Packham runs riot at county championships

Havant & Waterlooville swimmer Matthew Pullen. Picture: Mick Young (150096-03)
Havant & Waterlooville swimmer Matthew Pullen. Picture: Mick Young (150096-03)
Locks Heath talents at the Portsmouth First Chance meet

Locks Heath starlets take their Chance

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The second round of the Hampshire County Championships proved a happy hunting ground for Portsmouth Northsea swimmer Joseph Packham.

The 12-year-old produced a series of stunning displays at Waterlooville Leisure Centre last weekend to come away with eight gold medals, a silver and a bronze.

Packham won top honours in the 50m and 100m backstroke (33.14sec & 1min 10.71sec) and freestyle (29.27 & 1.02.60).

He also did the double in the 50m and 100m butterfly (31.62 & 1.10.95), before completing his collection with golds in the 200m freestyle (2.16.12) and backstroke (2.31.24).

Age-group swimmers from nine through to 14 battled to become county champions in their respective categories, with plenty of success for Portsmouth aces.

Northsea’s 14-year-old George Ragg-Griffith took the butterfly titles at 50m (29.21), 100m (1.04.74) and 200m (2.26.03), to add to his 50m-freestyle gold (26.96).

The youngster also came second in the 200m freestyle (2.09.24) and third in the 50m breaststroke and 200m individual medley (2.27.31).

The 50m and 200m breaststroke titles both went to 12-year-old Jack Goodwin (37.40, 2.57.52), while he also won a bronze in the 200m butterfly (2.55.18).

Eloise Murcott, competing in the aged 10-11 category, won double gold in the 100m and 200m backstroke.

Ollie Kettle enjoyed success in the same age group thanks to golds in the 50m freestyle (32.09), butterfly (36.17) and breaststroke (43.94).

There were plenty of personal bests and medal success for Fareham Nomads swimmers.

Alexander Finch won the 50m breaststroke race with a PB of 37.42.

Oliver Burton’s 200m backstroke swim earned him a silver (2.30.99).

Special mention goes to Ellen Jewell, who competed in her first championships in the 10-11 age group.

She took home bronze medals with personal-best times in the 200m backstroke (2.57.12) and 50m butterfly (37.86), and only just missed out on a medal in the 50m backstroke (38.59) and 50m freestyle (33.06).

Jewell placed fifth in the 200m freestyle (2.43.13) and 100m backstroke (1.23.81), and seventh in the 100m freestyle with a PB of 1.14.90.

Havant & Waterlooville siblings Luke and Matthew Pullen excelled in their respective age groups.

Luke Pullen, 13, stormed to the 50m freestyle silver in 27.53, while his 11-year-old brother Matthew took bronze in the same event (32.82).

They both won gold medals in the 100m backstroke (1.05.13 & 1.19.16) and freestyle finals (1.00.04 & 1.11.27).

Finally, Luke picked up a second silver in the 50m backstroke (30.39) and Matthew a bronze in a time of 37.91.

Alaina Ward, 14, enjoyed a hat-trick of gold medal successes in the 100m freestyle (1.01.12), 100m butterfly (1.08.58) and 50m butterfly (30.85).

She then picked up silver in the 100m backstroke (1.08.83), before completing her collection with a bronze in the 50m freestyle (29.10).

Evelyn Hall was on the podium for Locks Heath after coming third in the 10-11 category in the 50m backstroke (38.54).

The final round of the championships takes place this weekend at the Mountbatten Centre.