Swimming: Storms' county glory

Sudbury Storms swimmers were in terrific form at the County Championships, at the Crown Pools Ipswich. The squad of 36 was made up of all age groups. They were in fantastic form, delivering a staggering 73 personal best times, 22 East Region Qualifying Times and 13 club records over the three weekends of competition.

Sudbury Storms swimmers were in terrific form at the County Championships, at the Crown Pools Ipswich. The squad of 36 was made up of all age groups. They were in fantastic form, delivering a staggering 73 personal best times, 22 East Region Qualifying Times and 13 club records over the three weekends of competition. These swims culminated in seven golds, eight silvers and seven bronzes, the best the club has ever done at the championships.

Ella Rides (12) became this year's youngest County Champion for Storms in the 50m Breaststroke. Head coach Paul Cook said:“Ella had a fantastic heat, smashing her personal best time by nearly 0.5 seconds and went into the final as the fastest qualifier. In the final she got off to a good start, but was actually third at the turn. Her last length was just incredible. We knew Ella had the speed to catch the other two, but the way she turned the pace on over the last 15 metres was brilliant.” Ella's time in the final was 38.83 secs placing her in the gold medal position. She also went on to take a bronze medal in the 100m Breaststroke in an East Region Qualifying Time of 1:25.87.

Cameron Bashir (14) followed his long distance successes in February, with another County Championship gold in the gruelling 400m Individual Medley. Cook said: “Cameron has been in outstanding form this year, there is no stopping him. He has a lot of talent across all of his strokes, which makes him the perfect Individual Medley swimmer. He also has the stamina for the longer distances, which is the result of many years dedication in training. His 400m IM swim was just awesome. His Breaststroke was just streaks ahead of the competition, which gave him nearly a 7 second advantage going into the last 100m, by which time the rest of the field were in his wake.” Cameron's Gold medal in the 400m IM rounded off a marvellous championship for him. He took Silver in the 200m Breaststroke and Bronze in the 100m bettering his personal best times in all of his events (16 in total). He also broke an incredible seven club records.

Mollie Milsom (11) became the latest addition to those Storms East Region Championship qualifiers. Mollie qualified for the Regional Championships in the 100m Freestyle in a time of 1:13.11, smashing her previous best time by 1.5 seconds. Mollie also had some fantastic performances in her Butterfly events, taking the Silver medal in the 50m (35.98) and improving on her 200m Butterfly personal best time by an incredible 20 seconds, adding a Bronze to her Silver in the 50m. She also broke Club records in the 400m Freestyle and 200m Backstroke. Mollie will join a squad of 10 Storms swimmers that will be competing in Norwich at the East Region championships in May and June of this year - the largest squad Storms have had qualify for the Regionals in many years.

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The Senior Sudbury swimmers also put in some great performances at the County Championships and added a further five Gold medals to the tally. Ashley Buck, Thomas Williams and Kelly Murray all took top position on the podium. Ashley was crowned age group champion in all three of his Backstroke events (50, 100m and 200m) and Bronze in the 100m Freestyle, breaking life time personal bests in a number of swims. His 200m Freestyle (2:01.88) swim was a Club record and he took nearly a second off his previous best time. He also set lifetime best times in the 50m Breaststroke and 400m Freestyle, where he finished in Silver medal position. Thomas Williams also had a great championship with 3 lifetime personal best times in the 100m Breaststroke, 50m and 200m Butterfly. Thomas returned with a gold medal in the 200m Butterfly, Silver for both the 50m and 100m Breaststroke and Bronze in the 100m Butterfly. 18 Year old, Kelly Murray (18) returned to great form in her specialist Breaststroke and Butterfly events, taking the 50m Breaststroke Gold medal in her age group in a time of 37.76 seconds and Silver in the 100m Breaststroke. Ollie George (17) the club's under 18's sprint specialist pulled out an outstanding 50m Butterfly breaking the 30 second barrier in a time of 29.80 seconds. He also went on to finish in Silver medal position in the 100m Backstroke. James Wotherspoon (17) joined Storms' County medal winners for the first time with outstanding swim in the final of the 50m Backstroke, finishing in Silver medal position in a time of 32.61 secs. Alex Deal (16) another one the club's specialist Breaststrokers fought fiercely for two bronze medals in his 50m and 100m Breaststroke events. He also broke his personal best time in the 100m Backstroke in a great time of 1:07.64.

Cook was delighted with the seniors' performance, saying: “Our senior swimmers are an extremely competitive bunch and have been involved in swimming for many years. They are seasoned professionals who continue to develop year on year. Sudbury Storms are known for their strength in the Open Age Group category, which we want to maintain and develop in the coming years.”

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The following swimmers all achieved one or more personal bests: Claire Allen, Cameron Bashir, Hannah Bashir, Ashley Buck, Alex Deal, Ollie George, Florence Grubb, Bethan Hann, Emma Heaton, Sophie Heaton, Cara Hetherington, John Jiang, Francesca King, Emma Main, Mollie Milsom, Ella Rides, Gemma Rides, Josh Seddon, Sam Seddon, Abigail Vowles & Thomas Williams.

Paul Murray, Storms' senior coach said: “The intensity of competition at the County Championships is immense and our swimmers handled the pressure extremely well. Their performances over the past three weekends have been awesome and a real credit to their dedication to the sport.”

Storms' has Development, Club, County, Regional and Masters squads training at the Kingfisher Leisure Centre Wednesday through Friday and Sunday - further details can be found on www.sudburyswimming.org.uk .

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