Swimming: Killerwhales impress at long distance gala

Killerwhales Poppy Jeffery

Killerwhales Poppy Jeffery - Credit: Archant

Killerwhales swimmers impressed at the challenging Thurrock long distance gala at the weekend.

Killerwhales Ellie Shanahan

Killerwhales Ellie Shanahan - Credit: Archant

The squad of 18 competed in 800m and 1,500m freestyle races over two days, with many experiencing the distances for the first time.

But 10-year-old Poppy Jeffery got them off to a fine start with gold in the 800m in a club record time of 10.58, which was also the fastest county time this season.

Leila Jones added silver in the same age group, while 12-year-olds Sophia Hall, Tilly Bunn, Aimiee Dudman and Chloe Keegan all set personal bests.

Ella Stevenson and Donna Santos Heelan clocked new bests in the 13 year group, with Ellie Shanahan, Cerys Freeman and Ruby Le May doing likewise in the 14 year group.

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In the 11 & 12-year-old boys' group, Caydan Shanahan and Luca Biagoni claimed silver medals from their first 1,500m outings, while Jacob Robinson achieved an Essex qualifying time in the 14 year group in his first attempt at the distance.

Thomas Dudman beat his personal best by a whopping 92 seconds but just missed out on an Essex time by 3.6secs, while Henry Morgan improved his best and achieved an Essex time.

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Caydan Shanahan added 800m bronze on day two, while Christopher Charnick beat his best by 40 seconds for another bronze in the 12 year group.

Biagoni took 80 seconds off his best, as Harry Pengelly produced a solid swim on his distance debut and Rhys Penfold had a good time after a long illness.

And Morgan also gained an Essex time.

Jeffery recorded her second club record of the weekend in the girls' 1,500m (21.19.15), which made the Essex qualifying mark, and Bunn and Hall set personal bests.

Ellie Shanahan ended the gala with an Essex qualifying time and club record in the 14-plus category and a spokesperson said: "With some very impressive swims and some very quick times for these long distance races, the Killerwhales are in a strong position leading up to the regional competition at the beginning of next year."

For more information about the club visit killerwhalessc.com.

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