POOLE’S Oli Fairman delivered a masterclass in distance swimming to retain his Dorset 1,500m freestyle title at Dorchester.
The 15-year-old lapped every other competitor at least once to take the men’s gold medal in a 16yrs competition best time of 16min 25.90sec.
This was 23 seconds quicker than his winning effort 12 months earlier.
Fairman impressively averaged 13 arm strokes per 25-metre length with 12 strokes at the start, 13 mid-race and 14 as he picked up the pace in the closing stages. Most of his rivals averaged more than 20 strokes.
The 60-length event proved a triumph for Seagulls with the Christchurch club landing four of the six championship medals.
James Richardson and Miles Ward won the senior silver and bronze respectively in 17:03.82 and 17:08.15.
Ward also won the junior gold with Swim Bournemouth’s Ryan Symington collecting silver in 17:12.02. A third Seagull, Sonny Chamberlain-Hyde, took bronze in 17:16.35.
In the age groups, Poole’s Max Looker and Xavier West won the 12yrs gold and silver with Seagulls’ George Gillett taking bronze.
It was a similar story in the 13yrs age group with gold and silver going to Poole’s Ryan Openshaw and Finley Chandler. Seagulls’ Lawrence Elliott bagged bronze.
Robbie Hemmings and Carter Stuhlmacher maintained the pattern for Poole with 14yrs gold and silver from Swim Bournemouth bronze medallist, Ryan Harper.
Ward, Symington and Chamblerain-Hyde took the three 15yrs medals, while Poole’s Oliver Cleal won the 16yrs bronze behind Fairman and Richardson.
Poole’s Thea O’Keefe finished nine seconds clear to defend her 800m freestyle title in 9:07.18 but there was a thrilling showdown for the silver and bronze.
Swim Bournemouth’s Alex Palotai-Avella (9:16.30) marginally out-touched Poole’s Izzy Hepburn (9:16.70).
Palotai-Avella also won the junior gold and the 14yrs title – the only age group not won by Poole.
There was another tight finish for the junior silver and bronze. Only 0.06sec separated Poole’s Aimie Quarrie and Holly Harris, as they made the podium in 9:49.23 and 9:49.29 respectively.
The 12yrs gold, silver and bronze went to Poole’s Claire Stuhlmacher and Grace Camm along with South Dorset Tornadoes’ Ellissia Walburn.
Molly Goddard (Poole), Emily McWilliam (Seagulls) and Harriet Fish (Swim Bournemouth) claimed the 13yrs podium places while in the 14yrs age group Poole’s Lauren Corn took bronze behind Palotai-Avella and Quarrie.
Harris, Lauren East (Swim Bournemouth) and Abigail Barnes (West Dorset) were the 15yrs medallists.
The 16yrs podium was a Poole monopoly with Lucy Purnell and Nuala O’Keefe following home team-mate Hepburn.
In the 17-and-over category, Teagan-Mae Graham (Poole) and Lucy Pearce (Swim Bournemouth) claimed the minor medals behind county champion O’Keefe.
Source : BournemouthEcho