Five Brandeston Hall pupils recently attended the IAPS National Swimming Finals at Crawley.
They qualified for the finals by recording one of the twelve fastest times nationally- which is no mean feat. They were competing against sporting schools like Bishop Stortford College, Millfield and Dragon School. Not only were Brandeston the only school from the Eastern Regional Qualifier to get a relay team through to the National finals; we managed to get two teams through! This was the first time these pupils had qualified for such a large event and they did not let the pressure get to them.
The U12 Girls Medley Relay was the first to take to the pool. Freya Faulkner (Backstroke) had a strong start with a clean touch to Hattie Reader (Breaststroke) whose transition from dive to stroke was well executed and another fast leg. Lily Reader was next with a free flowing rhythmical length of butterfly. The Medley relay concluded with Ruby Sheepshanks who had a powerful and fast front crawl. This cumulated in a time of 1:13:13, knocking over 3 seconds off the time they set in the regional event.
Next it was the turn of the U12 Girls Freestyle Relay. Hattie Reader was on the lead off leg and her quick reaction and flowing stroke kept Brandeston in the mix, with all eight lanes touching within 1 second of each other. Second to go was Georgie Gardens, who was recovering from a hamstring pull but gave it her all, with her powerful leg kick and strong arm pull. The changeover was again smooth with Brandeston not losing any ground on the other teams. The third length was swam by Lily Reader who with her flowing front crawl, which cuts through the water, posted another great time. Finally Ruby Sheepshanks swam the anchor leg, her quick reactions on the start kept Brandeston in contention for a good finish. Ruby swam strongly on the last length, finishing in a time of 1:03:11. This again was three seconds faster than their regional round.
In the Medley relay the girls were placed 11th overall and in the freestyle relay the came a very strong 8th. These placing, as well as posting personal best times for their relays, is an excellent result for both teams.
Brandeston Hall is now ranked 74th of 608 IAPS Prep Schools for swimming.
The swimming coaches at Brandeston would like to thank all the pupils and parents for their hard work, dedication and support this year.