13 Jun 2013

Two gold medals were brought home to Bishop’s Stortford College Junior School after Max McCusker retained his title of IAPS National 13 and under 25m Butterfly Champion for the fourth successive year and Ellie Mitchell became IAPS National 12 and under 50m Freestyle Champion.

For the 2013 IAPS (Independent Association of Prep Schools), more than 4000 children from 217 schools had competed in one of the 34 regional round time trials with the top 16 individual and top 12 relay times in the country qualifying for the national finals in each event. An impressive 13 individuals and 7 relay teams from the independent school based on the Hertfordshire Essex border qualified and travelled to the K2 Leisure Centre, Crawley last Saturday for the finals.

Max was ranked second from the regional rounds but was calm and collected as he lined up behind the blocks. He had an excellent start finishing over a metre in front of the opposition to be seeded first in the middle lane for the spear headed final. With another good start, Max led from the outset to win gold in a time of 12.70 seconds, breaking the record for 13 year olds which had stood since 2000.

Ellie Mitchell came into the 12 and under freestyle event ranked 1st. She also emerged as the top seed in the middle lane for the spear headed final, in which there was an audible gasp from the crowd as Ellie surfaced and immediately and effortlessly pulled away from the opposition easily to win the race and national title in a time of 28.19.

The other 11 Bishop’s Stortford College individual qualifiers and the 7 relay teams gave strong performances, with all improving their entry time, their ranking or, indeed, both.