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‘They’ve been class’: Torfaen Dolphins have ‘awesome week’ at the British Summer Championships

two swimmers and their coach
Tom Croke, head coach at Torfaen Dolphins, with (l to r) Carys Croke and Meghan Willis (Photo: Suzanne Willis)

Torfaen Dolphins took a squad of seven junior swimmers to the 2023 British Summer Championships and came away with a clutch of personal bests and medals.

Tom Croke, head coach at Torfaen Dolphins, said it’s the largest number of young swimmers he has ever taken to the competition.

Cwmbran Life spoke to Tom as he travelled back from Sheffield on Friday afternoon. He said would be unpacking and immediately packing another suitcase to fly out to Trinidad and Tobago on Monday as a coach with Swim Wales for the Commonwealth Youth Games.

He said: “It’s been a busy week. They’ve just performed brilliantly. All of them made finals and all of them made top eight finishes.

“They’ve been awesome. As a squad, they’ve been class. Someone said we were one of the best-performing clubs, but I’m not sure how that was worked out.”

Two swimmers, Meghan Willis and Dylan Broom competed in the Multi Class (MC), for swimmers with a disability.

Torfaen Dolphins’ achievements at the British Summer Championships

two swimmers on a poster by a pool
(l to r) Carys Croke and Meghan Willis (Photo: Torfaen Dolphins)

Carys Croke broke two personal bests in Sheffield. She came seventh in the 100m freestyle in 58.49 and fifth in the 50m freestyle in 27.04. In the 200m individual medley, she came seventh with a time of 2:25.50.

three girls stood near a pool
(l to r) Meghan Willis, Saskia from Pembroke County Swimming Squad, and Eliza Humphrey from Northampton Swimming Squad (Photo: Eliza Humphrey)

Meghan Willis got a new personal best in both the 400m Freestyle with a time of 5:14.85 and in the 50m Freestyle MC, where she came fourth in 30.84. She made four other finals:

  • Sixth in the 100m Backstroke MC in 1:18.30.
  • Second in the 100m butterfly MC in 1:17.62.
  • The 200m Individual Medley MC where she swam 2:47.82 for fourth place on points.
  • Second in the 100m Butterfly MC in 1:17.62.
a swimmer wearing a medal
Dylan Broom (Photo: Torfaen Dolphins)

Dylan Broom won the 200m Freestyle MC in a season’s best time of 1:59.37. He also took second place in the 100m Backstroke MC with a new personal best time of 1:03.97.

Megan Titchener broke her personal best in the heats for the 200m backstroke before beating it again in the final where she came fifth in 2:23.40. 

Ben Merriman broke his personal best in the 1,500m with a time of 16:16.94 in sixth spot. He came fifth in the 800m freestyle in 8:27.92 and tenth in the 400m freestyle.

The women’s relay team, Carys Croke, Meghan Titchener, Emily Crawshay-Williams and Emme Sherrard, competed in the 4 x 200m freestyle and the 4 x 100m freestyle. They missed out on a place in the 4 x 100m final by just 7/100ths of a second. In the 4 x 200m they came 15th in 8:50.15.

A post on the Torfaen Dolphins Facebook page said: “We are incredibly proud of each and every one of the swimmers who has represented us this week in Ponds Forge International Sports Centre Sheffield.

“We have seen medals, finalists, and personal Bests, but we have also seen the absolute best in athlete behaviours, in and out of the water and this says so much about them as individuals and we couldn’t be prouder.

“A huge thank you to all of the Coaches and Team Managers that have supported the swimmers in the build-up to this Championship, including Head Coach Tom Croke who has also been on poolside with the swimmers all week.

“And finally a big thank you to all of you for your support, the swimmers and we as a club truly appreciate it.”

The Torfaen Dolphins are sending a squad to compete in the Welsh Summer Nationals in Swansea from Thursday to Monday.



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‘They’ve been class’: Torfaen Dolphins have ‘awesome week’ at the British Summer Championships