Mid Sussex Marlins takes the Nationals by storm

Held from the end of July through to the beginning of August, the British Summer Champions and the Swim England National Summer Meet are the pinnacle of the British swimming year. After a brilliant season, Mid Sussex Marlins (MSM) sent its largest contingent of swimmers EVER to Nationals this year and they achieved great success!

Overall, MSM swimmers took:

  • 27 final and top 10 placings;
  • A coveted bronze medal; and
  • One regional and six county records.

To top it all, on the last day of competition at the British Champs, MSM was named the SIXTH MOST IMPROVED club based on times set at the event.

Head coach, Steve Murphy, is delighted with the progress made at this year’s Nationals, “The swimmers really stepped-up. For many of them, this was the first time they have competed at this level but that did not stop them performing. I could not have anticipated so many final and top 10 placings. Everything else is icing on the cake. I’m thrilled for them. They have worked so hard to get here, it is brilliant to see them succeed and develop further as national level swimmers. I couldn’t have asked for anymore from them”.

Competing against all swimmers from across Great Britain and England respectively, the qualification window for Nationals opens in March and runs to the end of May. The top swimmers in each age group for each event are selected to compete based on the fastest times set. It’s estimated that just 1% of swimmers make it to this level of competition. It is a huge credit to the swimmers who qualified simply to make it to Nationals.

Swimmers qualifying from Mid Sussex Marlins for the British Nationals were:

  • Maddi Barnaby: 50m Breast,
  • Michael Edwards: 50m Breast,100m Breast and 200m Breast­*
  • Charlotte Johnson: 200m Fly, 400m Free, 1500m Free
  • Sophie Maguire: 50m Back,100m Back and 200m Back
  • Ollie Richardson: 50m Free
  • Sophie Shaw: 50m Back,100m Back and 200m Back
  • Sam Wiles: 50m Fly

Made up of Sophie Maguire, Maddi Barnaby, Rachael Bowen and Kate Wood, the MSM girls’ 17 years and over 4 x 100m medley relay team also qualified (pictured). This is the first time a girls’ relay team from Marlins has qualified for Nationals.

Swimmers qualifying from Mid Sussex Marlins for the Swim England National Summer Meet were:

  • Bethany Abrams: 200m Free, 400m Free, 100m Free and 1500m Free
  • Rachael Bowen 50m Fly
  • Alex Curry 200m Breast
  • Charlotte Johnson 200m Free, 400m IM, 100m Fly, 200m IM and 800m Free
  • Sophie Maguire 50m Fly
  • Ollie Richardson 100m Free
  • Sophie Shaw 50m Free and 50m Fly
  • Amelia Stone 50m Fly
  • Sam Wiles 100m Free

The competition took place over a two-week period at Ponds Forge, the international sports centre in Sheffield. Highlights from the competition include when experienced national swimmer Sophie Shaw took a bronze medal in the 16 years 50m Back.  Her namesake and training partner, Sophie Maguire, took the regional open record for the 50m Back.

Sophie Shaw presentation of bronze medal

Charlotte Joh­­nson smashed her PB in the 1500m Free to set a new open club record in a time of 17.52.96, clocking an under 18-minute time for the first time. Impressively, the girls’ 17 years and over medley relay team moved up 13 places with a four-second improvement on their entry time.

Bethany Abrams, Michael Edwards and Amelia Stone got into the finals for all of their events at what was their first appearance at Nationals. Whilst Ollie Richardson and Sam Wiles gave the club TWO finalists in the 13/14 years 100m Free final at the English Nationals.

The club wants to take this opportunity to congratulate all the swimmers – well done! This was an incredibly successful event and you really did us proud.