Horsham students reach swimming competition finals for 5th year running

Jessica Glassford, Anna Templar, Millie Weeden and Emma Harrison SUS-191125-142431001
Jessica Glassford, Anna Templar, Millie Weeden and Emma Harrison SUS-191125-142431001

A team of Horsham students reached the relay finals of a national swimming competition for the fifth year running.

Jessica Glassford, Anna Templar, Millie Weeden and Emma Harrison from Millais School took part in the 62nd English Schools Swimming Association (ESSA) National Relay Finals at the London Aquatic Centre on Saturday, November 16.

The year 11 girls have been the school’s most successful team to date and, in the last five years, have consistently been one of the fastest state school relay teams in the country.

This was the last year that the talented four, who all swim for Atlantis SC, will swim for Millais at ESSA.

Atlantis Coach Becky Harrison, who has supported Millais as team manager over the years, said: “For the last five years it has been my pleasure to take these girls to the ESSA finals.

“Watching them swim together as Millais for the last time was quite emotional.

“They all swam well and should be very proud of their achievements. What other schools’ team can say they got to the National finals five years in succession with a highest place finish of sixth in the country? Congratulations girls!”

One hundred and 63 ‘senior’ girls teams out of 428 secondary schools had initially taken part in qualifying heats across the country in October.

The Millais team won the West Sussex heats held at the Pavilions in the Park, to qualify for the finals as one of the top 30, in both the 4x50m freestyle and 4x50m medley events.

The senior category, which includes year 11, 12 and 13 students, is the toughest of them all and with a challenge on their hands to make it into one of the top ten winning positions, the girls came a respectable 18th in the 4x50m freestyle relay and 14th in the 4x50m medley relay.

The only other schools competing in this category from the county included close rivals Bexhill College from East Sussex and Reigate Grammar with Issy Hayes from Atlantis.

Having represented the school at their first national finals in year seven and year eight as juniors (with Emma Morris) reaching 9th in the 4x50m freestyle medley, the Millais girls then went on to compete at the finals in year nine and ten as intermediates and now as seniors in year 11.

Their greatest achievement was coming sixth overall in the country in the 4x50m freestyle finals last year, the only state school to feature in the top ten.

With a number of new Millais teams entering the qualifying heats this year, the school hopes to continue to appear on the ESSA scoreboards for many years to come.

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