Chard Shine at Somerset County Championships

Chard and District Swimming Club have county qualifiers this year taking part in the Somerset County Championships being held at Millfield School over four weekends, writes Hannah Pullinger.

After the first two weekends, Chard swimmers have made their mark, with 24 swimmers competing in 52 events, gaining 28 top ten positions with most achieving personal best times.

Nine-year-olds Eden McDonald and Millie Downes were taking part in their first County Championships, McDonald in the 100m individual medley and Downes in the 200m breaststroke, both gaining good personal best times. Two club records were also broken, both in the girl’s 200m breaststroke by Elisha Hawkins 13, (14 and Under club record) and Tessa Down 15, (open club record).

Medal positions were achieved by: Lauren Harrison who was third in the 800m freestyle, Melissa Hanson 15, second in the 400m freestyle and third in the 200m breaststroke, Tessa Down 15, first in the 200m breaststroke and third in the 400m freestyle, Ben Fowler 17, second in the 100m backstroke, Luke van den Barselaar 17, third in the 100m backstroke and Jake Hallam 17, who was third in the 200m butterfly.

Two swimmers in particular are to be congratulated in reaching Championship finals in their events – Ben Fowler 17, in the 100m backstroke, and Jake Hallam 17, in the 100m breaststroke.

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Sixteen Regional Qualifying and Consideration times were also achieved during the second weekend of competition; Luke van den Barselaar 17, 100 and 200m backstroke, Ben Fowler 17, 100 and 200m backstroke, Jake Hallam 17, 100m breaststroke and 200m butterfly, Hannah Pullinger 17, 200m breaststroke, Abi Dare 16, 100m backstroke and 100m butterfly, Tessa Down 15, 200m breaststroke, Melissa Hanson 15, 400m freestyle, 100m backstroke and 200m breaststroke, Oliver Bilbie 14, 200m backstroke, Jamie Pullinger 14, 100m backstroke, Elisha Hawkins 13, 200m breaststroke.

The club is always looking for new members interested in competitive swimming, particularly aged seven and upwards. Anyone interested in joining the club can attend for a free trial or contact them via

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