Ponds Forge crowd brings the noise for Summer Champs showstopper

28 Jul 2022

The last day of action in Sheffield gave the spectators much to cheer about, as records were broken and history was made at the biggest British Summer Championships to date.

Aberdeen Dolphins’ Dean Fearn headlined the individual performances of the final day as he took the last British record of the 2022 Speedo British Summer Championships, storming to gold in the Men’s 13/14-year-old 50m Butterfly final. A stunning start put him half a body length up on the field at 15 metres, as his superior stroke rate kept the advantage up all the way to the line, touching in a time of 25.01. Fearn took down the seven-year-old record on the way to gold, with Mount Kelly’s Abduljabar Adama taking silver, and City of Leeds’ Matthew Just the bronze.

The first medals of the day came in the Men’s 200m Freestyle finals, and it was the 15-year-old final which provided a spectacle for the attendees. RTW Monson’s Tom Hawkins took the lead from lane two and managed to navigate the challenges from various lanes before ultimately securing the win. City of Leicester’s top seed James Raw did his best to come back at Hawkins down the final length, but the winner built up enough of a lead to bring it home. The bronze was up for grabs amongst the rest of the swimmers, with Tigers Jersey’s Matthew Deffains doing enough to pick up the medal.

Another strong start from an outside lane was had in the 16-year-old final, as Bridgend City’s Tristyn James took the lead down the first 150 metres. Once again it was the top seed in Mount Kelly’s Jonathan Turk who made a challenge down the home straight; this time ultimately doing enough to get the better of James to take the gold. Pershore’s David Annis also managed to overtake the swimmer to secure silver, with James managing to hold on for bronze.

City of Liverpool’s Tyler Melbourne-Smith was back, as his successful meet culminated with the 17-year-old final. A handful of swimmers were in with a shout of gold throughout the race before City of Manchester’s Reuben Rowbotham-Keating and the Liverpool swimmer broke away from the pack; bringing it down to the touch as Melbourne-Smith did enough for what was another gold for him. Rowbotham-Keating took silver, as City of Cardiff’s Joshua O’Brien took the bronze medal by two hundredths of a second.

Alexander Painter of Millfield took out the 18-year-old final after he picked up the fastest time in the 50 metre race yesterday. Turning first at both the 50 and the 100 metre mark, he was then joined by a charge from Sutton & Cheam’s Joseph Bartley, before a late battle with the pair saw Painter take the win following a final burst of speed. Bartley did enough for silver, with Aberdeen Performance’s Cameron Travis picking up bronze after another tight finish with the chasers.

The fastest time came in the 19 & over final, with City of Sheffield’s top seed Thomas Watkin taking the race out with a scintillating first 50 metres. The pack then tightened up as the race developed, as Loughborough University’s Jacob Goodman kept the pressure on through the halfway stage. They then drew level with one length to go, going stroke for stroke before Goodman’s teammate Charlie Hutchinson joined in the party as the race came to an end. Goodman took the win, as Watkin came in for silver, with Hutchinson taking the bronze.

It was then the turn of the women as the 100m Breaststroke final came to the fore. The 13/14 year-old race saw a quick start from Torfaen Dolphins’ Theodora Taylor as she took the lead from lane five. The pace was then kept up from the athlete as she never looked back, eventually securing the win to top off the brilliant week she has had. Silver went to Basildon Phoenix’s Gracie Parker, as top seed Gabrielle McCulloch from City of Salford received bronze.

The 16-year-old final saw a great battle between the first and third seeds, with City of Sheffield’s Charlotte Bianchi being cheered on the whole way in her battle with Guildford City’s Emma Allat-File. The two were going stroke for stroke down the first length, before Allat-File managed to pull away with 25 metres to go to take gold. Bianchi eventually slipped to the bronze medal position following a stunning charge from Sevenoaks’ Aaliyah Richards, as she took the silver.

The 17-year-olds kept the same vein in their final, as practically the whole field were in contention, with it being too close to call for the majority of the race. City of Manchester Aquatics’ Caitlin Lansom came through at the end, upping her stroke rate to ensure she touched first, as Garioch’s Hula Gow did enough for silver, with Repton’s Hannah Bowley also touching out a number of swimmers for the bronze.

The 18-year-old final saw Mount Kelly’s Amelia Riggot set the pace, before City of Norwich’s Holly Monk came up alongside for one of the most dramatic finishes of the night. A full line of swimmers all produced stunning fightbacks as Monk took gold. Street’s Cora Lanham managed to come through for silver, with City of Sheffield’s Abigail Miles taking bronze after she put in a spectacular last 25 metres from lane two.

Once again the 19 & overs provided the quickest swimming, with several swimmers in with a chance of gold as the race drew to a close. The fastest seeds went with each other into the final 10 metres, before Hazal Ozken of Mount Kelly got the gold medal on the touch. Loughborough University’s Lily Booker was just a tenth behind as she won silver, with the bronze medal going to Poole’s Kayla Van Der Merwe.

