Hastings talents shine at South East Championships

Bella Gardner, Lucas Maule and Evie Stockdale
Bella Gardner, Lucas Maule and Evie Stockdale

Eleven of Hastings Seagull Swimming Club’s finest young talents competed in the long course Swim England South East Regional Championships.

With tough qualification standards, and an area covering from Oxford to Dover, for many of the swimmers it was their first experience of such a high level meet.

From left: Amber Matthews, Louis Choron, Elisha Paige, David Maule, Harley Williams, Lauren Crawford and Peter Conte

From left: Amber Matthews, Louis Choron, Elisha Paige, David Maule, Harley Williams, Lauren Crawford and Peter Conte

The 15 years and over event took place in High Wycombe, where Amber Matthews, 15, made a strong and impressive debut at a regional event, placing a fantastic ninth in the 200m breaststroke in a new open club record and 21st in the 50m breaststroke.

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Louis Choron, 17, competed in six events in the 17+ open category. His best result was qualifying for the 100m backstroke final and placing seventh, as well as 14th in the 50m backstroke, 19th in the 100m freestyle, and 20th in the 100m butterfly and freestyle.

The 14 years and under meet took place in Crawley, and witnessed the highest ever number of Seagull competitors.

The busiest Seagull girl was the determined Bella Gardner. The 13-year-old swam in eight events and achieved two PBs, placing 11th in the 100m butterfly and 400m IM, 15th in the 200m butterfly, and 19th in the 100m and 200m freestyle.

The elegant Elisha Paige, 14, swam in five events, impressively qualifying for the final of the 200m butterfly and coming seventh with a fantastic PB and a new club junior record. She also secured a top 20 finish in the gruelling 400m IM.

Backstroke specialist Evie Stockdale, 13, swam in two events and claimed a brilliant top 20 finish in the 100m backstroke.

Hettie Rankin, 14, swam in two events, achieving a great PB in the 50m backstroke to place 16th. Lauren Crawford, 14, swam confidently and smoothly to place a superb 14th in the 50m breaststroke with an impressive PB and a new club junior record.

The Seagull boys were no less busy, particularly talented 12-year-old Lucas Maule, who competed in a whopping 13 events, achieved an incredible 11 PBs and qualified for three finals.

Maule claimed a well-deserved bronze medal in the 200m breaststroke, as well as coming sixth in the 50m breaststroke and seventh in the 100m breaststroke.

He also placed eighth in the 400m IM, ninth in the 200m IM, 10th in the 100m freestyle, 11th in the 50m freestyle and 12th in the 200m butterfly.

Big brother David Maule, 14, swam in four events, achieved two great PBs and placed 14th in the 200m breaststroke, 15th in the 400m IM with a new club junior record, 18th in the 100m breaststroke and 19th in the 50m breaststroke.

Peter Conte, 14, spectacularly rose to the occasion, swimming PBs in both of his events to place 14th in the 100m breaststroke and 16th in the 50m.

Plucky youngster Harley Williams, 11, also smashed his PBs in the 50m and 100m butterfly to place 17th and 20th respectively.

Hastings Seagull Swimming Club would like to thank its main sponsor Aspray Property Services and all the coaches who supported the children throughout the competition.