Atlantis round off Essex swimming event in style

Dunmow Atlantis' Meghan Maybanks, Grace Mellor, Abbie Hart and Rebecca Moloney

Dunmow Atlantis' Meghan Maybanks, Grace Mellor, Abbie Hart and Rebecca Moloney - Credit: Archant

Dunmow Atlantis completed the final block in what has been a hugely successful County Championships.

The event, held last weekend at Basildon Sporting Village, saw the club finish in their highest ever position, ninth overall, out of 29 clubs from all over Essex.

There were outstanding performances from the talented squad, with a further seven new and three improved East Region qualifying times to add to the already impressive tally, racked up over the previous blocks in this year’s competition.

The gruelling training, which started months ago, certainly paid off.

The Atlantis swimmers competed with grit and determination to gain 53 long course personal bests and 30 first long course times.

To add to Dunmow’s delight, there were bronze medals for John Boyle (in the 100m backstroke and 200m freestyle), Josh Smith (in the 100m butterfly), Grace Mellor (in the 100m breaststroke) and Meghan Maybanks (in the 200m backstroke), plus another gold for Smith in the 100m backstroke - his fifth of the championship.

Four exisiting club records were smashed, both individual and team.

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Damon Elliot swam out of his skin in 2mins 28.43secs in the 200m freestyle, while the girls’ 200m relay teams showed true tenacity and spirit in their events.

Rebecca Moloney, Mellor, Abbie Hart and Maybanks flew home in 2:12.60 to take sixth in the 15yrs/over medley.

Maddie Lees, Rebecca Johnson, Lucy le Huquet and Amy-Rose Ansell were also finalists in the 11/12 yrs freestyle event.

The final race of the day, the girls’ 10-14yrs medley relay, saw Chloe Moloney, Sophie Taylor, Emma Sarginson and Rebecca Watt sprint to a nailbiting finish and claim the bronze medal in 2.13.08.

Added to this, an incredible 25 top eight places over the weekend, highlighted Dunmow’s ability rise to the challenge and take on clubs three or more times the size of them.

The squad now focus on preparing for the regional competitions in April and May.