A team of twenty six divers who train with Southampton Diving Academy at the Quays, Eddie Read Swimming and Diving Complex traveled to Luton to compete in the Kingfisher Challenge and came back with a haul of thirteen medals and the team trophy.
Since the club’s formation in 2000 Southampton Diving Academy has never failed to win the Kingfisher Challenge trophy, although they shared it with the City of Leeds in 2005.
Blake Aldridge (24) and Chris Mears (13) were the most successful divers on the team, taking golds on both 1m and 3m springboards. Performing with great style they gave spectators a taste of the quality they have shown to win themselves places in the British National squads. For Chris the competition was the perfect warm-up prior to jetting off to an international in Canada, whilst Blake is busy preparing for the Senior Nationals mid-December, which double as trials for the World Championships next March.
Taking both silvers behind team mate Chris Mears, Chris Farrow (14) produced steady lists in his two events, his consistency proving too much for the opposition.
Down in the youngest boys’ events Sam McSevich (9) did well to pick up a silver and bronze medal in a hard fought contest. Across in the equivalent girls’ event Ellie Fleming (10) also did a sterling job in a group with some very stiff competition. Two excellent performances were rewarded with bronze medals, within striking distance of the top medalists who are both members of the prestigious National Junior Talent Programme.
Sam Knapp (12) put in an outstanding set of dives off the 5m board to take the bronze medal ahead of one of the three National Squad divers in the event and only 6 points behind the silver medalist in the final. Using a back 2 ½ somersaults with tuck for the first time in competition to great effect, Sam demonstrated that he is a force to be reckoned with on the national scene.
In the Senior events both Tom Owens (21) and Stacie Powell (21) took silver medals, using the competition as a stepping stone in the build up to the Senior Nationals.
Director of Coaching, Lindsey Fraser, was more than satisfied by the performance of the team. “For many of the divers this was their first opportunity to compete at this sort of level, having only come into the club in the last year or so,” she said. “They all performed well and many played a significant part in helping us to win the trophy.”
3m: Stacie Powell, silver; Chris Mears, gold; Chris Farrow, silver; Blake Aldridge, gold; Robert Appleby, 6th; Gavin Brown, 5th; Gary Hunt, 7th
5m: Ellie Fleming, bronze; Chloe Pook, 7th; Eleanor Phillips, 6th; Elizabeth Osborne, 10th; April Selby, 11th; Portia Angove, 8th; Bethany Watts, 10th; Rachel Holland, 5th; Jessica Barnes, 9th; Jade Murphy, 8th; Sam McSevich, bronze; William Rigelsford, 4th; Danny Appleby, 9th; Lewys Oakley, 7th; Brendon Coe, 8th; Alastair Khakoo, 6th; Stephen Lingard, 6th; Sam Knapp, bronze
|For further details call Lindsey Fraser: 023 8072 0922 or 07810 305355.|
|Photo opportunities can be arranged.|