Walmsley wins gold for Team Luton

The Team Luton swimmers
The Team Luton swimmers

Team Luton picked up an excellent tally of 15 medals at the recent East Region Long Course Championships held over three weekends in meets at Norwich, Basildon and Luton.

Six of the club’s swimmers aged between 13-21 years old made the podium, winning one gold, four silver and 10 bronze medals.

With 13 members qualifying for the championships in total, many swam personal best times in what for some was their first ever regional competitions.

At the Youth Regionals, held for swimmers aged 14 years and above, Celyn Walmsley (17) won gold in the 400m individual medley (IM), silver in the 200m IM and a bronze medal in the 1,500m freestyle in the O17 age group.

Matthew Wright (20), had a very successful championships, winning five medals from five races in the O17 category.

He managed a silver in the 200m butterfly and bronze in each of the 100m butterfly, plus the 100m, 200m and 400m freestyle.

His swim in the 400m freestyle also broke the Beds County record, lowering the mark to 4:06.04mins.

Chantal Smith (18) won bronze in the 800m freestyle and made the final of the 200m freestyle, finishing fourth.

In the 15 years age group, Chiara Rogers won a bronze in her 200m breaststroke and made the final in the 100m breaststroke, where she came fifth.

Strong performances also came from Oli Hunt (50m breaststroke), in his first Regional Championships, Freddie Symonds (50m,100m, and 200m breaststroke), Abbie Barnwell (100m, 200m and 400m freestyle), Anna Fallon (200m butterfly and 400m IM), plus Ellie King (50m, 100m backstroke and 50m butterfly).

At the Age Group Championships held for swimmers between the ages of 11 and 14, five medals were won by Team Luton.

Rhys Davidson claimed a silver in his 14 years age group’s 200m IM, plus bronze in both the 400m IM and 800m freestyle, with Jack Juggins winning silver in the 11/12 years 100m backstroke and bronze in the 200m backstroke.

Rhys also made the finals in the 200m breaststroke (fourth), 100m breaststroke (fifth), 100m backstroke (eighth) and 200m freestyle (fifth), while Jack made finals in the 200m IM (fifth) and 200m freestyle (sixth).

Menna Walmsley, came away with personal best times from three races, making the finals of both the 100m (seventh) and 200m butterfly (fifth) in the 14 years age group.

She won an amazing swim off to make the final of the 100m butterfly, lowering her best time in the heats from 1:10.53 to 1:08.91.

Tom Malia also enjoyed a 100 per cent PB strike rate in all seven of his 14 years’ events, the 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle, 100m and 200m backstroke, 200m and 400m IM.

More excellent swims also came in the 11/12 years age group from Daniella Njawaya (50m, 100m freestyle and 50m breaststroke), Lyla Howard (50m and 100m freestyle), and Veronica Popow (100m butterfly), all of whom were competing at their first Regionals and all clocking new personal bests.

The results and performances across all the ages reflected the breadth of talent within Team Luton and were testament to the time and effort given by all of the club’s coaches headed by Rikki Morris.