Harefield Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

HEROIC Hilling­don Swimming Club grabbed top spot again at this year’s Lon­don Re­gional Cham­pi­onships with an im­pres­sive haul of 81 medals.

Swim­mers com­peted in the 12 and un­der age group right through to the 17 and over at the cham­pi­onships held at Crys­tal Palace and the Lon­don Aquat­ics Cen­tre.

An in­cred­i­ble 10 Hilling­don stars be­came in­di­vid­ual re­gional cham­pi­ons in their events, with Billy Lee-Knowles, Al­fie Collins, Jemima Hall, Ken­dra Laba, Loulou Vos, Me­lanie Hall, Ge­orge Taplin, Sean-Pa­trick McGowan, Ceara Bar­ber and Ruby Fraser storm­ing to glory.

And in the six re­lay events, for ages 14 to 16, the club picked up four golds and two sil­vers and all now rank within the top 20 teams na­tion­ally. These re­gional cham­pi­onships were also a fi­nal chance for com­peti­tors to qual­ify for the Bri­tish and English Sum­mer Na­tion­als in July and Au­gust.

An im­pres­sive 12 Hilling­don swim­mers have now qual­i­fied for Bri­tish and/or English cham­pi­onships on in­di­vid­ual events along with six re­lay teams who have qual­i­fied for the Bri­tish Cham­pi­onships.

Taplin, 16, the squad cap­tain, said: “There’s a real buzz in train­ing here at the mo­ment and it’s not sur­pris­ing that we are swimming fast.”

The meet also saw nine Hilling­don swim­mers break Hilling­don club records in 15 events.

For the girls, Ni­amh Bar­ber, (aged 11, 50m freestyle,) Emily Hes­lop, (16, 50m freestyle), Me­lanie Hall, (16, 800m freestyle), Me­gan Maloney, (17, 50m back­stroke), and Adele Hall, (18, 50m back­stroke) were record break­ers.

For the boys, speed mer­chants were Sean-Pa­trick McGowan, (12, 50m freestyle, 50m back­stroke, 50m but­ter­fly), Dil­lon Roglic, (13, 50m but­ter­fly), Al­fie Collins, (14, 100 breast­stroke) and Ge­orge Taplin, (15, 200m back­stroke).

Head coach John Adye said: “These re­sults are a sig­nif­i­cant marker in our pro­gres­sion and a sign of things to come. We had medal­lists rang­ing from the youngest age group through to the old­est in ev­ery­thing from 50m to 1500m events.

“All seven re­lays also won ei­ther gold or sil­ver medals. . This showss the strengthth and depthh that we haveve here within in the club andnd there are plenty nty more swim­mersers still yet to comeme through.”

n IM­PRESS­SIVE: The Boys 4x200 re­lay cham­pi­ons Conor Fal­lon, Ge­orge Taplin, Al­fie Collins and Mitchell Adams; (right) Ceara Bar­ber Con­trib­uted

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