Romford Town make stunning start
09:00 21 February 2014
Club dominate Age Group Championships opener
Romford Town swimmers made a stunning start to the 2014 Essex Age Group Championships at Basildon.
Their boys claimed five of the six titles up for grabs in the 1,500m freestyle on Friday night and finished the weekend with a total of 24 golds, 25 silvers and 11 bronze.
Four event best times were recorded, along with two senior records and six national qualifying times, while Amy Marren broke two British disability records.
James Cooper, Billy Harrison, Ben Davis, Tommy Beardsell and George Foley got Town off to a flyer in the gruelling freestyle, with Cooper and Harrison earning NQTs.
County debutant Louis Lane, nine, began Saturday’s gold rush in the 200m breaststroke and took silver in 100m medley and 50 butterfly, as Emilia Jopson won 200m butterfly gold on her debut.
Lily Guynan pinched 50m breaststroke gold after a late surge, adding silver in the 200m medley, as teammates Lewis Binning and Liam Brennan combined for seven medals in the 11-year-old group.
Binning pipped Brennan to 200m breaststroke gold, before Brennan added 50m backstroke silver and victory in the 100m medley.
The 200m freestyle ended with Binning touching just ahead of his rival for silver, before Brennan powered away to 50m butterfly gold.
Emily Milton bagged five medals, including 100m butterfly gold ahead of Georgia Marren, who took bronze.
Milton, Marren and Agne Slipaityte claimed a 1-2-3 in the 200m butterfly, before Milton picked up silvers in the 50m breaststroke, ahead of bronze medalist Amelia Moule, and 200m medley and gold at 50m freestyle.
There were five medals for Jessica Ayling too, starting with 200m backstroke bronze and 100m butterfly silver.
Martha Merritt added 200m butterfly silver before Ayling was touched out of 50m breaststroke gold but won the 200m medley and 50m freestyle.
Cooper had to be content with silvers in 50m backstroke, 100m medley, 200 freestyle (NQT) and 50m butterfly, as Joe Grove won 200m breaststroke silver.
And Rebecca Cribb won 200m butterfly gold and silvers in 100m butterfly, 200m backstroke and medley, pipping clubmate Georgia Milton by one place each time.
Billy Harrison won 200m breaststroke bronze in a new best, while Holly Hildrew shone in the 14-year-old group.
After silver in her less-fanccied 200m backstroke, Hildrew won the 100m butterfly with a NQT, as Erin Corney claimed silver in a new best.
Another NQT followed for Hildrew in 200m butterfly, where she took silver just behind training partner Corney who smashed her best as Ellie Harris took fourth.
Hildrew added 50m breaststroke silver in a new best before storming to 200m medley gold in an event record, breaking Elena Sheridan’s mark, and 50m freestyle victory in another competition best.
Bronze in the 200m medley completed Hildrew’s haul as Marren broke disability short course records in the S9 200m freestyle and backstroke.
Amy Harris claimed the only medal in the 16-year-old group, with silver in the 50m breaststroke, but Foley added 200m butterfly bronze in the 17 and over category, as Nicola Rees took 50m butterfly gold in an event best and senior county record.
Dan Stepton did the same in the 50m backstroke and added 50m freestyle gold for good measure to round off a superb first round effort from Town.