SWIMMING: Wiggins is the COPS golden boy at National Championships

Gold medal winner Tom Wiggins.
Gold medal winner Tom Wiggins.
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City of Peterborough Swimming Club (COPS) won seven medals at the big ASA National Summer Championships in Sheffield.

Star of the show was 17 year-old Thomas Wiggins who won the gold medal in the 50m breaststroke on day four of the five-day event at the Ponds Forge pool. Amelia Monaghan and Bethany Saunders both won silvers.

COPS medal winners Madison and Bethany Saunders.

COPS medal winners Madison and Bethany Saunders.

COPS final tally of one gold, two silvers and four bronze medals saw them finish in seventh place in the overall Top Club points standings and made them the highest placed club in the East Region.

The women’s team tally of 123 points ranked them as the second highest English club behind Stockport Metro.

The National Swimming Championships are for swimmers holding a national ranking between 25th and 44th place at the end of the qualifying period from March to May 2016.

DAY ONE

COPS medal winners Amelia Monaghan and Becky Burton.

COPS medal winners Amelia Monaghan and Becky Burton.

On the first day of competition, COPS had 13 swimmers taking part in 16 events and they qualified for nine finals and won their first medal of the championships.

In the women’s 100m breaststroke event 15 year-old Lauren Harrison was placed first in her heat with a new personal best (PB) time. In a tight finish to the final where the first three places were timed within two tenths of a second, Lauren set another new PB of 1:15.34 and won the bronze medal.

Also swimming the 100m breaststroke was Mia Leech (14) who qualified for her final by posting the fifth fastest time. In the final Mia improved her time to 1:17.48 to finish in seventh place.

The women’s 400m individual medley saw Lauren again qualify for the final in 10th place and she posted a PB of 5:13.14 to move up to eighth place.

Swimming alongside Lauren in the same final was Poppy Richardson (15), who qualified in eighth place then posted a massive PB of 5:08.81 to take fifth place.

Amelia Monaghan (14) posted a new PB to qualify in pole position for her final and despite posting another two-second PB of 5:10.25 she finished in fouth place.

COPS’ open water stalwart Aisling Ruff (18) posted a big PB of 5:08.62 in the heats to qualify in ninth place for her first ever National final but she was unable to improve on that performance in what proved to be Aisling’s last race in the pool for COPS.

In the men’s 400m individual medley, Harry Whiteman (16) posted a four-second PB to qualify in fifth place for his final but despite improving his time again to 4:52.83 he could only finish in seveth place.

Cameron McRae (17) qualified for his final in 10th place with a time of 4:52.25 and he moved up one place finishing in ninth place.

Also swimming in the 400m individual medley were Joshua Graves (19), who finished in 11th place with a time of 4:49.25, and Herbie Kinder (14), who finished in 16th place in a time of 5:14.47.

In the women’s 200m freestyle Mia Leech (14) finished in 13th place in a time of 2:14.02 and in the men’s event Harvey Norman (15) finished in 14th place with a time of 2:05.32.

Sixteen year-old Jaxon Simmons was competing in the multi-classification disability events at these championships. Jaxon has a sight impairment and competes in the S13 classification.

The results of these events are decided on a points-based system where each swimmer’s finish time is compared to the world record time for their classification. The swimmer with the highest points (but not necessarily the fastest time) wins the event.

Jaxon was placed 11th in the MC100m freestyle with a time of 1:02.39 which earned him 541 points.

He then qualified for the final of the MC100m breaststroke event with a new PB that that earned him eighth place with 454 points where he went on to improve his PB by two seconds to finish on 1:20.74 earning him 488 points and seventh place.

DAY TWO

On the second day of the English National Championships, COPS had seven swimmers taking part in 10 events and they qualified for four finals.

In the 50m freestyle event 13 year-old Jade Goode qualified for her final in the third fastest time of 28.16. Jade was unable to improve on her earlier performance and she finished in fifth place.

Jade then went on to qualify for the 100m butterfly final in fifth place with a time of 1:07.51 where she finished in ninth place.

Also swimming the 100m butterfly event were Poppy Richardson (15), who set a new PB in the heats to qualify in fifth place for the final where she again set another PB of 1:05.11 to finish in sixth place.

Mia Leech (14) set a time of 1:08.16 for 14th place then she swam a time of 2:50.02 for 11th place in the 200m breaststroke event.

In the men’s 200m breaststroke heats 17 year-old Thomas Wiggins set a massive PB to qualify for the final in sixth place where he went on to lower his PB again to 2:26.14 to take fifth place.

Sixteen year-old Jaxon Simmons set a new PB in the multi-classification 200m individual medley of 2:35.42 to earn him 12th place with 505 points.

Jaxon then went on to compete in the multi-classification 50m freestyle event where his time of 28.75 earned him 525 points and placed him 16th overall.

The 1500m freestyle is swimming’s equivalent of the marathon and the two competitors from COPS both set massive PBs. Fourteen year-old Henry Pearce set a nine second PB of 17:35.97 to finish in fifth place and Harry Whiteman (16) improved his PB by 16 seconds to 16:51.48 to also finish in fifth place.

