Historic trophy victories for Ashville boys swim teams at Crystal Palace

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Swimmers from Ashville College have swum their way to victory at a major national tournament featuring schools from all over the country.

The College – which won two finals and smashed one championship record plus two school records - was one of 75 competing in the annual HMC (Headmasters Conference) Bath and Otter Championships, held at Crystal Palace.

In the qualifying heat, the boys freestyle relay team of Matthew Rudolph, Adam Rider, Jonathan Cruddos and Matthew Rider finished sixth, which gave them automatic entry to the finals.

In the final, where Jonathan Bradley replaced Jonathan Cruddos, the team swam outstandingly and not only did they finish first, they also smashed the school record and set a new championship record of three minutes and 54.89 seconds to claim the Aldenham Trophy – a first in the school’s history.

In the boys medley relay, the team qualified with the fastest time for the Small Schools final. Jonathan Bradley replaced Jonathan Cruddos and the team improved its heat time with a time of one minute 59.17 seconds to finish first and claim the Dunelm Trophy, again a first in the school’s history.

As a result the boys freestyle relay team are now ranked 11th nationally and the boys medley relay team 12th.

The girls’ freestyle team were ranked 20th out of 45 schools going into the championships. In the medley relay the team of Charlotte Blythe, Lucia Gardner, Poppy Emsley and Becky Grey set a new school record and climbed five places to 15th nationally.

Head of swimming at Ashville College Duncan Archer said: “When we first entered the Bath & Otter Championships back in 1996 it was to expose our swimmers to a higher level of competition outside our regular inter school galas.

“Our initial targets were to set new school records, and improve our national rankings. Winning two gold medals was beyond my wildest expectations.

“To claim two trophies at these National Championships was an outstanding performances – well done to both the boys and girls teams.”

“These results are a true reflection of the hard work and dedication from all the squad who travelled to London.