Magnificent seven from Stevenage
Seven swimmers from Stevenage Swimming Club returned with five medals from a successful trip to Norfolk for the East Region Championships. The annual event is held at the region s only 50m pool at the University of East Anglia in Norwich over the first tw
Seven swimmers from Stevenage Swimming Club returned with five medals from a successful trip to Norfolk for the East Region Championships.
The annual event is held at the region's only 50m pool at the University of East Anglia in Norwich over the first two weekends in June.
The championship gala is aimed at the region's top junior swimmers from Lincolnshire to London, so qualifying times are tough.
Only two Stevenage boys competed - Joe Mileusnic in the 11 year age group and 13-year-old Jake Robinson.
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Joe produced excellent swims in the 100m and 200m breaststroke, finishing seventh in the 200m final.
Jake qualified in six events and made the finals of both of the breaststroke events finishing in fifth in the 200m and missing out on a bronze medal by only a tenth of a second finishing fourth in the 100m final.
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Top performance came from Jessica Jackson who swam well to finish fifth in the 10 year 200m freestyle and then had an excellent final day picking up a silver medal in the 200m individual medley and a gold in the 100m freestyle setting a new regional record.
Ten-year-old Lilly West was the second Stevenage medallist in the 10 year group winning a silver in the 100m breaststroke.
Another first timer at the championships, Georgia Hazel, swam well against strong competition in the 11 year 100m freestyle.
In the same age group, Christie Bays reversed her performance last year winning bronze in the 100m breaststroke and a silver in the 200m breaststroke, breaking the regional record for the 200m in the heats only to see it fall again in the final.
Carina Bays completed the run of impressive breaststroke displays for the Stevenage club finishing fifth in both 100m and 200m 13 year girls' finals.
In addition to the individual events, there is an overall championship competition in which swimmers win points based upon their times in each of four categories with the highest total winning the overall title.
This year only two swimmers from Stevenage qualified in all categories, Christie Bays, who finished in ninth place out of 55 in the 11 year girls and Jake Robinson finishing 12th out of 33 in the 13 year boys.
The other Stevenage swimmers did not swim in every category and some only in one event, but even so, Jessica Jackson still managed to finish in 12th place out of 33 in the 10 year girls and Carina Bays in 16th out of 48 in the 13 year group.
Christie Bays' times in the 100m and 200m breaststroke events have qualified her to compete in the National Swimming Championships in Sheffield at the end of July.
* Hitchin SC also picked up a medal at the championships - Daniel Chen won a bronze in the 11 year boys' 100m breaststroke.
* Mark Dempsey stood down as Stevenage head coach on Friday to be replaced by Greg Lasenby.
Dempsey's successes include Stevenage winning the Herts Peanuts Division One crown last year and beating everyone except the National League in the youth competition.