The next ranked 20 swimmers at Swim England affiliated clubs – or those who have chosen to be ranked as an English swimmer – are invited to compete at the Swim England National Summer Meet.
Qualification is often fiercely fought by swimmers around the country and the rankings are on swimmers’ performances at level 1 meets between a qualification window, typically between March and May of the same calendar year.
Sevenoaks kicked off day one of the Swim England National Summer Meet with 16 year old Oliver Coote competing in the 100m breaststroke. This was closely followed by Zachary Raymond in the 50m freestyle. Both boys raced well and placed 18th.
Eva Okaro racing first in the 100m breaststroke came in a strong 13th. She then followed on with an even stronger 200m freestyle with a personal best (PB) of 2.12.87 making finals that evening and concluding day one with another PB of 2.10.55 and an impressive 4th place.
Day two saw U15’s Zachary Raymond competing in the 200m freestyle, he swam a very good 2.01.66 to place him 6th into the final that evening, Lilie Chambers in the 50m freestyle with a 28.01 was also 6th place into her final. Euan Terry in the 100m butterfly with a 1.01.92 came in 16th and a lovely 58.70 put U16 Aiden McMillan into 3rd place for his evening final.
With a gutsy swim and second PB for the day of 58.10s, McMillan brought home a superb and well deserved Bronze, his first English national medal.
Raymond came in 10th in his 200m freestyle final and Lilie Chambers a good 7th in a tight 50m freestyle final.
On day three, Friday, 2nd August kicked off with U17 Nathan Rodrigues and 15yr Zachary Raymond with valiant swims in their 100m freestyle heat swims, placing 14th and 18th respectively in 54.70s and 56.56s.
The boys were followed by U13 Eva Okaro racing first in the 50m backstroke with a time of 31.23 placing her first into that evenings finals and then the 200m individual medley with a time of 2.28.63. (and 4th into the evening finals).
Eva swam well bringing home a silver in the 50m backstroke in 31.32s and bringing herself up a place in the individual medley she swam it with a time of 2.26.91 to win the bronze medal. These were her first medals at the Swim England National Summer Meet 2019.
Day four, nicknamed “Super Saturday!” Saw eight swimmers from Sevenoaks Swimming Club represented in the pool. The club’s busy day kicked off with U14 Elspeth Watson making her nationals debut and coming in 18th in the 200m butterfly.
This was followed soon after by Fly boys U16 Aidan McMillan and U15 Euan Terry. A strong swim for Terry placed him 14th, with a time of 2.19.50 whilst another fabulous PB of 2.11.18 saw U16 McMillan into the final that evening in the 200m butterfly.
The busy Saturday saw debut U14 Jaedon Lynch & experienced U16 Maddy Glen racing next in the 50m breaststroke. With two strong swims, of 33.43s and 33.68s respectively, the breaststroking duo saw themselves safely into the finals too. Maddy in first place into her finals for the evening.
Next to the pool were U13 Izabella Okaro in the 100m backstroke and U15 Lilie Chambers in the 100m freestyle. Izzy missed out on a final by 0.02secs, coming in a strong 11th, with 1.09.75, whilst Lilie made her second final for the week entering into the evening 7th with a time of 1.00.50.
The morning session concluded with U16 Jasmine Wallace making her debut in the 1500m freestyle. She placed a solid 9th out of 15 swimmers in the age group in 18.32.70.
Back for the finals that evening, Lynch and Chambers finished 9th in their finals, Jaedon in a PBof 33.26 and Lilie in 1.01.01, whilst U16s McMillan and Glen both produced confident and very strong swims. McMillan was rewarded with a Bronze medal in the 200m butterfly with another two second PB of 2.09.26 and Glen a silver medal in her 50m breaststroke with a time of 34.02s.
On day five, the last day of the Swim England National Summer Meet, McMillan and Chambers were back in the pool, both in the 50m butterfly. This was their third event of the meet. Chambers came in a respectable 14th in 30.40, whilst McMillan sailed through to the finals with another PB of 26.76s in 3rd place, he fought an amazing battle to PB yet again with a time of 26.46s and came in 4th.
Aiden McMillan, with his three events, swam six times and was impressive with six PB’s over the meet.
Concluding the season, Head Coach Keiron Piper commented that he could not be prouder of all his athletes racing at the British Summer Championships 2019 in Glasgow at the end of July and all those at the recent Swim England National Summer Meet in Sheffield.
Thanking all coaches, parents and volunteers at the club, he was proud of all his swimmers: “They all stepped up, be it a PB or final, but have all learnt something from the experience to build on next season. Its been a great year, but we have more to do!”