Seven young swimmers from the Beau Sejour Barracudas Swimming Club, who achieved the qualifying times to compete at Hampshire County level, excelled last weekend. The event staged at the Mountbatten Centre, Portsmouth, saw tough opposition coming from 23 top Hampshire County Clubs.
Following on from his success the first weekend of the Championships, 11-year-old Zachary Maiden continued his winning ways. Competing in 10 events, he won a further gold, 5 silver and 4 bronze medals and produced 100% personal bests. Zachary’s first success came in the 200m Individual Medley where his mastery of all four strokes and efficient starts and turns, resulted in him posting a great time of 2.56.82 – a lifetime best by 5 seconds, crowning him Hampshire County Age Group Champion – 200IM.
In the 50m and 100m events swimmers had to compete in heats and finals and next up for Zachary, following a successful heat was the 50m freestyle final. He placed second with a time of 31.74. Further silver medals came in the 50m butterfly – 36.38, 200m freestyle – 2.37.64, 100m freestyle – 1.11.72 and 50m backstroke – 37.50.
The 200m and 100m backstroke and 100m and 50m breaststroke all earned Zachary bronze medals.
Another source of pride for the Barracudas was Cooper Robinson also competing as an 11-year-old who won 2 County medals. The first came in the 100m butterfly, where in the heats, he smashed his entered time by 12 seconds only to further improve by another 2 seconds in the final to post a new personal best of 1.32.92. Cooper then received a bronze medal, placing third in the 50m butterfly. Successful swims in the 200m freestyle, 200m breaststroke and a place in the finals in the 100m freestyle, rounded off a great weekend for Cooper.
The third medallist for the Barracudas was 12-year-old Jessica Boyle, who placed third in her preferred event, the 100m breaststroke, in a well-paced mature swim, she posted a brilliant time of 1.31.97. She also swam the 50m and 200m breaststroke, where she reached a final in the 50m and smashed her PB by 9 seconds in the 200m. She just missed the 100m freestyle final but had another super swim in the 200m freestyle with a time of 2.39.09.
In the same age group teammate Megan Carter was a credit to the Barracudas in the way she approached each of her swims. In heats and finals alike, she swam with maturity and despite an unfortunate disqualification in the 200m backstroke, which would have earned her a bronze medal, she swam on successfully with life time bests in 50m and 100m backstroke, 50m and 100m freestyle.
Louis Moherndl also competing off island for the first time, was delighted to reach County finals on his first trip. Seeing his name in lights at the start end was exciting and with adrenaline pumping he had a great weekend – his best events 50m, 100m and 200m freestyle, 50m and 100m breaststroke and 50m backstroke.
The Hampshire County qualifying times remain tough, and it was great to see the Barracudas in the 14-year age group represented by Elodie Riley and Tomas Herquin. Elodie looked strong in the backstroke events and was a great support to the younger team members. Tomas Herquin swam well despite an ankle injury. He competed in 50m,100m and 200m breaststroke, as well as 50m backstroke, butterfly and freestyle, again very proud to be a County finalist and only missing out on a medal by fractions. This being the last time at this event, for Elodie and Tomas before moving up to seniors next year.