ESSA Swimming Inter-Divisional Championships
This year saw seven Millfield pupils and one staff member take part in the 69th edition of the English Schools Swimming Association (ESSA) Inter-Divisional Championships. The pupils were competing for the South West Division against seven other divisions split across the country. This year’s event took place at the K2 Leisure Centre in Crawley over the weekend of the 23rd-24th March.
Historically the competition sees some very fast racing and has seen multiple Olympians and British Record holders take part in the event, so the standard of competition was high. The Millfield pupils performed very well, and their behaviours were of credit to the school. Along the way, Richard Towers (MPS) set a new English Schools National Record in the Junior 100 metre Breaststroke with a time of 1:12.98. Richard, along with Frankie Hatchard were also part of the 6x50m Medley Squad Relay that broke a National Schools Record. Mae Singer who had a brutal racing schedule on Day 1, finished off her long day with a National Schools Record by being part of the 6x50m Freestyle Squad Relay. There were 8 National School Records broken in total by members of the South West Team, so our Millfield pupils featured highly in these results.
The most impressive part of the weekend was the overall result. The South West team narrowly missed out on taking the overall title by 1 point behind the North East team (1st NE 522, 2nd SW 521, 3rd SE 472). This made the result the best performance by the South West division in a decade. It was nail biting stuff, with it coming right down to the final race. Despite this, the South West Team came home with 5 trophies:
2nd Place Overall
Most Improved Division
Intermediate Boys [Matthew Hall (Yr9) & Calvin Fry (Yr10)]
Overall the South West Team had the following 58 top 3 finishes (58/88 events)
31 first place finishes
16 second place finishes
11 third place finishes
Coach Clarke attended the competition as Head Coach for the South West Team and had the following feedback from the meet:
“The team were fantastic and the Millfield pupils both performed and behaved superbly. The atmosphere of the team was relaxed, but professional and positive. I must give massive thanks to all the swimmers that supported the event, to their coaches for allowing them to compete and to the support staff of the team for all their hard work over the weekend. Second place by 1-point hurts, but the overall experience that the swimmers got will last forever”.
With the Schools own TYR Super Series taking place on the same weekend, next up for the swimmers is British Championships from the 16th-21st April where 31 pupils will be competing against the best athletes in the Country. We wish those pupils all the best as they look to be selected for the following events: European Youth Olympic Festival, European Juniors, World Championships.
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