Penguins medal haul at Essex Champs

Lifestyle / Thu 29th Jan 2015 at 03:43pm

HARLOW Penguins swimmers enjoyed a medal bonanza at Basildon in the Essex County Championships.

The squad of 50 swimmers achieved seven gold, six silver and nine bronze medals.

In addition a further 16 swimmers made finals, while personal best (PB) times were smashed out of sight with some massive improvements.

Penguins’ Essex county champions were Carys Brealey (2), Karl Batorski (2), Alessandro Rioda, Max McAuliffe and Bradley Veitch.

Carys showed what an outstanding prospect she is for Penguins, by winning the girls’ 10/Under 50m freestyle in a time of 29.98sec.

She is now ranked number two in the UK in this stroke.

This was followed up with further success in the 50m breaststroke, setting a PB of 41.55.

In addition, Carys won silver in the 200m individual medley (IM) in 2:50.98, and took bronze in the 200m backstroke (2:44.09), a nine-second improvement on her previous best.

Penguins were dominant in the youngest 10/U age group.

As well as Carys, Alessandro Rioda is also ranked second in the UK in his age group after winning his favoured 10/U 50m butterfly in 33.88.

He also gained silver in the 100m IM (1:17.80) and was third in the 50m backstroke (36.39).

Also in the 10/Under boys, Max McAuliffe claimed a magnificent victory in the 200m freestyle in 2:28.07.

He was second in the 200m breaststroke (3:10.97) and third in the 100m IM (1:19.34).

Karl Batorski produced some amazing swims in the men’s open 200m IM (2:06.05) and 100m IM (57.65).

He was also second in the 50m freestyle (23.05) and 50m backstroke (27.02).

Bradley Veitch, the club’s boys captain, proved he is the fastest 15/U 50m freestyle swimmer in the county, claiming victory in a PB of 25.53.

Bradley followed this up with second place in the 200m butterfly (2:18.85) and bronze medals in the 100m IM (1:04.60) and 200m IM (2:18.86, a seven-second improvement on his previous best).

There were further third place medallists for Penguins in the men’s 200m butterfly where Mason Arnold achieved a PB of 2:15.57, Silvester Havrillay in the 13/U 200m breaststroke (2:59.08) and Kirsty Vears in the girls’ open 200m breaststroke (2:51.79).

Penguins also shone in the team relay events.

The most impressive performance was in the senior men’s 200m medley relay, where Harlow’s Lee Baker, Hayden Thomas, Jamie McLaughlin and Karl Batorski combined to gain third place.

At the other end of the age scale, four Penguins were making their competitive debuts at the county championships.

Ben Stringer, Kade Wright, Alex Knight and Lucas Hine swam in the 10 & Under 200m medley relay and finished a creditable fifth in the final, all showing great promise for the future.

Overall, Penguins had 22 medallists and 32 finalists in the first of three Championship weekends.

By contrast, in 2014 the club had 15 finalists over the whole event.

“This is a huge improvement and puts swimming high on the list of sporting achievements in the town,” beamed Penguins head coach Martin Stringer.

The club trains at Harlow Leisurezone in Second Avenue.

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