Macy Noad and Zach Powell from Burnham-On-Sea Swim and Sports Academy

Burnham-On-Sea’s Academy Swim Team has made a splash at the regional championships this month.

Two swimmers took part in the Swim England South West Winter Regional Championships at Millfield.

The event is particularly tough to compete in as it awards places on qualifying times. For the 400 metre and over swim events, only the fastest top entrants qualify.

Macy Noad made the 400 freestyle, and achieved a time on her personal best. Zach Powell made the 50, 100, 200, 400 and 1500 freestyle, along with the 100 and 400 IM.

He achieved three personal best times in the 400 and 50 free, taking 1.22 seconds off his 100 Free time to achieve a time of 54.66 and narrowly miss the National Winter Qualifying times for 16 year olds.

Head Coach Sara Flinton says: “This achievement follows on from an amazing five of the Academy Swim Team Burnham’s 11-12 year old swimmers being selected by the Somerset ASA for the forthcoming County Development Program (CDP) for 2023-24.”

“12 year olds Evie Rowley-Wall and Leo Woodrow along with 11 year olds Lauren Glanville, Ryan Smout and Harry Glanville have been selected, based on their outstanding achievements at competitions throughout this year.”

“This inter-club provision, focusing on swimming efficiency, will run over 10 dates between Sept 2023 and June 2024 at Millfield School. Sessions will be complementary to home club provision including stroke drills, underwater fly kick development, starts, turns and sculling.”

Sara adds: “It is my complete pleasure to say that we have five swimmers selected for the Somerset County Pathway this year. They have been selected on the merits of their performances and how well deserved.”

Pictured: Leo Woodrow, Evie Rowley-Wall, Harry Glanville, Ryan Smout & Lauren Glanville

“They will take part in a number of workshops including talks on nutrition, understanding pre and post pool work and will work with coaches Rachel Aldington (Millfield) and Pat Leaman (Clevedon) on their skills in the pool. This is a first for our little club to have such a presence on the County Pathway and we are so proud of you all.”

Club Chair Simon Robinson adds: “This is absolutely fantastic and shows what a journey these swimmers and the club itself has been on, each one of you deserves to be proud and I know how much work and training went into achieving it – well done. Also, let’s not forget the dedication that makes this all possible from Sara Flinton and her incredible team of coaches.”

Academy Swim Team swimmers have also taken part in county events in the last few weeks, achieving great results.

At the Somerset County Development meet, there were 43 swimmers taking part, some of them competing for the first time. There were many medals, personal bests and county qualifying times, which meant that the Swim Team finished second only to Millfield school on points, an amazing achievement.

In the middle of the month there were County Relay events, which also included an individual 100IM event. There were 13 teams entered from the club.

The Boys 10-12 200M Medley squad comprising Leo Woodrow, Toby Baker, Ryan Smout and Harry Glanville finished 2nd, winning the Silver Medal.

Then Henry Matthews joined Ryan, Harry and Leo from the Medley Team and they went on to bag the Bronze Medal in another highly competitive race in the 200 Freestyle.

The Under and Over 15’s Relays then began with AST Burnham entering 4 teams across the various events. In the Boys 15 & Under 200M Medley Relay Xander Powell, Zach Powell, TT Magang and Lewis Hay produced a fast performance, dropping their entry time by over 4 seconds but having to settle for 4th place overall in another high-quality field.

Their time would come though as against a lot of the same swimmers they dropped their 200M Free Relay entry time by over 6 seconds to win a great Bronze medal in another exciting race.

The Mixed 15 & Over Relay Teams then produced a similar performance. The Medley Team of Lewis Hay, Kelsey Webber, Lewis Duggan and Macy Noad produced a great swim that saw them jump from being the 11th seeded team to finish 4th.

The Freestyle Relay Team of Lewis Duggan, Macy, Kelsey and Zach Powell then went one better, going from being ranked 12th at the start to finishing 3rd and picking up another excellent Bronze medal.

In the 100IM finals Leo (12) won the Bronze medal and Zach (15) the Silver in their respective finals.

Head Coach Sara Flinton says she took a lot of enjoyment from watching the performances of the team throughout the day: “What a blast we had at Millfield, firstly with medals for the Boys 10-12 Relays, two 4th places for the 13-14 Girls and multiple IM finalists with excellent time reductions across the board, with the Team finishing 5th in the list of 14 clubs taking part.”

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