The Dolphin swimmers from Shirley Pool turned in their best ever performance in the 2018 Hampshire County Championships, a fitting farewell to Head Coach Chris White:
Southampton Dolphins entered the 2018 Championships in record numbers, 29 swimmers qualified in over 220 events.
The junior girls dominated the relays, winning gold in 4 events, (Gold -16yrs Medley and Freestyle, 14yrs Medley and 12yrs Medley, followed up by Silver in the 14yrs Freestyle and Bronze in the 12yrs Freestyle).
Kate Baxter (14) was the standout female swimmer of the Championships amassing an amazing 17 medals, 9 Gold, 4 Silver and 2 Bronze. Kate demonstrated she is the best all round female swimmer in the County winning the 400m and 200m IM alongside the 200m FS, 200m BK, 100m FS, 100m BK and 50m BK. Kate began swimming as a toddler at the Shirley Pool and training with her coach since the age of 7,
“Her phenomenal success is down to her work ethic, desire and passion for the sport“ said Head Coach Chris White, speaking on an emotional final gala with the Dolphins “I am just so impressed with the kids, they really did swim out of their skins. It is sad to leave, but sometimes I guess you just have to move on and see where it can take you”
Filip Fraczek-Krygier (15) was the top male performer winning 8 medals, 6 Gold, 1 Silver and 1 Bronze. Filip, a powered his way to gold in the 50m, 100m and 200m Freestyle, 50m & 100m backstroke, 50m butterfly and 200mindividual medley. After a long layoff last year due to injury ,the former National Champion is back on track for success this year with an eye on the British Summer Championships.
In the age group Championships, 11 year old Shirley schoolgirl, Isabel Tuner, produced some of the best swimming results in her age group in Great Britain, amassing 14 medals, 7 Gold, 3 Silver and 4 Bronze. Turner won events from 800m freestyle to 50m backstroke, demonstrating her all round ability and currently tops the Great Britain rankings for all the backstroke events (33.78 50m BK, 1.09.65 100m BK and 2.30.24 200m BK) . Twin sister, Evie Turner, competing in her first County Championships rose to the occasion, qualifying for her first ever final in the 100m Butterfly alongside sister Isabel , Emily Lowther and Rhyseren Taylor, Southampton Dolphins swimmers making up half of the finalists.
Emily Lowther (12) produced outstanding displays in the breaststroke events, powering her way to a new Hampshire County record in the 50m breaststroke in a time of 36.58. Emily also claimed gold in the 100m and 200m breaststroke and the gruelling 400m Individual Medley, all with times in the top 20 of the GB rankings, a total of eleven medals for the championships.
The strength in depth of the twelve year olds at Shirley pool reflect the success of the development pathway at the club. Rhyseren Taylor took silver in the 800m FS, Bronze in the 400m FS and 200m BF; Verity Telford followed close behind, narrowly missed out on a medal coming 4th in the 800m Freestyle; Ellena Lewis and Freya Manning both secured their first County medals with Ellena racing to Silver in the 50m Backstroke, Bronze in the 100m BK and Bronze in the 50m Freestyle. Freya put in an outstanding display in the 100m Freestyle to secure the Silver medal in 1.05.99.
Debutant 10 year olds Pheobe Field and Freya Latimore, performed personal bests to secure final places in the 50m and 100m Backstroke events together. Pheobe also qualified for the 50m Butterfly final and Freya for the 50m Freestyle final, a promising start for both girls to competitive swimming.
Another debutant was James Cummings-Candal, winning three silver medals despite having only taken up competitive swimming 11 months ago. King Edward schoolboy James put in some outstanding performances to take silver in the 400m Freestyle, 400m Individual Medley and 200m Backstroke, narrowly missed out on medals in a number of races finishing 4th on three occasions. James was joined by Ethan Grundy (12) also making his County debut. Ethan qualified for the 50m butterfly final finishing 5th in an excellent 33.88.
Nathan Lewis (10) secured his first County medal, silver, in the 400m Freestyle, and made multiple finals in all four strokes showing his potential as an all rounder.
