EAST REGION CHAMPIONSHIPS
2012 Open Water Championships and age group competitions incorporating the Essex Open Water Championships 2012
THE OFFICIAL REPORT
Although not the summer we had all hoped for, the morning of the Open Water swim was very pleasant with warm sunshine and blue skies. Whilst this did not continue all day with it becoming overcast and cooler during the late afternoon it was still an enjoyable lovely day for all who attended, with swimmers enjoying a warm (19 Degrees!) temperature in the lake. As previously the East Region Open Water championships took place at the Whitlingham Outdoor center in Norwich and is contested by swimmers from all over the region; consisting of Essex, Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Suffolk, Norfolk and Hertfordshire. Combined with these regional championships are the counties own championships with plenty of medals for the taking. There was plenty of support along the rivers banks and much of it was for the Essex contingent as swimmers from Basildon, Borough of Southend SC, Rochford, Epping Forest, Chelmsford, Thurrock, Brentwood, Harlow and Canvey Island swam for honours on the lake along with Killerwhalesand Newham who represented the London Region as well as Essex on the day.
The event each year is carefully monitored by organisations such as the Outdoor centre staff, St John Ambulance and qualified Canoe Lifeguard members. Essex swimmers were yet again in very capable hands and were fully briefed prior to each event. Our thanks go out to all those involved in the day who provided such support.
Essex swimmers celebrated a huge Regional haul of medals; 19 in all consisting of 7 GOLD, 8 SILVER and 4 BRONZE Medals.
In order of event distance I can report the following top three achievements, although there were other notable swims on the day too numerous to mention as all who took part deserved praise.
In the 11-12 year age group Megan Key Brentwood collected Gold in the county event followed home by BOSS swimmers Amelia Barnetson and Hannah McElroy. Megan was awarded a splendid Regional Bronze medal in the process.
The boys event was headed home by Jay Pilkington from Thurrock, with the youngster earning himself Regional Silver in the process. Team mate Jack Williams enjoyed a terrific Silver medal in the County event and clearly enjoyed the success of the swim at the presentations.
In the 13-14 year age group the Girls event saw Tillie Geggus of Thurrock head home a strong girls field in first place to earn her first county Gold medal. Tillie also won a deserved Regional Bronze for her efforts. The Thurrock lass was followed home in the county event by Alisha Walker of BOSS and Ella Holmes of Rochford.
It was Daniel McLagen of Chelmsford who headed home the boys in the same age group (13-14 years). Dan held off determined pushes by both Aaron Bearwish in second place of Basildon and former team mate Louie Ridgway of Thurrock who battled for Silver and Bronze respectively.
Alexa Foster-Carter had a brilliant day at the lake with a solid and spectacular swim in the 15-16 year age group. Alexa won Gold and the coveted Ladies 800 cup in the Essex event and collected the Regional Gold medal in the process. Kayleigh Unfreville Basildon and Abigail Reynolds BOSS finished in second and third. Kayleigh was just 6 seconds behind to earn Silver but must feel comforted by the fact that in her first lake swim she won a Silver in the Regional event behind Foster-Carter. Abigail finished agonizingly outside the Regional medals missing bronze by a smidgen.
In the boys age group 15-16 years Essex produced no swimmers.
In the 17+ age group Denise Knight from Chelmsford made it a family double to win Gold in the event.
With so much success in the 800m event the 1.5K was not a disappointment and the fast rising pool star Bethan McElroy BOSS had a superb day in the open water environment. Bethan was simply unstoppable in the lake and came home a country mile ahead of her nearest female rival. Bethan won both the county and Regional events for her 12-16 year age band in a warm up for the 3K. Rianna Smith Brentwood won Silver in the county event and held off Tia Colby of BOSS by a mere one second as the two fought tooth and nail to get to the finish before the other. Bethan qualifies for the Open Water National event the following weekend.
Cavan Beck produced a great swim in the 12-16 year age group to win county Gold ahead of Salaam Motin Basildon who won Silver and Kieran Goodwin Killerwhales in the bronze medal position. Congratulations must go to Cavan who earned himself a National qualification and will swim in the National event the weekend of 21st/22nd July.
In the woman’s 17-19 year age group Amy Murfitt won Gold in the county event and Silver in the Regional event. Her team mate Carly Nichols produced a fine swim to collect the county Silver medal in the process.
Chris Johnson BOSS won a county Gold and Regional Silver medal in his age band 50-59.
The 1.75K event was a new event introduced to the Regional set up in this Olympic year as an event that would also qualify for the National finals the following weekend. The official entry standard was set as 12-16 but incorporated the National age bands within the age groups set up by the region. The National events are somewhat different in set up as the age cut off for the National event is at July 26th 2012; the regional event is set as of age at December 31 2012. Confused! Rebecca Hayes was not and captured not only County Gold but a regional bronze medal for finishing third in the 12-16 year age group and indeed third placed overall. However the 15 year old Thurrock swimmer was awarded a Gold medal in the 15 year age group at Regional level; which is being represented under the National championship criteria and Hayes duly earns the right to swim at the National event being held in Yorkshire on the weekend of July 21st/22nd as regional and county champion.
