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Kayla leads Dorset medal bonanza at the British Summer Championship


KAYLA van der Merwe powered to a clean sweep of breaststroke titles as she led a Dorset medal bonanza at the British Summer Championships in Sheffield.

She and Bournemouth Collegiate School team-mate Alice Tai each claimed a golden hat-trick while Poole’s Jazz McCrea and Oli Fairman also made the podium’s top step.

Between them, the quartet won 12 medals including eight golds and broke 12 Dorset records.

Van der Merwe won a full set of 16yrs 50m, 100m and 200m breaststroke golds, setting county junior records with times of 32.65, 1:10.50 and 2:32.24, respectively.

She broke the 50m and 200m records twice, clocking 33.04 in the one-length heats and slicing two seconds off Charlotte Evans’s mark from 2000 in the 200m heats before dropping another two seconds in the final.

Fourth place in the 200m individual medley (IM) yielded a sixth junior record of 2:19.44.

Commonwealth champion Tai made it a record six golds for BCS in the multi-disability events.

The S8 swimmer comfortably won the 100m backstroke, freestyle and butterfly in 1:09.03, 1:03.69 and 1:09.77, respectively.

Despite being the youngest in his 16yrs age group, Oli Fairman made four trips to the podium and broke five records.

He won gold in the 50m backstroke in 26.95, bronze in the 100m and 200m back and 200m IM and was fourth in the 400m IM (4:40.13).

His Dorset junior records were 58.43 and 57.68 in the 100m backstroke, which broke a Jacob Peters mark, 2:04.56 in the 200m back and 2:10.20 and 2:09.60 in the 200m IM heats and final.

Jazz McCrea broke her Dorset senior record to win the 17-18yrs 50m fly (27.08) and followed up with a silver-winning 25.94 in the 50m freestyle, just 0.06sec outside Olympian Karen Legg’s county best from 2003.

McCrea was also seventh, 15th and 16th in the 100m fly, 100m freestyle and 200m IM, respectively.

Swim Bournemouth’s Ella Chown made two 15yrs finals, coming joint fifth in the 50m butterfly and seventh in the 100m fly as well as 23rd in the 200m.

In the distance events, Poole’s Thea O’Keefe was ninth in the 17-18yrs 400m, 800m and 1500m freestyle and 17th in the 200m while Swim Bournemouth’s Lucy Pearce and Poole’s Kath Baker were sixth and eighth in the 19/o 1500m.

In the 13-14 age group, Seagulls’ Isaac Ellis was 10th in the 50m butterfly and Poole’s Alan Szczasiuk seventh, 13th and 20th in the 50m and 100m breaststroke and 50m fly and Robbie Hemmings 13th and 24th in the 200m and 50m backstroke.

Swim Bournemouth’s Amy Brown came 11th in the 13-14yrs 50m breaststroke and 100m backstroke, 13th in the 100m breast, 14th in the 200m IM and 19th in the 200m breast and back.

Team-mate Alex Palotai Avella was 11th and 12th in the 13-14yrs 800m and 1500m freestyle with Drew McGregor 13th, 19th, 20th and 23rd in the 15yrs 100m, 50m and 200m breaststroke and 200m IM.

Poole’s Oliver Weston was 12th in the 17-18yrs 50m breaststroke with Wareham’s Tanya Blanchard 13th in the 15yrs girls’ event.

For BCS, Christian Tai was 11th and 18th in the 17-18yrs 100m fly and 200m IM, Grace Poynter 11th and 14th in the 16yrs 100m and 200m breaststroke, Oni Taiwo joint 12th in the 16yrs 50m freestyle and Alex Bryant 14th, 18th and 22nd in the 16yrs 50m, 200m and 100m backstroke.

In the para-swimming, Clayesmore’s George Kelman-Johns was fifth, seventh and 11th in the MC 100m fly, 100m back and 200m IM with BCS’s Leo McCrea ninth and 10th in the MC 100m and 50m freestyle.

In the women’s 17/o relays, Poole’s Thea O’Keefe, Kath Baker, Teagan-Mae Graham and Jazz McCrea were ninth in the 4x200m freestyle, McCrea, Fiona Hardie, Baker and O’Keefe 14th in the 4x100m freestyle and Graham, Baker, McCrea and O’Keefe 22nd in the 4x100m medley.

Poole’s boys’ 14-16yrs 4x200m team of Ben Cutbush, Louis Clayton, Oliver Cleal and Oli Fairman were 25th.


Source : BournemouthEcho

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