As the youngest qualifying boy of the championships, Matthew Lowther (9) competed in the 10/11 year old age group. He took on the 400 Freestyle in the first weekend smashing his long course PB by over 13 seconds.At the second weekend Matthew competed in the 100 Fly, securing fourth in the final with a time of 1:25.91,3rd fastest in the UK rankings for his own age group and 5th in the GB rankings on the 400m Freestyle.
Freddie Sadler put in personal best performances in the 50m (35.29 ) and 100m (1.21.33) to make the final in the 100m event. Freddie secured his first regional time in the 50m butterfly and is 0.03 off the 100m qualifying time. Pocket rocket Ollie Cook (13) competing in his 4th County Championships secured personal best times in the 50m Butterfly 32.81 and 50m Backstroke 33.66.
13 year old Sophie Hawkes put in some dogged displays to secure Silver medals in the 400m individual medley, 200m and 100m Butterfly. Sophie also secured the Bronze in the 50m Butterfly in a very close finish. Sophie’s times now rank her with the best in the Region and qualifying for Nationals this year is a real possibility.
Victoria Butler (13) swam multiple personal best making huge improvements this season, qualifying for the 100m Freestyle in 1.03.24 . Victoria narrowly missed out on a medal in the 800m Freestyle finishing 4th and had numerous top 8 placing’s. Sadie Pratt-Filker (13), made her county debut securing times in all the Breaststroke events as well as 800m Freestyle. Sadie rose to the occasion and secured top 6 placing’s in all the Breaststroke events, narrowly missing out on a medal in the 50m event finishing 4th after taking the lead in the early stages of the race.
Isabella Fraser-Corbridge (15) made a dramatic come back to competitive swimming after a life threatening brain haemorrhage in 2017. Isabella, a former British Championship performer, was determined to race again and put in some outstanding swims to take Silver in the 200m butterfly and Bronze in the 100m butterfly. Isabella was also a key member in the 16yrs 4 X 50m Freestyle and Medley teams who took Gold in both events, alongside Kate Baxter, Madeline Rowden and Fae Thompson.
Madeline Rowden and Fae Thompson both made multiple finals in the 16yrs age group Madeline has made remarkable progress in the last 6 months and she won her first county medal taking Bronze in the 50m Freestyle and narrowly missed out on a medal in the 100m Freestyle and 50m Backstroke finishing 4th in both events. Thompson also made successive final appearances finishing 5th in the 50m Breaststroke, 6th in the 50m Freestyle and 6th in the 50m Backstroke.
Long standing Shirley Dolphins Ella Anderson (16) and Jodie Yates (17) both made multiple ladies open finals. Ella, a backstroke specialist, finished 6th in the 100m and 200m events and 7th in the 50m. Jodie narrowly missed out on a medal finishing 4th in the 200m Butterfly and made finals in the 100m Butterfly and 50m and 100m Breaststroke events.
Zak Lanham (14) and Seb Southon (16) both made backstroke finals, Zak qualified for the 50m Backstroke and produced a life time best of 32.47 in his first County final to finish 7th. Seb qualified for both the 50m and 100m backstroke finals finishing 8th and 7th respectively.
The Southampton Dolphins produced record breaking results for an 8th consecutive year; amassing 63 medals (29 Gold, 21 Silver and 13 Bronze), and the highest swimmer to medal ratio of any of the 25 competing clubs for a second consecutive year. Swimmers qualified for an impressive 70 individual finals
Of the twenty seven swimmers, 25 swimmers qualified for individual finals and all swimmers were involved in top 8 placings. . To date the Dolphins have 18 South East Regional qualifiers.
The unprecedented success in team events from a small swim school, with multiple top 20 GB ranked swimmers has not gone unnoticed in the higher levels of British Swimming with Head Coach Chris White encouraged to take up the reins of major London club, Staines and sure to be fast tracked after ten years of success at the Shirley Pool.
Southampton Dolphins expect to announce the appointment of their new Head Coach at the weekend.