DAY THREE

On day three COPS had nine swimmers in action.

The hallmark event of the day was the women’s 200m individual medley in which COPS had three qualifiers.

Amelia Monaghan (14) swam her heat in a big PB time and qualified in third position for the final where she knocked a further two seconds off her PB to record a time of 2:26.13 and secured the silver medal.

Seventeen year-old Rebecca Burton also set a new PB in her heat and qualified in the fifth fastest time. In the final Rebecca went on to improve her PB by over 1.5 seconds and her final time of 2:22.22 won her the bronze medal.

Also swimming in the 200m individual medley event was Jade Goode (13), whose time of 2:36.27 secured her 18th place.

Earlier in the day Poppy Richardson (15) set a new PB in the 400m freestyle to qualify for the finals in the third fastest time. Despite improving her time by nearly three seconds, Poppy’s final time of 4:33.00 saw her finish in fifth place.

In the men’s 200m individual medley 14 year-old Herbie Kinder qualified for his first ever National final by setting a new personal best time of 2:23.55. He started his final in 10th place and he was unable to improve on his qualification time in the heats and finished in the same 10th place.

In the men’s 50m backstroke Cameron McRae qualified seventh fastest for his final with a new PB of 28.26 but he couldn’t improve on his qualification time and his final position was ninth place.

Herbie Kinder set a new PB of 30.83 to finish in 14th position and Myles Robinson-Young (14) finished in 16th position with a time of 31.06.

In the women’s event 13 year-old Jade Goode was placed 11th and just outside the finals qualifying positions with her time of 32.64.

DAY FOUR

Day four was one of the busiest for the coaches and swimmers of COPS with 15 swimmers having qualified for 17 events and there were seven finals appearances that resulted in one gold medal, one silver medal and three bronze medals.

Seventeen year-old Thomas Wiggins set a big PB in his heat of the 50m breaststroke that saw him qualify as second fastest.

In the final he surfaced just behind the swimmer in lane four but over the one length of the pool he reeled him in and set another PB of 30.08 to take the gold medal.

The women’s 100m backstroke saw two sisters from COPS qualify for the finals. Bethany Saunders (17) qualified in second place with a big PB while Maddison Saunders (15) also set a new PB of 1:07.10 to qualify in third place for her final.

Maddison went first in the 15 years final and although she swam a slower time than the heat she maintained her third position to take the bronze medal.

Two races later Bethany completed the family one-two as she again set a new PB of 1:04.49 to take the silver medal.

Also swimming the 100m backstroke were Anna Blakeley (14), whose time of 1:10.10 secured 16th place, and Jade Goode (13) set a time of 1:12.12 to take 18th place.

In the women’s 100m freestyle there was more medal glory as Poppy Richardson (15) and Rachel Wellings (16) both qualified for their respective finals in fifth place.

In her final Poppy turned at the 50m mark still in sixth place but she managed to pull back to take the bronze medal in a new PB of 59.62.

In her final Rachel turned in second place at the 50m mark and despite a new PB of 58.92 she had to settle for the bronze medal.

Also swimming in the 100m freestyle was Anna Blakeley (14), who qualified for her final in ninth place and with a time that was one second faster than her heat time Anna finished in sixth place with a time of 60.19.

Earlier in the day Joshua Graves (19) had qualified in eighth place for the final of the gruelling 200m butterfly event. In his final he swam over a second faster to record a time of 2:09.34 for sixth place.

Mia Leech qualified in sixth place for the final of the women’s 200m butterfly and she swam almost three seconds faster to record a final time of 2:27.31.

Mia went on to compete in the 50m breaststroke event and her time of 36.78 gave her 16th place.

Also swimming in the same event was Lauren Harrison (15), who qualified for the final in 10th place and then went on to improve her time to 35.26 to take eighth place.

In the men’s 400m freestyle Henry Pearce (14) recorded a time of 4:30.01 to take 12th place while Harvey Norman (15) recorded a time of 4:25.32 to take 13th place.

In the 100m backstroke event Cameron McRae (17) finished in a time of 61.89 to finish in 14th place and Herbie Kinder (14) clocked a time of 66.43 to take 15th place.

In the multi-classification 100m butterfly Jaxon Simmons (17) recorded a time of 1:10.47 to score 461 points to take 12th position.

DAY FIVE

On the last day of competition COPS had six swimmers on poolside taking part in six events and they qualified for three finals and added a bronze medal to their collection.

In the women’s 50m butterfly Jade Goode (13) qualified for her final in third place with a time of 30.05.

In the final she maintained that position to win the bronze medal with a time of 29.40.

Poppy Richardson (15) also qualified in ninth place for her final in the same event and she improved both her placing and time by finishing in sixth place with a time of 29.58.

In the men’s 20m backstroke Michael Lardner (17) set a new PB of 2:12.30 to qualify for the final in fouth place. In the final Michael couldn’t produce the same form and he finished in 10th place.

Matthew Gray (16) finished in 13th place with a time of 2:17.87 while Herbie Kinder (14) clocked 2:23.89 for 14th place and Cameron McRae (17) finished in a time of 2:19.16 for 15th place.