Swimmers

Prior to schools being closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, swimmers from Harrogate’s Ashville College won two silver medals at the annual HMC Bath and Nalson Swimming Championships.

Thursday, 7th May 2020, 10:02 am

Prior to schools being closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, swimmers from Harrogate’s Ashville College won two silver medals at the annual HMC Bath and Nalson Swimming Championships.

Held at the Aquatics Centre, Olympic Park, London, the morning programme was made up of freestyle relays - starting with the girls’ 4 x 50m heats. This saw the team of Becky Mitchell, Olivia Parris, Eliza Chapman and Emma Moore finish 13th in the small schools’ section.

This was followed by the boys competing in the 4 x 100m heat. The Ashville team of Finlay Waligora, Joey Pennock, Lucas Waligora and Joe Moore qualified third for the small schools final, behind local rivals St Peter’s School, York, who had a two-second lead going into the final, and Uppingham, a further ten seconds ahead.

However, in the final, the Ashville squad improved its heat time by more than three seconds to claim the silver medal behind Uppingham.

In the afternoon, the focus turned to the medley relays, with the girls’ team of Annabel Thompson, Alice Watson, Emma Moore and Eliza Chapman finishing 14th in the small schools’ section. In both girls’ races, the team improved their times from last year, narrowly missing out on the small schools’ finals.

The boys’ team once again qualified third for the small schools’ final, with Bishop Stortford College narrowly ahead after the heats. In the final, Ashville once again improved its heat time by nearly three seconds to finish second behind Uppingham.

The day before this competition Ashville competed in the Whitgift School ‘8 Schools Invitational Gala’, which gave the swimmers the chance to swim in a variety of events and Duncan Archer, the College’s Head of Swimming and co-organiser of the competition, an opportunity to confirm the teams for the next day’s tournament.

And during this warm- up event, Joe Moore set a new school record in the 100m breaststroke.

Duncan Archer said: “Before the finals my message to the boys was simple – ‘focus on your own race, look to improve your individual split times by 0.5 of a second by better execution of starts, turns and take overs, and stay long in your strokes - especially in the last 10m. With these marginal gains we could secure silver medals’, which we duly did to claim the double silver.

“In both finals, we defeated local rivals St Peter’s School, and schools such as Bishop Stortford, City of London Freemen’s, and King’s College Taunton, which reflects this national success. My congratulations go to all the swimmers, and in particular to Joe for his new school record.

“I’d like to thank colleagues Miss Ellis and Miss Francis for their support during the gala, and the Ashville parents who supported the team at these prestigious championships.”