Westcliff swimmer eyes national success after regional glory

Echo: Sam Perks and Amelia Barnetson Sam Perks and Amelia Barnetson

WESTCLIFF swimmer Amelia Barnetson has national success in her sights after bagging two golds in the regional championships.

The 13-year-old Southend High School for Girls pupil struck gold at the eastern finals with top spot in the 100m and 200m breaststroke.

Her winning times qualified her for the National Age Group Championships at the end of the month in Yorkshire.

And proud dad Alex Barnetson believes a change of clubs has helped the teenager graduate from silvers at the regionals over the past three years to the top step of the podium.

“Her improvement since switching to Chelmsford SC last September has been fantastic,” Alex said.

“Her strength and technique have improved and her all round mental strength and tactics in a race situation are better.”

Former Rochford & District SC and Borough of Southend SC member Amelia clocked 1:17.27 in the 100m final before taking the 200m crown in 2:47.19 at the Eastern Region championships at Norwich.

Amelia is now preparing for the national championships at Ponds Forge in Sheffield.

Her 200m heat is on Thursday, July 31 and the 100m heat on Saturday, August 2.

The teenage swimmer heads into the championship ranked eighth in the 100m and 11th in the 200m in her age group.

Amelia is training under the guidance of Chelmsford SC head coach Sean Eveleigh, who also helped another south Essex swimmer to success at the Eastern Regional Championships.

Sam Perks won five golds at the event but narrowly missed out on a qualifying time for the national championships, although club chiefs are expecting him to do so in 2015.

The 11-year-old swimmer from Rayleigh claimed victory in the 100 backstroke (1:15.56), 200 backstroke (2:39.85), 200 breaststroke (3:04.95), 200 individual medley (2:40.20) and 400IM (5:38.29).

The Riverside Primary School pupil also won silvers in the 100 butterfly (1:11.72) and 200 butterfly (2:43.68).

Sam is ranked in the top three in the UK within the 11-year-old age group and has been at Chelmsford SC for two years.

Hawkwell sisters Anne-liese Magrath, 10, and Tia Magrath also competed in the regional championships for Chelmsford SC.

Anneliese, a pupil at Hockley’s Plumberow Primary School, qualified for the final of the 10-years-old 200m breaststroke final, finishing seventh in 3:29.47, and 13th in the 100m breaststroke heats.

Tia, who studies at Rayleigh’s FitzWimarc School, was a regional qualifier and competed in the heat stages of the 100m backstroke, 200m backstroke and 100m freestyle.

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