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South Lincs Competitive Swimming Club get their open water season underway

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The open water season has started for the South Lincs swimmers with a number of big successes for the club.

Mollie Briggs got off to a tremendous start at the British selection trials held in Llandegfedd, Wales.

The event was an opportunity to swim a major distance as Mollie competed in the girls 17/18 years age group 7.5km race.

Mollie Briggs
Mollie Briggs

It also served as the selection event for British Swimming for a number of European Cup competitions scheduled to be held in the coming months.

Mollie put in an excellent performance in her race against a very tough field of swimmers and crossed the finish line in eighth place in her age group - some 20 minutes faster than she completed the course last year.

A team of five South Lincs swimmers headed to Cirencester for the Regional Open Water Championships.

This was a combined event, with swimmers from three regions all participating which included the East Midlands, West Midlands and the South West.

Despite the rainy conditions, spirits were high among the South Lincs swimmers and there were some excellent results.

Both Mollie Briggs and Luke Blanchard competed in the 5km event, Mollie in the girls 17/18 years age group and Luke in the men’s 18-24 age group.

Mollie has been working hard in training and is moving into some impressive form, and did not disappoint in her race.

In a very strong swim, Mollie completed the course in one hour, seven minutes and 46 seconds to take the gold medal for the East Midlands region and silver for the combined Midlands region.

Luke faced a strong field of swimmers and completed the course in one hour, six minutes and 52 seconds to take the gold medal for both the East Midlands region and the combined Midlands region.

At the age of 21, this was Luke’s first Open Water event and his first regional medal.

The three remaining South Lincs swimmers - Matteo Monaco, Frank Lamb and Emily Briggs - all competed in the 13 years age group and faced a 2km race.

All three swimmers were taking part in their first major open water race and have been undertaking some preparation at Tallington Lakes in the run up to the event.

Matteo had a very strong race, despite struggling with the mass start and getting off to a slow opening.

He soon found his rhythm and completed the course in 29 minutes and 12.00 seconds to claim the gold medal in both the East Midlands region and the combined Midlands region.

Frank, never a fan of long distance swimming, put in a tremendous effort to follow Matteo across the finish line in 29 minutes 49.40 seconds and claim the silver medal for both the East Midlands region and the combined Midlands region.

Emily is making great progress in her swimming, and over the last six months has achieved both her first county and regional qualifying times.

Her hard work in training paid off as she completed the course in 34 minutes 43.55 seconds and claimed the silver medal in the East Midlands region.

Not only did the swimmers collect a total of nine medals for their performances, but there was an added bonus for four of them.

The top three swimmers from each region around the country automatically qualify to the National Open Water Championships, due to be held on August 10 at Thrybergh Park.

This meant that Mollie Briggs, Matteo Monaco, Frank Lamb and Emily Briggs all achieved qualification to the National Championships in their age groups.

Head coach Keith Haynes said: “I was delighted with these fantastic results in the open water events.

“All the swimmers thoroughly deserved their placings as they have been putting excellent work into training.

“I am delighted to have three additional national qualifiers for the club as well and look forward to them racing in August.”

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