Ten Deepings Swimmers competed at the Level 1 Northampton Winter Festival open meet at the Corby long course pool just before Christmas.

The squad came up against Team GB competition with the likes of Commonwealth 200m breaststroke champion James Wilby, Olympic breaststroker Molly Renshaw and world champs IM swimmer Abbie Wood among a top quality field hoping to achieve qualification times for the Tokyo Olympic trials.

Medals were in short supply for the Deepings team, but personal bests weren’t, with several swimmers setting new benchmarks.

Among the 19 long course PBs were five for Lilly Tappern, in the 100m and 200m breaststroke, 50m and 100m butterfly, and 200m freestyle. Lilly’s best finishes came in the two butterfly events where she came fifth in the 12yrs age group.

Her sister, Deepings joint club captain Amy Tappern, achieved a brace of personal bests, in the 50m backstroke, where she finished just outside the medals in fourth place in the 16yrs age group, and 200m freestyle.

Ella Gerrard, recently returning after illness, swam her fastest long course times in her three freestyle events, the 50m, 100m and 200m.

Freestyle was proving fruitful hunting ground for the team, with both Bethany Eagle-Brown and joint club captain Hannah Matthews swimming personal bests in the 200m event, and Millie Herrick setting a new best in the 50m. Millie also lowered her PB in the 50m butterfly.

Holly Roffe finished in fifth place in the 50m butterfly, one of her two long course PBs over the weekend; the other came in the 100m breaststroke, where she was seventh.

Meanwhile, Holly Leggott, while slightly off her best times, was one of the most competitive swimmers of the weekend, with an excellent fourth-place finish in the 17/over 50m freestyle and fifth place in the 50m backstroke.

The Deepings team included just two boys, but both also swam personal bests.

Christian Rollinson had a stunning swim in the 50m butterfly, edging under 30 seconds for the first time to record a time of 29.27. He also PB’ed in the 100m freestyle, while Tom Adams swam a career-best time in the 200IM.

Lynn Chapman, Deepings Swimming Club head coach, was satisfied with the team’s final swim of 2019.

“We now have a short break over Christmas before the hard work starts again in the run up the Lincolnshire county champs,” she said. “We’re in good shape, with swimmers firing on all cylinders across all the events and all distances.”

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