Bedford Swim Squad win twenty medals at Eastern Region Championships

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Swimmers Megan Barnicoat, Tia Sammut and Abi Davis with their medals after the Eastern Region Swimming Championships
Abi Davis, Tia Sammut and Megan Barnicoat all won medals Image: Bedford Swim Squad

The hugely successful Bedford Swim Squad have been back in action throughout April and May at the Eastern Region Swimming Championships, winning seven gold medals alongside nine silver and four bronze across multiple events.

The Championships were held across two venues, at the Inspire Luton Sports Village and the UEA Sports Park in Norwich, concluding on Sunday 12th May with the club finishing 8th out of 34 swimming clubs across the Region.

14-year old Abi Davis, (50m backstroke) and 13-year olds Tia Sammut (50m and 100m backstroke) and Megan Barnicoat (800m and 1500m freestyle) were all gold medallists in their events while Tia also won silver in the 200m backstroke with Megan winning a further three medals of her own.

Barnicoat’s silver medals also came in the freestyle division at 200m and 400m while her fifth medal came in the 200m backstroke in an excellent championship for the 13-year old prospect.

Swimmer Megan Barnicoat with five medals from the Eastern Region Swimming Championships
Megan Barnicoat with an abundance of medals Image: Bedford Swim Squad

In the older age groups, it was Bedford’s usual suspects claiming the medals.

Eloise Cole, one of the nation’s best young swimmers, won seven medals across three disciplines in showing her huge range of skills in the pool.

Golds in the 50m and 100m fly were followed with three silvers in the 200m fly and the 50m freestyle and 50pm backstroke along with a bronze medal in the 100m freestyle.

Cole, 16, who has represented England at international level in the World School Games in Brazil, now eyes up the English Summer Meet as well as the British Summer Championships in Sheffield in July.

Swimmer Eloise Cole at the Eastern Region Swimming Championships
Eloise Cole at the Eastern Region Meeting Image: Bedford Swim Squad

Another of the squad’s big names, Ryan Close was also in action and came away with four medals of his own.

The 16-year old, who along with Cole were highly commended in the Young Achievers category at April’s Bedford Independent Everyday Heroes Awards, won silver in the 100m backstroke and 100m fly along with bronze in the 50m and 200m backstroke.

He too is now in preparations for the English Summer Meet and the British Championships where he has qualified for the three shortest backstroke events.

There were 42 finalists from the Bedford Swim Squad, a record for the club with head coach Laurence Mills, very pleased with the progress achieved.

He is now aiming to continue to grow the club’s successes over the coming years through the exceptional performance programme delivered in the town. 

For the young swimmers, a busy summer awaits with English and Welsh meetings preceding the British Summer Championships where many of the likely contenders will be Bedfordians.