STRATFORD Sharks Swimming Club members claimed a superb 35 medals as they impressed at the Warwickshire County Swimming Championships which took place over the latter half of February and beginning of March.
The Sharks arrived at the event in Coventry to face an elite force of expectant swimmers but, armed with a staggering 500 qualifying times from 66 swimmers aged between nine to 46, they rose to the challenge.
Stratford had participants in 89 individual finals and none were more determined to turn on the style than first-time regional qualifiers Adam Nash, Hannah Penny and Felix Gallagher.
Adam excelled in the ‘killer’ 200m breaststroke and gained a Midland Qualifying Time.
Not to be outdone, Hannah pulled out all the stops and achieved a Midland time in the 200m freestyle.
Stratford’s swim of the championships came from Felix. Head coach Dirk Cox knew Felix had a Midland Qualifying Time in him for the 400m freestyle and had coached him extensively on pacing the race and pushing through hard at the end.
That is precisely what Felix did and all the Sharks and their supporters were on their feet and screaming from the balcony as Felix approached the finish.
Felix had left enough power to finish the job off and he brought the house down as he secured the Midland Qualifying Time he has been chasing.
Afterwards Felix said: “You’re all pumped up at the start of the race but you can’t afford to go off too fast.
“Dirk has taught me that the 400m freestyle is all about pace and consistency. Thanks Dirk, it worked and I feel elated.”