Early season success for Swansea swimmers

This weekend saw the final British Universities swimming action for 2013 and Swansea University swimmers certainly served up some early season success at Sheffield.

 Sheffield Pool

Charlotte Bryan (first year Biology), stormed her way to victory in both the 50 and 100 backstrokes finishing in times just outside of the meet records held by ex SU representative and London Olympian Georgia Davies. Charlotte's medal haul did not end there picking up a bronze in the 200m butterfly on her 19th Birthday.

In the 200m Charlotte was not the only podium representative with team mate and training partner Alys Thomas (3rd Year Psychology) winning gold in a strong early season time.

Charlotte also picked up a silver medal as part of the women's 4x50 Medley Team Relay where she was joined by Avril Kiritschenko (Year 2 Biology), Alys Thomas and Hannah McCarthy (Year 2 Politics). Alex Harrison (Yr 2 Sports Science) was also an important part of the team ensuring they qualified for the A final. Alex stood on the podium with an excellent individual swim in the 100m Butterfly picking up her first individual BUCS medal with bronze in a lifetime best swim.

Girls were not the only relay team to pick up silverware with the Boys stepping up to the plate in the 4x50 Freestyle Relay winning a bronze. This is the first male relay medal won by Swansea in over a decade if ever. The team consisted of Mark Toth (Yr 1 Aerospace Eng.), Lewis Smith (Yr 1 Business Management), Matt Naunton (Year 2 Sports Science) and James Brinkley (Year 3 Business Management). Oliver Tennant (Year 1 HND Sports Science)was also an important part of the team ensuring they qualified for the A final.

A number of other individuals produced medal winning performances which greatly helped Swansea to its biggest ever overall BUCS score. On the girls side house mates Libby Mitchell, Alice Tennant and Gemma Almond took home no fewer than 6 medals between them. Gemma struck gold in the MC 50m Butterfly and Silver in both the MC 100m Butterfly and MC 200 Individual Medley. Alice took silver in the 200 Individual Medley and bronze in the 400 IM less than 5 minutes after a superb heat swim in the 200m Breaststroke. Libby Mitchell (Year 3 Sports Science) picked up the 6th medal with a bronze in the 400m freestyle with an excellent best time despite feeling somewhat under the weather. This was a reflection of the team mentality which Swansea brought to the meet.

Chris Suggitt (Year 3 Sports Science) took a further medal for Swansea in the 1500m freestyle. Chris's medal was the first medal of the weekend for Swansea and got the team off to an excellent start.

The team never wavered from this point holding their nerve in both team and individual efforts to amass the biggest ever points score at the event leaving recognised swimming institutions such as Bath, Stirling and Edinburgh trailing from the outset.

Swansea's score of 268 points is even more outstanding when you consider we had a team of only 17 swimmers at the meet with Bath having a team more than double this size and Loughborough having a team in excess of 50 swimmers.

The final scores were as follows:

1. Loughborough    401

2. Swansea         268

3. Bath            217

4. Edinburgh       213

5. Stirling        187

Other Welsh institutions standings:

11. Cardiff Met     65

15. South Wales     32

23. Cardiff         15

Stuart McNarry, National High Performance Coach, Swim Wales said: "All in all it was an excellent weekends swimming by Swansea's hard working performance swimmers who whilst studying also find the time to train more than 20 hours a week. I would like to congratulate the  team and give special thanks to Assistant Coach Sam Jones (Year 3 Sports Science) who did an excellent job after stepping in at the last minute to cover in the absence of team Captain Chris Titterington."