It was the Men’s 200m Backstroke finals that were next on the agenda, with a three-way battle for the win taking place throughout the whole distance in the 15-year-old final. Mount Kelly’s Fergus Thomson took a slight edge as the race matured, before pulling away down the last few metres to take gold. Silver went to his club mate Brydan Byrne, with Toby Godsell doing well to keep up with the pair, as he finished just behind for the bronze.

The 16-year-old final followed, with a number of medallists throughout the week all partaking in the race. Poole’s second seed Charlie Meek set the pace after the start, with the race levelling out just after the halfway mark. Although Meek maintained his slender lead, Derventio Excel’s George Whittle finally managed to put himself in front with one length to go. It was a mad dash for the wall with a couple of swimmers joining in on the action, before Whittle did enough to take the gold medal. Silver went to Meek, with Northumberland & Durham’s Thomas Maskell managing to give swim himself to a bronze medal from lane 8.

The 18-year-old final also provided a great finish, as a near-perfect arrowhead of swimmers was formed into the halfway point; top seed Harry Nicholson of Newcastle taking the win in a very measured performance. The other medals could have gone anywhere, though, with a number of swimmers all changing positions with the wall in sight. Chelsea & West’s second seed Pietro Ubertalli kept the same position as he touched for silver, with Poole’s Robbie Hemmings also returning to the medals, as he took the bronze.

The 19 & over final saw the fastest time of the event, with Wycombe, Loughborough and Sheffield all battling it out for the win. The field were relatively even down the first half of the race, before Loughborough National Centre’s Charlie Brown massively picked up the pace to sail ahead of the competition. He took what was a clear victory in the end, with Wycombe District’s Cameron Brooker coming home a couple of seconds behind for silver, with City of Sheffield’s Samuel Greenbank a little further behind with the bronze medal.

The penultimate individual event of these championships were the Women’s 100m Butterfly finals. The 15-year-old final provided the viewers with another tight finish, as the top three seeds all turned practically level at halfway. A last dash for the finish saw Norwich Swan’s Charlotte Smith and City of Milton Keynes’ Despoina Giannakaki slightly break away from the pack; the former taking the victory on the touch by four hundredths of a second. Ahead of Giannakaki, coming in for the bronze medal position, was City of Leicester’s Millie Wells.

A strong start from top seed Hollie Widdows of Mount Kelly started the 16-year-old final. She was never left though, as City of Sheffield’s Ashleigh Baillie came back into the finish; drawing level with Widdows as it came down to who could time their finish better. Widdows did enough for the gold, as Baillie settled for silver, with Eva Okaro of Sevenoaks touching a couple of seconds behind the pair for the bronze.

Even more contenders made themselves known in the 17 year-old final, as the halfway turn saw a handful of swimmers in the mix. Top seed Leah Evans from City of Bristol managed to keep up the pace as she pushed up the pool before taking the gold medal, with Mount Kelly’s Erin Little and Royal Wolverhampton School’s Chloe Harris taking the silver and bronze medals respectively.

The field could not be split again in the 19 & over final, as a close race went all the way down to the finish. It was a four-way split on the touch; Northampton’s Betsy Wizard setting the fastest time of the event to take gold. Wizard got the better of Aberdeen Performance’s Yasmin Perry, who came in just behind for the silver medal, as City of Sheffield’s Candice Hall took the bronze, as she was unfortunate to miss out on second place by two hundredths of a second.

The final individual event of the competition was the Men’s 50m Butterfly. Following Fearn’s record-breaking swim in the earlier final, the 15-year-olds had a tough act to follow. The 16-year-old final did well though, as it was another race with nothing to split the field; Millfield’s Leo Ferguson taking the gold after a swift start from top seed Nicholas Finch of Chelsea & Westminster. It was Finch who took the bronze, though, with Aberdeen Performance’s Kieran Lennox splitting the pair in the silver medal position.

The 17 year-old final had it all as there were charges from all over the pool. Liam Dawson of Belper Marlin took the lead at the start from lane one, before the field levelled up to see Beverley Barracudas’ Kieran Grant take the gold medal on the touch. Beckenham’s James Cleaver came in for silver, as Aberdeen Dolphins’ Tom Robertson took the bronze medal; the trio separated by just nine hundredths of a second.

Surrey University’s Christopher Finch put in a solid swim as he won gold with the fastest time of the event in the 19 & over final. Coming up ahead after the start, he never looked back, winning the gold from lane three despite fightbacks across the pool. The silver medal and bronze medals both went to University of Stirling swimmers, as Jamie Robertson and Brogan Hyde took silver and bronze respectively.

