TONBRIDGE SWIMMING CLUB’S 11-year-old Caitlin Ebbage won three gold medals at long distance in the opening round of the Kent County Swimming Championships last month.
The event is held over four consecutive weekends – the first three at Crystal Palace and the last one at the London Aquatic Centre.
Caitlin was Tonbridge Swimming Club’s sole competitor, but by the end of the weekend she had single-handedly put Tonbridge into fourth place overall in the medals table.
She began by winning the 400m Individual Medley, which she completed in personal best time of 5min 49.65sec – included a PB butterfly time in the first 100m.
In the girls’ 400m freestyle Caitlin found herself up against 13-year-olds but was unfazed and led her opponents by 10 metres at halfway.
She then paced herself from the front and finished in a time of 5:00.68 – another PB and the eighth best time recorded in Britain in her age group.
For the next evening at Crystal Palace she took on the gruelling 800m freestyle event, the longest event the girls are allowed swim.
Swimming against 14 and 15-year-olds girls, she slogged hard to finish with a three-second PB, half a minute ahead of the nearest swimmer in her age group.
Caitlin produced a barnstorming last 100m split to finish in 10:18.21, a time that now ranks her fifth in the country in her age group.
Meanwhile Tonbridge Swimming Club’s older swimmers were competing in the South-East Regional Championships at K2 Crawley.
In the ASA South-East Regional Masters for over-25s, the Tonbridge team put in many outstanding performances to bring home three gold medals, three silvers and three bronzes across all the events.
Carly Moon cleaned up in the breaststroke events, winning all three gold medals in the 50m, 100m and 200m races and collecting silver in the 800m freestyle.
In the 100m breaststroke it was a one-two for Tonbridge with Rebecca Pritchard coming in second behind Carly.
Kirsty Alfredson picked up a silver in the 100m butterfly and a couple of bronzes in the 50m butterfly and 100m freestyle.
Steward Grant collected silver in the men’s 100m breaststroke while Sam Petter won bronze in the 200m backstroke.