Ten Atlantis swimmers were in action at the finals of the English Secondary Schools National Relay Championships took place at the London Aquatic Centre on Saturday.
To qualify for the national finals, secondary schools from all over the country had previously competed in county and regional galas with the top 30 schools making it through to the 4x50m medley relay and freestyle relay finals at the iconic Olympic venue.
The Sussex/South East heats took place in October at the Pavilions in the Park, where the Atlantis swimmers had secured their respective schools - Millais, Rydon and Collyer’s - a ticket to London.
The three teams, accompanied by Atlantis coach Becky Harrison, arrived early at the pool eager to start the competition and take on the likes of sporting powerhouses Millfield School, Mount Kelly and Plymouth College.
By the end of the morning’s heats, the 30 competing schools had been reduced to the top-ten finalists for the two events in each age category.
Millais’ Year 8 swimmers Emma Harrison, Jessica Glassford, Emma Morris, Anna Templar and Millie Weeden were in awesome form. They were returning to London, after a successful debut at the competition last year, extremely well placed in their category.
In the 4x50 freestyle medley heats, the team pulled out all the stops, their efforts being rewarded with a place in the final top ten.
The atmosphere was electric and in a tense final, the girls put up a thrilling performance to finish in a fantastic ninth-place overall in the country.
The girls also gave it their all in the 4x50 medley heats, narrowly missing out on a place in the top-ten final by 19 100ths of a second, finishing in a very impressive 11th-position overall in the country.
Rydon’s Year 7 girls Amber Ranson, Olivia Round Pitman, Skye Cooke and, Amelia Stone, delivered a gutsy performance and some excellent swimming in the freestyle medley which placed them in 21st-position overall in their age category.
Success also for Collyer’s, with their senior boys team of Aidan Sparling (Atlantis) alongside Martin Schofield, and brothers George and Charlie Hopkins (Crawley), who delivered a sterling performance to storm through the heats into the final ten in both events.
Two nail-biting final races and some awesome swimming from this quartet saw them finish in a brilliant eighth position overall in both the freestyle and medley finals.
Harrison said: “Huge congratulations to all the Atlantis Swimmers who competed, it’s an amazing achievement to swim in national competition against the likes of Millfield, Plymouth and Mount Kelly.
“You all rose to the occasion and swam your hearts out. It was a pleasure to be your team manager, I’m very proud of you all.”