The relays then followed the completion of the individuals, as the Men’s 14/16 year-old 4x100m Freestyle Relay kicked off the last events of the competition. There were a handful of medal hopefuls after the first legs, with the contenders then clearly breaking away from the back half of the field at the halfway stage. Josef Adams of Chelsea & West gradually brought them into first place on the third hundred metres, as City of Cardiff’s Tristan Lee wasn’t far behind. It was then the turn of the anchor legs as Millfield took the lead, and it was a three-way fight for the finish, as Abduljabar Adama of Mount Kelly joined in on the action. It was Mount Kelly who managed to win on the touch, as he overcame Millfield’s Richard Jenkins by two tenths of a second. City of Cardiff came in for the bronze medal, as one of the loudest crowds of the week roared the athletes home.

The last men’s race of the competition was the 17 & over race. The first leg saw individual 100 metre winner Alex Cohoon give Loughborough University a commanding lead, as he handed over with the team ahead of what was otherwise a relatively even field. Michael Ripper maintained the advantage on the second leg, with Swansea University’s Solomon Williams doing well to keep up. City of Sheffield joined in on the action from lane nine with Aaron Fox on the third leg, before the anchor saw Loughborough’s Andreas Vazaios power the team home for what was another relay win. The second placed battle between Swansea’s Finn Nicholl and Sheffield’s Thomas Watkin kept the race alive, with Nicholl doing enough to give Swansea the silver medal, as Watkin gave the home team the bronze.

The women’s relay of the same event followed; the 14/16 year-old final giving the crowd a brilliant first leg of the race, as a handful of clubs made themselves known. It was City of Leeds who took an early lead, as their second swimmer Emma Wood battled with Nicole De Pree of Millfield, the latter touching in first place at the halfway stage. City of Sheffield then made their mark through Holly Baker on the third leg, as Millfield’s Sienna Franklyn-Miller kept their lead, albeit slenderer, into the final stage. Sheffield’s Ashleigh Baillie fought back to give the home club the lead with 50 metres to go and Eva Okaro of Sevenoaks made a final charge down the last few metres to bring it down to the touch. It was Okaro who did just enough, though, as she put in an unbelievable swim to bring the team from outside of medal contention, to winning the gold medal. This meant Sheffield took silver, as they were just seven hundredths of a second behind, and City of Cardiff came in for bronze.

The final race of the competition was the 17 & over event, with several teams qualifying close to top seed’s City of Cardiff. It was Mount Kelly who took an early lead, as Megan Barnes kept her shoulders in front of the chasing pack. The second leg brought other teams into the race, as the lead was then taken by City of Sheffield through Kate Clifton. The third stage of the race saw Cardiff and Sheffield break away from the pack and continue their fight, with Amelia Monaghan from the home team keeping their lead with one swimmer to go. Candice Hall then powered home, giving Sheffield another relay gold medal, as Mount Kelly made a late charge through Erin Little to take silver, with City of Cardiff holding on for the bronze.

Full list of winners

Men's 200m Freestyle

13/14 Yrs - Llewellyn Porter, Camden Swiss

15 Yrs - Tom Hawkins, RTW Monson

16 Yrs - Jonathon Turck, Mount Kelly

17 Yrs - Tyler Melbourne-Smith, City of Liverpool

18 Yrs - Alexander Painter, Millfield

19 Yrs & over - Jakob Goodman, Loughborough University

Women's 100m Breaststroke

13/14 Yrs - Theodora Taylor, Torfaen Dolphins

15 Yrs - Charlotte Hardy, Millfield

16 Yrs - Emma Allatt-File, Guildford City

17 Yrs - Caitlin Lansom, City of Manchester Aquatics

18 Yrs - Molly Monk, City of Norwich

19 Yrs & over - Hazal Ozkan, Mount Kelly

Men's 200m Backstroke

13/14 Yrs - Isaac Thompson, Tigers Jersey

15 Yrs - Fergus Thompson, Mount Kelly

16 Yrs - George Whittle, Derventio Excel

17 Yrs - Matthew Ward, Mount Kelly

18 Yrs - Harry Nicholson - Newcastle

19 Yrs & over - Charlie Brown, Loughborough National Centre

Women's 100m Butterfly

13/14 Yrs - Seren Tallantyre, Northumberland & Durham

15 Yrs - Charlotte Smith, Norwich Swan

16 Yrs - Hollie Widdows, Mount Kelly

17 Yrs - Leah Evans, City of Bristol

18 Yrs - Lucy Grieve, South Ayrshire

19 Yrs & over - Betsy Wizard, Northampton

Men's 50m Butterfly

13/14 Yrs - Dean Fearn, Aberdeen Dolphins (14 year-old British record)

15 Yrs - Lauchlan Parrott, Millfield

16 Yrs - Leo Ferguson, Millfield

17 Yrs - Kieran Grant, Beverley Barracudas

18 Yrs - Sebastian Rawes, Abingdon Vale

19 Yrs & over - Christopher Finch, Surrey University

Men's 4x100m Freestyle Relay

14/16 Yrs - Mount Kelly

17 Yrs & over - Loughborough University

Women's 4x100m Freestyle Relay

14/16 Yrs - Sevenoaks

17 Yrs & over - City of Sheffield