LOCAL 14-year-old swimmer Tazmin Pugh, now representing Ellesmere College Titans Swimming Academy, has been enjoying a good deal of success recently both individually and with her club.
Pugh impressed at the National County Team Championships in Sheffield in October with victory in the 14/15 years 100m butterfly in 1:02.43.
Team-mate and Vale swimmer Chloe Golding (16/17 years) also came first in the 100m backstroke in 1:01.72 (PB) and later recorded 1:05.58 in the 16/17 100m butterfly, coming eighth.
Both Pugh and Golding were amongst the very fastest 14 and 16-year-olds respectively in the pool in both Division One and Two on the day, with Pugh improving her lead at the top of the UK end of year rankings in the 100m fly, whilst Golding secured second place in the 100m backstroke in the UK.
Vale Swimmers impress
Pugh has also seen her club win rounds one and two in the Northwest Arena Premier League, arguably one of the strongest divisions in the country, eventually coming second in the area finals to another elite swimming club of Stockport Metro, who were themselves last season’s runners-up in the Arena National Swimming League’s Cup Final in Cardiff, with over 330 clubs competing throughout the country.
Over the first two rounds Pugh set PB times in the 15/u 100m backstroke with 1:02.63 and again in the 15/u 100m butterfly with 1:02.10, together with Vale swimmers Tyler McLean and Harry Bamforth also setting personal bests throughout the rounds.
In November Pugh was selected for the Herefordshire & Worcestershire Sports Awards in the Junior Female Sports Personality of the Year (under 18) section, making the top three shortlist for a staggering third time, having already seen her talent recognised at an early age having won the award in 2011.
This was followed with news Pugh has been selected for the England Talent Camps for the fourth year running, progressing on to the final phase three weekend camp in January, one down from ‘Podium Potential’ at World and Olympic Games, together with team-mate Olivia Gardner.
Five others from her club progressed to stage two and three of the Regional England Talent Programme, with two more making it to phase two.
International competition beckons
The good news just kept on coming for Pugh when learning she has been selected together with Golding for the West Midlands team for an international meet in Luxembourg in February following their impressive performances at the National Age Group and Youth Championships in August.
Third fastest girl (14-year-old) ever
At Stafford’s Open Short Course Meet recently, Pugh set some great new personal best times when winning Top Girl in the 14-year girls after winning six gold medals from seven events with a stunning new 200m backstroke time of 2:13.67, which is the sixth fastest time ever by any 14-year-old girl in Great Britain.
In the 200m butterfly she repeated the success – recording 2:15.80 – this being the third quickest time ever officially recorded in Great Britain.
With all this activity once the County Championships have finished in February, Pugh will have her eyes set on April’s British Championships and trials, aiming for selection to forthcoming senior and junior international events during 2015.
Being in the younger of a double two-year age group, however, she will be hoping her full international GB representation may have a better chance if still swimming well in the following year of 2016.
At the recent Derventio eXcell’s (Derbyshire’s elite club) level one Long Course Open Meet in Sheffield, Pugh closed in on several qualifying times for the inaugural European Games in Baku (in Azerbaijan) in the 100m and 200m butterfly events when swimming to first place in 1:02.42 and 2:17.03 respectively.
At this last meet of the year Pugh entered nine events and won every one, setting six new personal bests and 15 new club records (making 34 in all) on her way to taking the ‘Top Girl’ honour in the pool title, beating 253 other girls.
She was actually the fastest girl in the pool in seven out her nine events, beating all the older female competitors (15 and over) as well as her younger adversaries.
She swam to a great new PB in the 800m in 8:59.94, taking her to first position for this event in the end of the year UK rankings and also becoming the 13th fastest 14-year-old of all time in front of several of the present GB swimmers when they were the same age.
Proving her versatility across the various strokes and distances, Pugh followed this during the following day’s Saturday sessions by setting the second fastest time ever time for the 50m fly – 28.29 – only 0.11 over a British record set in 1987.
Top of UK rankings
Pugh now tops the UK rankings (long course 50m pools) in the 400m and 800m freestyle, 50m, 100m and 200m fly and 400m IM, climbing to seventh place in the 100m backstroke with 1:06.16.
In the UK end of year short course rankings (25m pools) Pugh is in the top five in six events.
Evesham girl Golding is in the top five in the UK in three events long course and two events short course.