At the Norfolk County Championships, held at the UEA over three week-ends,Isaac and Noah Buchan made the most of their opportunities at the first week-end of the Norfolk and Suffolk County Championship long distance events held simultaneously at the UEA Sports Park

Isaac swam the Suffolk 1,500m freestyle by swimming thirty lengths of the 50m pool and became Suffolk County Champion as he is currently on loan from North Norfolk Vikings to St Felix School, in Southwold. In the race, there was no doubt about the winner as he led the race from the gun, winning by a fifty second margin. If that was not enough his winning time of 19:55.36 has qualified him for the next stage when he will compete in four more events at the Regional Championships later in the year There was also a silver medal for Isaac in the 800m freestyle with a creditable 10:19.32.

Meanwhile his younger brother Noah did win his respective 800m in what was a very exciting head to head race with James O’Toole of the City of Norwich Club. Spectators had to wait until the last 50m before there was any sign of a leader. The Viking just edged ahead and held on winning in a Regional Qualifying Time of 11:32.92 from 11.36.05 recorded by James in the Norfolk race.

“I planned my attack when I went into the last turn. Then I felt like I couldn’t breathe and I could no longer see James, but I knew I just had to keep going!” remarked the determined new Norfolk County Champion after the race

However, the positions were reversed in the 1,500m when James won in 22:43.12 giving Noah the silver in 24:19.28 respectively.

Ellen Eccleston became a double County Champion in the sixteen years’ 100m and 200m breastroke at the Norfolk County Championships  held at the UEA Sports Park.  In the 100m she  defeated a field of 13 competitors  by lifting the trophy in a long course time of 1:17.74 in her first choice stroke . However, she was hassled all the way by Grace Greenhalf of the City of Norwich club in the final. At  half way, only a second separated them and Ellen held on to win by this margin from Grace who  went.1:18.96 over the 50m course respectively. Ellen recorded the sixth fastest time over all out of 127 competitors.

In the 200m she won it with ease touching the pad in 2:55.73  from Beatrix Baldwin of the Norwich Swan Club who scored 3:01.75. Ellen’s time was the seventh fastest out of 74 in all categories combined.

Viking pair Emily Beighton and new comer Lily Herring were also involved in the 100m breastsroke, all be it in one age group below. Emily came nineth in 1:35.22 and Lily came eleventh in1:57.94 respectively. However, Lily improved her 200m Individual Medley time by a staggering twenty seconds when she swam 50m on every stroke to finish eleventh in 3:25.29.

However, the rivalry between Noah and James O’Toole of the City of Norwich club continued from the recent previous encounters in the 800m and 1,500m freestyle. On this occasion it was  the 400m  Individual Medley and neither  faltered as they both swam well. At the touch it was Noah who had a slender, one second advantage to take his third gold of the championships  in 6:43.88 in a very exciting and close finish.

In the middle distances, Emily Morton took a silver medal in the 15 years 400m freestyle. Abigail Riches of the City of Norwich club was the worthy winner by approximately 19 seconds from Emily’s excellent second place swim of 4:51.81 out of twelve. The Viking’s time was also the seventeenth fastest out of 69 over all.

Noah and James O’Toole club continued to go head to head and did not disappoint. In the 200m freestyle, only a second separated them as  Noah touched first in 2:40.68 to win gold. Both 12 year olds demonstrated what excellent prospects they are when they turned to longer distances again, this time the 400m freestyle. Noah took another gold but was more ahead of James at the finish by two seconds in 5:43.06. Noah was triumphant again in the 100m freestyle when he won in 1.14.32. With six golds and two silvers, it was not surprising that he was awarded top boy in his age category

Meanwhile, Michael Sayer of Holt had a double gold in the same age group. Michael won the 50m backstroke with 37.42 and then in the 200m, he covered the course in 2:56.11 from Noah’s 2:56.95 and James’ 2:57.31. The two Vikings will now go through to the Regional Competition later in the year.

Leah Harris just outside the medals when she finished fourth in 30.4 over 50m butterfly after the twenty one year old  missed the final of the 200m Individual Medley coming ninth. However, Her time of in 2.35.13 was ironically the ninth fastest time out of 95 competitors for this event in all categories.

Other notable swims came from Evie Bates 400m freestyle, 6:20.12, Jess Semark 50m freestyle 33.01, Lily Dear 50m freestyle 36.39, Razvan Platon 50m freestyle 33.33, Grace Parker 50m butterfly, 48.06 Ruby Tracey 100m backstroke 1.19.31 George Edridge 1:40.09 100m breaststroke and twin brother Zak 1.38.66 in the same event.

, Coltishall pair Ashley Jones and Sophie McKee were also involved in finals. Club Captain Ashley,came sixth in the 16 years 100m freestyle going 1.04.61 when only three seconds separated him and the winner, Finley Arnup of the Norwich Swan Club. Meanwhile, over the same distance but on backstroke, Sophie came seventh in the 17 Years years age group in 1.14.51 – seven seconds behind the eventual winner Megan Pye of the City of Norwich Club. Toby Corfield of Alysham made the final of the 11 years’ 100m freestyle finishing eighth with 1.26.42. Harry Hudson qualified for the Regional Championships when we swam 50m freestyle in 25.51 which was the eighth fastest time out of n fewer than 176 competitor. Harry finished seventh in the final  whilst the event was won by Ben Blowers of the City of Norwich club in 24.29.

After three week ends of competing, Vikings won 10 Golds 5 Silvers and 3 Bronze medals and achieved 12 Regional qualifying times. At the conclusion, Lead Coach Sam said

“ Whilst it’s satisfying to see Vikings amongst the medals, the best measure of our progress can be seen in the amount of swimmers qualifying for this year’s championships .We had almost three times as many there than we had last ”

Congratulations to all who qualified for the CC this year and to all our relay racers who swam in the final session