Top place for swimmers in tough Exmoor Open Water Swim
17 pupils from Taunton School took part in the Exmoor Swim this weekend dominating many of the races, including 13-year-old Ollie Heard who scooped overall first place in the Men's 4K, and the Senior School girls winning 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the 2K.
The Exmoor Swim is rapidly becoming the premier open water swimming event in the South West and also now has national recognition with elite entrants in the 6km race coming from as far as Scotland. Pupils from Taunton School competed against over 700 entrants in 2km and 4km events. The water temperature was a chilly 16 degrees – only a few degrees higher than the air temperature.
13-year-old Ollie Heard won the 4K Men’s category in an extraordinary time of 51:59. Georgia Williams, who is 16-years-old was also 1st Female Youth (16-20yrs) and 4th Female overall. Josh Green, aged 13, came 2nd in the U16 category.
The 2km Ladies category was dominated by Senior School pupils Skye McLaughlin (age 13), Skyla Coate (aged 15) and Hetty James (aged 14) coming 1st, 2nd & 3rd respectively.
Our younger members, 12-year-olds from Taunton Preparatory School, also excelled in the 2K swim. Jack Butler took the U16 title and was 4th Male overall. Ollie Butler was 4th in the U16 and Max Mitchell, Jack Bollom, Freya Bartels, Chloe Hims all finished well into the top half of the mainly adult field.
Senior School pupils Emma Hounslow accompanied by Freya Tyler completed the challenge for fun, chatting with their swim coach for much of the swim, as did Florence and Freddie Salter-Green and Darcie Coleman.
Former Taunton School pupil and now honorary member Mr Lawton won the Supervets (50 ) category.
Hamish McCarthy, Swim Coach and Pastoral Head of Year 7&8 said “All our pupils and staff showed great courage and determination completing the swim with much honour and recognition. Ollie Heard achieved a time I am struggling to comprehend it was so impressive and I am looking forward to entering him in the 6Km next year.”
He added: “Nearly all swimmers began their open water swimming adventures in Year 7 and 8. Still training with us, they epitomise the whole school ethos and sports development pathway that Taunton School facilitates - they will only get better as they get bigger and stronger.”
Students were accompanied by staff members Ruth Coomber, Chris Coleman, Val Burnett, Michelle Coleman and Ed Burnett.