In-form Karen breaks record

SWIMMING: Fresh from her Commonwealth selection Karen Pickering has again confirmed her superior form in the pool – smashing a Freestyle record at the National Speedo League Cup Final.

By Debbie Watson

FRESH from her Commonwealth selection Karen Pickering has again confirmed her superior form in the pool – smashing a Freestyle record at the National Speedo League Cup Final.

Swimming for her home team, Ipswich, in the weekend's long-awaited event, Karen broke the meet record in a time of 56.76.

Back at the final for the second consecutive year, the Ipswich team clearly delivered a highly impressive performance against some exceptionally strong opposition.

The event itself has a prestigious position in the annual swimming calendar, and for many of the Suffolk entrants, this was their first opportunity to compete at such a notably tough national level.

Held at Crystal Palace, the event saw Ipswich lining up against Portsmouth Northsea, Liverpool, Coventry, Millfield, Kingston Upon Hull, Aberdeen and Northampton.

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It is the third time that Ipswich has made this stage in the competition, and with an overall placing of sixth, it was the team's best-ever finish.

"The club produced a great level of swimming at the event, and the performances matched the determination and enthusiasm shown by everyone," said club spokeswoman Karen Keeley.

"There were some excellent swims across all the age groups, and the results are particularly of credit to those who have not experienced racing in a 50 metre pool – and especially not at this level."

Also swimming for Ipswich at the event, Zoe Cray put the disappointment of the Commonwealth Trials behind her and snatched second place in the 100 metres backstroke.

Kingston upon Hull took the title for the event overall, with Portsmouth finishing second and Liverpool third.

The club would like to thank the many supporters who travelled to London for the event, and Eric Poole and Sons for their sponsorship.

As usual the relays created great excitement and Ipswich performed well in these. Some swimmers went along just for the relay squads without swimming in individual events. These were: Emily Thorrington, Grace Calver, Kimberley Maskell, Aimee Mallion, Suzanne Davis, Chris Taylor, Tom Hogan, Richard Harris, William Boosey, Sean McNamee, John Sargeant, Matt Paine.

Individual Results


10/11 year-olds: 50m Backstroke Sophie Poole 7th 38.31, 50m Butterfly Abby Maynard 35.73, 50m Breaststroke 7th Rachel Keeley 42.87, 50m Freestyle Rachel Keeley 4th 30.96. 13/U – 100m Breaststroke Rebecca Harris 8th 1.27.66, 100m Backstroke Elisa Calver 6th 1.13.85, 100m Butterfly Hannah Wood 7th 1.18.49, 100m Freestyle Natasha Downes 5th 1.04.06. 15/U – 100m Backstroke 8th Laura Mallion 1.18.37, 100m Butterfly Abbie Thorrington 5th 1.09.34, 100m Freestyle Abbie Thorrington 6th 1.03.38, 100m Breaststroke Kirsty Binnington 8th 1.29.34. Ladies Open 4 x 50m Ind. Medley Karen Pickering 2nd 2.20.76, Ladies Open 100m Butterfly Louise Howes 6th 1.09.68, Ladies Open 100m Backstroke Zoë Cray 2nd 1.05.26, Ladies Open 100m Breaststroke Alison Girling 5th 1.19.39, Ladies Open 100m Freestyle Karen Pickering 1st 56.76, new record.


10/11 year-olds: 50m Backstroke Harry Blau 8th 38.53, 50m Butterfly Harry Blau 7th 37.14, 50m Breaststroke Tim Price 3rd 39.48, 50m Freestyle Tim Price 2nd 30.44. 13/U – 100m Breaststroke Robert Nixon 8th 1.26.39, 100m Backstroke Matt Vinter 4th 1.08.75, 100m Butterfly David Gallagher 7th 1.10.31, 100m Freestyle Matt Vinter 3rd 59.80. 15/U 100m Backstroke Matt Vinter 8th 1.08.30, 100m Butterfly Joe Rhodes 6th 1.03.81, 100m Freestyle Joe Rhodes 3rd 55.87, 100m Breaststroke David Gallagher 8th 1.23.82. Men's Open 4x 50m Ind. Medley Wayne Linford 8th 2.18.16, Men's Open 100m Butterfly Wayne Linford 2nd 58.43, Men's Open Backstroke Chris Paine 8th 1.03.95, Men's Open Breaststroke James Freezer 7th 1.11.37, Men's Open 100m Freestyle Phillip Gallagher 6th 55.52.

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