There’s no place like home for awesome Atlantis swimmers

Atlantis' double junior county champions Emma Harrison, Mille Weeden, Jess Glassford, Amber Ranson and Issy Hayes with senior 1,500m champion Oliver Etheridge
Atlantis' double junior county champions Emma Harrison, Mille Weeden, Jess Glassford, Amber Ranson and Issy Hayes with senior 1,500m champion Oliver Etheridge

Atlantis have got off to a flying start for the 2019 competition season.

Saturday was the beginning of the County Championship events with the gruelling 1,500m kicking-off proceedings.

Atlantis boys' medley and freestyle relay teams made up of Oli Columbo, Will Weeden, Devon Harwin, Archie Ruggiero and Luke Nixon

Atlantis boys' medley and freestyle relay teams made up of Oli Columbo, Will Weeden, Devon Harwin, Archie Ruggiero and Luke Nixon

Atlantis had four swimmers representing the club and although some swimmers were competing for the first time at this distance, there were four individual medals.

Grace Todd, 13, showed promise with a determined swim, whilst Kiran Sandhu and Toby Van der Hut both won silver medals.

There was a gold medal for Issy Hayes and Oliver Etheridge is now Sussex senior 1,500m champion, winning the event in a time of 17min 12sec.

Sunday saw the entire relay events packed into one day at Atlantis’ home of Pavilions in The Park.

Atlantis girls

Atlantis girls

Fourteen teams from across the county descended on Horsham bringing many of the best county swimmers to compete in the medley and freestyle relays.

The hosts had many swimmers out due to sickness, but pulled off some sensation performances.

The first big win of the day came in the boys’ 12-13 year-old age group where swimmers Will Weeden, Devon Harwin, Oli Columbo and Luke Nixon swam to a comfortable victory in the 4x50m medley in 2-13.

Archie Ruggiero joined the team in the freestyle event and helped the boys to another convincing gold medal.

The open women’s freestyle team of Zoe Cawsey, Jess Glassford, Amber Ranson and Jade Stocker won bronze in 4-05.

The youngest members of the club competed in the 10-11 year-old category. Katie McNish, Marie Weldon, Isabella Gilford and Eryn Crowhurst demonstrated real potential and won bronze medals in both medley and freestyle events.

The junior under-16 girls’ medley team, made up of Amber Ranson, Millie Weeden, Issy Hayes and Jess Glassford, surprised many of the noisy crowd and won the 4x50m medley in 2-03 - just outside the county record and this win secured them the title of junior county medley champions.

The team then brought in Emma Harrison for the freestyle relay. In an epic battle with rivals Mid Sussex Marlins, all of the Atlantis girls stepped up their game.

It was a tight race, but Atlantis won gold and added another junior county championship medal to their collection.

Head coach Andy Lobley said: “I’m really pleased with our first weekend of county competition.

“Even though we are still training hard and working towards South East regional we managed to bring some fantastic fitness and speed to the pool. We can’t wait for the next weekend of competition.”