Erin McGill Brentwood was in fine form too in this event following her success in the 2k earlier in the day (see below). The Brentwood swimmer collected DOUBLE Gold in the event winning both the county title and with it the Regional title as a 17-19 year old contestant. The two Essex girls dominating the event.
Augustus Veasey Chelmsford enjoyed the day and his county winning swim to grab Gold in the 12-16 year age group, team mate Matthew Thompson picked up the bronze as the two were separated by Alex Merchan Killerwhales.
Denis Melciu won Gold for the Newham SC in the 17-19 year age band and a commemorative Bronze from the Region as a gust swimmer.
The 2K swim was another specially introduced event in line with the ASA open water swim program of events being held this year in Rotherham. Kirsty Fahily Brentwood was the first placed swimmer in her age group for both the county event and the regional event. Meanwhile, in the 17-19 year age band Alexandra Edge BOSS and Erin McGill Brentwood were contesting the honours in their duel in the lake. It was Erin McGill who was triumphant with a controlled swim for the 2K Essex title whilst Alexandra contented herself with a deserved Silver medal. Congratulations to Alexandra who achieved a National qualification for next weekend as with Cavan Beck, Bethan McElroy and Rebecca Hayes. Alexandra will contest the finals of the 2K swim at Rotherham accordingly. The entry criteria is based on the National criteria of age at 26th July and in age groups determined by the ASA.
In the 3K that remarkable young swimmer that is Bethan McElroy BOSS again dominated a strong 3K field gaining Gold in the county event (12-16 year age group) heading home Rachael Moore Basildon; Rachael winning a superb Silver medal and Katherine Stevens Thurrock gaining the bronze. At regional level Bethan and Rachael truly bought home the bacon as they won Gold and Silver on the day. Bethan had now captured duel Regional and county Gold’s in her two events.
In the boys 13-16 year age group Bradley Clarke and his brother Ashley from the Basildon club were gunning for family glory but were thwarted by Daniel Jordan Lee their new teammate at the club. Bradley earned Gold in an impressive swim and Daniel the Silver. Ashley was satisfied with a well-deserved bronze and the boys celebrated the swim afterwards watching Bradley collect his Silver medal for finishing second in the regional event agonizingly close to Gold being touched out by one second at the frantic finish.
In the 5K mammoth event of the day it was left to Kirsty Fehily to triumph with duel Gold in a county event having won the 2K the Brentwood girl won the county title and the Colchester Cup for the ladies long distance award. Kirsty missed out on a second Regional Gold of the day but consoled herself with a wonderful Silver medal. Alexandra Edge BOSS was taking to the water for the second time again and like Kirsty in the 5K event having swam earlier in the day the 2K. With seven kilometers swimming in the day the two deserved success and Alexandra gained another medal this time the Gold in the 17-19 year age category. It was a great effort from the two Essex girls and a wonderful achievement.
Equally in the 5K event it was George Knight who triumphed after swimming a separate event in the day. George narrowly missed out on the 1.5K medals but certainly made up for it when he won the Essex County event and the wonderful Jones cup; dating from 1912, this wonderful trophy will stand on Georges mantelpiece (as long as it’s a big mantelpiece) proudly displaying this young Chelmsford swimmers name along with all the previous illustrious winners. George also earned himself a Bronze medal in the regional event. Joseph Ginzler from Rochford got himself a terrific Silver medal in the Essex event and a very solid swim in the bargain.
David Rozee meanwhile after leading the Essex event in the early stages was content to win Gold in the county 40-49 year age group and consoled himself by winning a Gold medal in the regional event too. Davis swims with Chelmsford Masters.
And so ended a fantastic days swimming. If I have failed to mention any swimmer in this report, apologies and please notify me with any corrections which may be necessary. The report will then be updated.
A special thanks to all the organizers of the East Region who come along and make this day so special. Paul Kendall has been rewarded with his place at the Olympics’ in an official capacity and he should be congratulated on this wonderful achievement. Looking along the line of officials I could see Brain Kapp once again from the Essex exec along with our President elect Tom Baster (Tom has promised to swim in his Presidents year and compete in the open water as well as the Masters champs…you heard it here first) who came along to watch as a guest of the Region. Fellow members of our executive were Essex supporters for the day, namely, Lyndsey Motin events manager. Yours truly was delighted and honoured again to be present and nice to see Thurrocks chief coach Alan Mitchell deck side as well as chief coaches Claire Moore from Basildon & Phoenix on the deck too supporting and advising her swimmers as were Paul McNeill of Brentwood and Will Brogan of BOSS. Special thanks to all the parents of those swimmers who came along and supported them so well. The swimmers were a credit to our county and their clubs. Congratulations to all who took part and apologies if I missed any VIP’s along the way. However, let me know and I will make amends.
A full list of the Essex swimmers who qualified for the National event 21st/22nd is listed below; supplied by ASA East Region event manager.
Paul Hayes Essex County ASA Masters Manager and Open Water Manager.
President Elect. ERASA