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Eloise keeps it in the family with county win

The fourth generation of a Newbury family added their name to a county trophy, as Newbury’s swimmers capped off a great championship with more titles at the weekend.

Newbury District Swimming Club had 22 swimmers qualify for this year’s Berks and South Bucks ASA County Championships, which were held over four days in January at Wycombe Leisure Centre.

There were 17 medals for the club’s swimmers, including four Senior Championship placings.

Eloise Wade won the gold in the 50m breaststroke and in doing so added her name to the trophy that bears her great-grandfather’s name.

Eloise Wade with the H H V Wilkinson Trophy
Eloise Wade with the H H V Wilkinson Trophy

The H H V Wilkinson Trophy for the 50m breaststroke senior girls championship was also previously won by Eloise’s mother, Vicki Wade, and her grandmother, Janet Hopkins.

Mr Wilkinson was a founding member of Newbury swimming club and held many key roles in swimming across the county, region and country.

Eloise also won bronze in the 100m breaststroke senior girls championship.

Kaleb Fox-Jones won gold in the 100m freestyle senior boys championship, while Abbie Holland then picked up the bronze in the 200m butterfly senior girls championship.

Club swimmers qualified for a total of 68 individual swims across all strokes and distances, with finals made in 26 different races.

From left: Finalists Isaac Jordan, Livi Bevan, Eloise Wade, Kaan Tugcetin, Lucy Bosley, Sophie Rigby and Grace Wade
From left: Finalists Isaac Jordan, Livi Bevan, Eloise Wade, Kaan Tugcetin, Lucy Bosley, Sophie Rigby and Grace Wade

Head coach Emma Harris Commissar said: “Our championships kicked off well with two Senior Championship titles from Kaleb in the 100m freestyle and Eloise in the 50m breaststroke.

“They were shortly followed by two more senior swimming positions from Abbie achieving bronze in the 200m butterfly and Eloise also winning bronze in the 50m breaststroke.

“First time qualifier Emma Dalgleish secured finals in both of her events, achieving silver in both the 50m and 100m breaststroke.

“Another first time – and our youngest – qualifier, Sophie Rigby managed to reach finals in all three of her events, which is a real achievement at such a young age and she took it all in her stride.

“Age group medals also came from Kaan Tugcetin, Grace Wade and Anna Patterson across both weekends.

“Medals aside, the mass of personal bests that all of these swimmers achieved, is no mean feat this early on in the season, especially in a long course [50m] pool.”

The club’s first time qualifiers were Brooke Thomasson, Olive Muir, Max Brynolf, Ethan Kuijten and Isaac Jordan.

Other swimmers to qualify for the championships were Chris Emberlin, Jonah Hood, Livi Bevan, Georgia Humphreys, Alice Peters, Laura Nowell, Lily Apps, Lucy Bosley and Emily Westbury.

Newbury swimmer James McFadzen also took part in an exhibition 200m individual medley heat to highlight how local swimmers can reach tremendous achievements within their sport by working hard.

He started his swimming career at Newbury before going on to make his Team England debut in front of a sell-out home crowd at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham last year.

There he swam a personal best to reach the semi-finals of the 100m backstroke, finishing 14th overall, and qualified for the final of the 200m individual medley, finishing seventh.

He recently joined Newbury's county swimmers for a training session and chat, which was “so inspiring for them all”.

“I’m very proud of our qualifiers this year, who all had some fantastic individual achievements and great team support,” added Mrs Harris Commissar. “I can’t wait to see what the rest of the season has in store.”

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