TONBRIDGE Swimming Club recorded their best performance at the County Championships after completing the fourth and final weekend.
They finished seventh in the overall point-scoring and sixth in the medal table, behind much bigger clubs from across the county.
Twelve-year-old Caitlin Ebbage achieve a first for the club with a full house of 16 finals and top eight finishes. She amassed a haul of 11 gold medals, one silver, and two bronzes.
In the boys 200m IM, which consists of 50m of all four strokes, 13-year-old Ollie Isaacs captured an excellent bronze medal, achieving a big personal best (PB) and an automatic qualification time for the South East Regionals (SER auto).
In the same event, 11-year-old Josh Prendergast recovered from illness to come fifth with a big PB and also an SER auto time.
In the girls’ 50m backstroke, Caitlin set a new PB and an SER record which consolidated her position as No 1 in the region and moved her up to second in the GB national rankings.
She also qualified for the Open Age group final at the end of the session and swam to fourth place in a race against girls who were 16 and 17 year-old-.
In the same discipline Cicily Thomas-Green (11) powered to a new long-course PB, and Sarah Brown (17) recorded a new PB and club record.
The boys’ 50m butterfly saw PBs for all three Tonbridge boys, Ollie, Ruben Antello-Cowley (10) – qualifying for his first Kent final and coming eighth, and Dan Brice (13), taking sixth in his first event at this year’s championships, recording an SER auto time. In the boys’ 50m breaststroke all five swimmers had new PBs.
Josh qualified for yet another final in his debut year and came sixth; Toby Henbest (13) shook out a five-second PB in the 14 years age group and earnt himself a SER base qualifying time. Dan and Charlie Curtis (15) continued the trend and Ollie came fifth in the final.
Caitlin registered another PB pb in the final to win gold in the girls’ 50m freestyle while Sarah Brown earnt herself a new club record in her heat.
Caitlin continued on her gold rush by winning the girls’ 200m IM for the second year in succession by a five-second margin, moving her up to ninth in the national rankings.
In the boys 50m backstroke, Charlie Brice shaved 1.5 seconds off his PB while Josh made another final in the 12 years age group and swam to sixth, knocking two seconds off his PB.
Ollie took five seconds off his 50 in the 14 years age, and Dan qualified for his final in second place and then swam another PB to win the bronze medal and record an SER Auto time.
The girls’ 50 butterfly saw Caitlin swim to a three-second long-course PB to bag her 11th gold medal of the championships and move her to sixth in GB rankings and first in the region.
Tonbridge had four girls in the 50m breaststroke, all gaining PBs as well as valuable county experience: Holly Geake (12), Mia Devey (12), Caitlin (12) and Ellis Kottas, who reached her first county final in her favourite event and came eighth.
The boys’ 50m freestyle was the last event and Charlie (10) kept up his 100 per cent record of PBs while Ruben also achieved a PB in the same age group. Ollie qualified for the final in fifth place, recording his first sub-28 time in 27.92sec, then went faster in the final, lowering his new PB to 27.73 and touching in fourth place.
The club’s most successful Kent championships had been a team effort from all the club’s swimmers over the four weekends, and they racked up 11 SER Base times and 23 SER Auto times.