Chichester Cormorants Swim Club took a record number of competitors to the Sussex county championships this year – and the team’s most successful member was ten-year-old Ella Seacombe, with a haul of seven medals.
Her best result came in the 50m butterfly, where she showed a combination of power and technical skills unusual in such a young swimmer. No other ten-year-old could match her speed and she took gold.
It was a much more tactical race in the 200m breaststroke. This distance rewards swimmers who can measure their energy so that it runs out as they hit the finish, after eight high-speed lengths of the pool.
Seacombe, despite only having swum the event a handful of times, toughed it out and won silver. She rounded off her medal haul with five bronzes: the 50 and 100m breaststroke, 50 and 200m freestyle and 200m individual medley.
On the boys’ side of the squad, CCSC’s top swimmer was Leo Mitchell, who took bronze in the 50m freestyle, one of the most popular and competitive events. He also finished fourth in the ultra-demanding 100m freestyle.
In a different age category Charlie Stevenson, just ten years old and taking part in his first high-level races, also got a fourth-place rosette in the 50m freestyle. He showed what a fierce competitor he is by adding seventh-place rosettes in the backstroke and butterfly.
Other CCSC swimmers who won rosettes by getting into the final places for the eight best swimmers in the county included Eva Doubler, Mitchell Newell, James Potts, Jess Rayner, India Rose and Sean Savage.
In a tough county like Sussex, home to several big, powerhouse clubs, this is a tremendous achievement.
In total CCSC’s 16-strong squad took part in 58 races, 24 of which resulted in personal-best times. The squad in full was: Mia Clive, Eva Doubler, James Lake, Adam Long, Leo Mitchell, Mitchell Newell, James Potts, Jess Rayner, India Rose, Isabella Rose, Sean Savage, Ella Seacombe, Lauren Smith, Charlie Stevenson, Alex Sydenham, Max Sydenham.