Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting COUNTY GAZETTE to 80360 or email us
SWIMMING: Taunton Deane make a splash at Open meet
9:44am Friday 15th March 2013 in Sport
TAUNTON youngsters make a good impression at the British Gas International Open Meet.
The inaugural British Gas International Swimming Meet 2013 recently took place at the John Charles Centre for Sport, Leeds.
British Swimming has decided to re-shuffle the national swimming calendar and trials system with a new mid season event.
It doubled up as a time trial, as part of the development programme, for the European Junior Championships in the Utrecht and the European Youth Olympic Festival in Poland.
This meet provided an opportunity for many of the countries junior swimmers to mix with such household names as Michael Jamieson, Fran Halsall, and Exeter’s very own Liam Tancock.
Taunton Deane SC had five swimmers qualify: Becky Wilde, Lydia Lavallin, Beth Newton, Charlie Attwood and Keighley Parker.
All took a short break from school, and the county swimming championships, to compete in this event.
Charlie Attwood swam in three breaststroke events making all three finals.
The 200m offered the best chance of selection.
He succeeded in recording a comfortable win and could now see selection to the British Olympic Association team. Subject to confirmation by the BOA Attwood will be on the plane to Holland later in the year.
Following some new personal best times in the 100 m freestyle and backstroke events Beth Newton faces the possibility of gaining a wild card entry to the same team. She finished the fastest girl in her age group, which leaves her with an outside chance of selection.
This may have been a competition too early for Keighley Parker who swam well in her events recording many new personal bests. She was the youngest girl in the competition and did a great job holding her own against older competition to move up the rankings.
Wilde and Lavallin were aiming for Euro Junior slots in the 50m back and breaststroke respectively.
Both swam good heat swims improving on their best times, making the finals in each event.
Lavallin qualified fastest into the girl’s junior final.
Both needed to improve their times further to make team selection.
Wilde swam a good final but couldn’t improve on her earlier time.
Lavallin managed to find an even bigger personal best but narrowly missed the qualifying time by 0.24 of a second that would have seen her off to Poland with the team.