SEAGULLS’ Max Weeks struck gold six times in Basingstoke – just one year after he began swimming competitively.
The 11-year-old was one of an 18-strong squad from the Christchurch club who amassed 51 medals at the Basingstoke Bluefins New Year Open Meet.
Many also achieved Dorset county qualifying times for the first time.
Weeks’s victories came across a range of strokes as he won the 11yrs 200m breaststroke (3:26.20), 200m freestyle (2:39.66), 50 and 200m backstroke (37.66 and 3:00.58) and 100 and 200m individual medley (1:22.35 and 2:58.58).
Nine-year-old Flynn Denman included five golds among his seven medals, winning the 100m and 200m medley in 1:40.87 and 3:46.75, the 50 and 200m breaststroke (50.72 and 4:08.13) and 50m backstroke (45.79 and coming second in the 200m freestyle (3:14.06) and third in the 200m backstroke (4:08.13).
Eleven-year-old Freddie Porter’s five medals included gold in the 100m backstroke (1:30.83), 100m freestyle (1:18.33) and 50m butterfly (40.48).
He also took silver in the 200m freestyle (2:41.99) and 100m butterfly (1:36.14).
Abi Richardson, 13, was the leading girl in the Seagulls medal table with five top three placings including gold in the 50 and 200m backstroke (35.54 and 2:46.39).
She also won silver in all three butterfly distances with times of 36.10, 1:23.98 and 3:05.36 over 50, 100 and 200m.
In her first ever open meet, nine-year-old Amelia Reynolds earned a full set of medals – gold in the 50m butterfly (53.28), silver in 200m freestyle (3:16.51) and bronze in the 200m medley (3:45.47).
Ten-year-old Emily Hancock was also a winner, adding the 100m medley gold (1:35.95) to her bronze medals in the 50m butterfly (44.18) and 200m breaststroke (3:50.07).
Liberty Denman, 14, took Seagulls’ gold tally to 19 with a win in the 200m breaststroke (3:11.44) as well as bronze in the 100m breaststroke (1:40.57) and 200m medley (2:52.83).
Eleven-year-old James Richardson and Ben Nealon, 10, were both triple silver medallists.
Richardson came second in the 50m breaststroke (47.51) and butterfly (43.07) and 200m medley (3:11.84).
Nealon’s medals came from the 50m freestyle (37.18) and backstroke (43.56) and 200 breaststroke (3:43.56).
Silver also went to Alfie Gormley in the 10yrs 200m freestyle (3:05.31) and 50m breaststroke (52.52) and 13-year-old Harrison Rance in the 200m backstroke (3:01.54).
Fourteen-year-olds Jasmine Glyde and Abi Wales picked up a medal each, Glyde taking silver in 200m butterfly in 3:02.09, Wales winning bronze in the 200m breaststroke (3:26.28).
In the 12yrs age group, Holly Jaszek won silver and bronze respectively in the 100 and 200m backstroke (1:23.00 and 2:54.72).
Silver also went to 11-year-old Ursula Nealon in the 50m breaststroke (48.94).
Nine-year-old Isaac Ellis won a trio of bronze medals in his first-ever open meet thanks to third places in the 50m breaststroke (55.19) and butterfly (49.59) and 200m freestyle (3:14.35).
Bronze also went to 10-year-olds Ashleigh Noble in the 50m backstroke (44.29) and Alice Webb in the 50m breaststroke (52.14).
Seagulls’ age group coach Glenn Bailey said: “Our swimmers achieved their meet targets by gaining Dorset qualifying times with many also going very close to achieving their first regional qualifying times.
“The medal-to-swimmer ratio starts us on a high for the new year.”