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The Dorset team has achieved its second best ever result at this year’s National County Team Championships in Sheffield by finishing in 14th place while competing against a host of much bigger counties. Known as the “yo-yo” team at the Championships due to placing in either the promotion or relegation zone each year, Dorset last achieved a result ensuring a second consecutive year in Division One in 2009 when the team finished in 12th place.

Finishing just four points behind Scotland East and 20 points clear of Sussex, Dorset was nevertheless 88 points clear of the relegation zone and clocked up a total of 13 top-ten placings. Boys Captain and World Junior Championships finalist Jacob Peters (Poole) provided Dorset’s only race win with a time of 54.22 in the 16/17 years 100m Butterfly, while taking second place in the 100m Backstroke in 54.23. Leading off the Boys 16/17 years Medley relay, Jacob also broke his Dorset Senior SC Record for 50m Backstroke with a time of 25.25. 2017 National Age Group Champion Kayla van der Merwe (BCS) also achieved second place in the 14/15 years 100m Breaststroke with a time of 1:10.49.  

Girls Captain Jasmine McCrea (Poole) placed fourth in the 16/17 years 100m Butterfly (1:02.37) and eighth in the 100m Freestyle with a time of 57.48, breaking the Dorset Junior SC Record set by European Youth Olympics Champion Amelia Maughan in 2009 and repeated as the lead-off of the 6 x 50m cannon with a time of 26.49 which broke Maughan’s 50m Freestyle SC Record, also held since 2009.

There were further top ten placings for Amy Brown (Swim Bournemouth) with fourth in the 12/13 years 100m Breaststroke (1:13.73) and seventh in the 100m Backstroke (1:06.52), Ella Chown (BCS) was fifth in the 14/15 years 100m Butterfly while in the same age group Finn Trehane (BCS) and Oliver Fairman (Poole) were sixth in the Boys 100m Breaststroke (1:06.61) and Boys 100m Backstroke (1:00.26) respectively and Alan Szczasiuk (Swim Bournemouth) placed eighth in the 12/13 years 100m Breaststroke (1:11.65).

The County’s best-placed relay teams were the 16/17 years Boys Medley (Jacob Peters, Kelvin Wong, Christian Tai and Ben Samuel) and Cannon team of Jasmine McCrea, Alan Szczasiuk, Amy Brown, Ella Chown, Finn Trehane and Jacob Peters both of which relay teams finished in seventh place. There was a ninth place for the Boys 14/15 years Medley team of Oliver Fairman, Finn Trehane, Alex Bryan and Sam Small.

Congratulations go to all our swimmers together with team coaches Sam Woodward and Dan Dew, and with thanks to Team Selectors Andy and Sue Smart, and Dorset Officials Tracy Roberts and Nigel Gallimore. Vice-captains were BCS swimmers Charlotte James and Christian Tai.

Division One result: 1st  Yorkshire 456, 2nd Devon 435, 3rd Lancashire 423, 4th Scotland West 411.5, 5th Northumberland & Durham 401, 6th Kent 380, 7th Middlesex 374, 8th Leicestershire 368, 9th = Surrey 349, 9th =Somerset 349, 11th Oxford & North Bucks 312, 12th Essex 300.5, 13th Scotland East 300, 14th Dorset 296, 15th Suffolk 276, 16th Wales East 273, 17th Sussex 208, 18th Nottinghamshire 194, 19th Hampshire 191.5, 20th Cheshire 186.5.

The Dorset team for the 2017 National County Team Championships was follows:

Bournemouth Collegiate: Claudia Ashford, Alex Bryant, Ella Chown, Honor Davies, Charlotte James, Ben Samuel, Christian Tai, Finn Trehane, Kayla van der Merwe. Clayesmore: Rebecca Holden. Poole: Oliver Fairman, Robbie Hemmings, Jasmine McCrea, Thea O’Keefe, Jacob Peters, Henry Stevens, Kelvin Wong. Seagulls: Poppy Cordell-Thompson, Isaac Ellis, Sam Small. Swim Bournemouth: Amy Brown, Alex Palotai-Avella, Alan Szczasiuk. West Dorset: Lauren McRobbie.