Swim success for Hatfield at British Championships

PUBLISHED: 11:14 23 April 2015 | UPDATED: 11:14 23 April 2015

Nathan Hughes. Picture by Paul Sanwell/OP Photographic

Nathan Hughes. Picture by Paul Sanwell/OP Photographic


Twelve Hatfield swimmers had a highly successful week at the British Championships held at the London Aquatic Centre.

Fourteen-year-old Nathan Hughes had a big programme of events to contend with and responded brilliantly with 10 lifetime best performances from his 12 swims.

Racing in the boys’ 15/16 years section he took first place in the 1,500m freestyle (16:04.53), second in the 400m IM in an impressive 4:29.67, and third in the 200m IM with 2:09.12.

Both individual medley swims are the second fastest ever by a British 14-year-old.

Hughes continued his run of form with further top swims in the 200m breaststroke (4th, 2:24.39), 400m freestyle (5th, 4:02.01), 200m freestyle (11th, 1:56.33), 100m freestyle (16th, 54.35) and 100m breaststroke (18th, 1:09.52).

In the boys’ 17/18 years category Martyn Walton was in good form, placing second in the 100m freestyle in 51.03secs after setting a lifetime best of 50.79secs in the heats.

Third place finishes followed in the 200m freestyle (1:50.09), 400m freestyle (3:56.66) and 200m IM (2:03.47 PB).

All four of these swims were inside the consideration time for the European Games in June although Walton faces a wait until British selectors announce the full team this week.

Tim Shuttleworth continued his recent rise up the national rankings despite making his first ever appearance at British Championship level.

His best performance came in the 1,500m freestyle where he took third place in the 17/18 age group with a seven-second personal best time of 15:45.52.

Further lifetime bests followed in the 200m IM (6th, 2:07.25), 400m freestyle (7th, 3:59.28) and 200m freestyle (19th, 1:55.55).

Another freestyler on the up was Luke Turley, who contested the boys’ 15/16 years 50m, 100m, 200m and 400m freestyle and set career best times in all four.

His best finish was eighth in the final of the 200m freestyle (1:55.77). To this he added 15th, 17th and 31st in the 400m, 100m and 50m.

In the senior women’s category, Jessica Jackson and Lily West both had successful meets.

Jackson set a personal best of 2:02.48 to place 12th in the 200m freestyle and was just outside her best times when finishing 14th in the 100m freestyle (56.53) and 24th in the 50m freestyle (26.78).

Meanwhile, West was unlucky not to reach the final in her signature event, the 200m butterfly, when setting her best ever heat swim of 2:14.28 to place 12th. She followed this up with a lifetime best in the 400m IM of 4:56.88 to finish 15th.

The 2014 Commonwealth Games finalist Katie Armitage was in action in the senior events after returning from her new training base in America at Florida Gulf Coast University. Racing in the breaststroke events, Armitage placed 11th in the 100m and 17th in the 200m.

Two of Hatfield’s promising young swimmers gained valuable experience from their first exposure at this level of competition.

Harry Constantine set a personal best of 1:00.14 when just missing the final of the boys’ 15/16 100m backstroke and placed 40th in the 50m freestyle.

In the girls’ 13/14 age group, Molly Francis swam a 50m freestyle best time of 28.53 and finished 15th and 18th in the 200m and 100m breaststroke.

Elinah Phillip, Luke Hazlehurst and Nico Campbell all had one swim each in the championships.

Phillip, fresh from racing at the CARIFTA Championships in Barbados, was 25th in the girls’ 15/16 years 50m freestyle, Hazlehurst took 13th in the boys’ 17/18 years 200m backstroke, while Campbell, another CARIFTA returnee, finished 11th in the boys’ 17/18 years 200m freestyle.

The majority of the 12 swimmers will be in action again on April 26 in Cardiff at the Arena National Swimming League Final, before competing in the England East Region Championships in Luton on May 2-4.

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