BICESTER Blue Fins finished the top club in Oxfordshire at the Swim England South East Regional Swimming Championships.

Athletes from 58 clubs raced at the eight-day championships, with the nine from the Blue Fins finishing 29th in the medals table.

Head coach Craig Oliver wants to use the championships as an opportunity to end the season with swimmers in national events.

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He said: “I couldn’t be prouder of the team now. Going further than the goal of qualifying, we enjoyed a wonderfully successful championships, and for it to come to fruition at both age and youth sections at once was fantastic.

“Now we are eager to end the season with a few swimmers at nationals.

“This incredible result after a few very tough years reflects what teamwork and standing together through hardship can really do.”

K2 Crawley in West Sussex hosted the age group swimmers (14 and under) on April 23 and 24, with 13-year-old Josh Scrivener qualifying for 12 events.

The Blue Fins had five swimmers qualify to compete in this group, as Ollie Smith (14) qualified for eight events, Eleanor Illes (14) made four, Sophie Jobling (13) got into three, and the club’s youngest competitor Ollie Snelgrove (11), qualified for the 100m breaststroke.

Oxford Mail: Josh Scrivener and Jacob Pillinger. Picture: Bicester Blue FinsJosh Scrivener and Jacob Pillinger. Picture: Bicester Blue Fins


Scrivener made three finals, taking two bronze medals, in addition to breaking two long-time club records in the 50m backstroke and 50m butterfly.

The youth championships took place in Wycombe between April 29 to May 2, with four Blue Fins swimmers qualifying to race.

Jacob Pillinger (16) made four events, while Tom Henley and Seb Gomm (both 16), and Ryan Steward (35), qualified for one each.

Pillinger took bronze medals in both the 400m freestyle and 1,500m freestyle, while also finishing fourth in the 800m freestyle.

He said: “I was really pleased to finish top 10 in all my events and take two medals. I feel the hard work has really paid off.”

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On May 7 and 8, the championships returned to Crawley with the age group athletes.

Scrivener took silver in the 200m butterfly and finished off the championships in style, winning gold in the 100m butterfly.

“I qualified for 12 events and made five finals, so I was quite tired towards the end, but I do love a final and get a real buzz from them,” he said.

“I have really tried to listen to my coaches and take on board what they have told me.

“I love butterfly, it’s my favourite stroke, so it was great to medal in all three events, and to finish with a gold in an exciting race with great competitors was the best.”