SEAGULLS’ Max Weeks is heading for his first regional championships – just 10 months after taking up competitive swimming.
The 11-year-old from Christchurch won eight gold medals from his nine events at Swim Bournemouth’s Easter Open Meet.
It might have been nine out of nine had he not been disqualified for moving at the start of the 200m medley – a decision he disputes.
His medals at Littledown came in the 50, 100 and 200m freestyle, 50 and 100m backstroke, 50 and 100m butterfly and 50m breaststroke.
But it was his 100m freestyle time of 1:05.76 that really caught the eye, as it qualified him for this summer’s South West Age Group Championships with a second to spare – even though he’ll be the youngest in his age group.
The result represents a meteoric rise for a youngster who moved to Christchurch from his native Japan two-and-a-half years ago and joined Seagulls in June last year.
He didn’t qualify for the Dorset championships until the start of 2014 but went on to win 11 medals including five golds.
Swim Bournemouth’s Kelvin Wong was the second most prolific gold-winner at his club’s open meet with six of the best in the 13yrs 100 and 200m freestyle, 100 and 200m breaststroke, 200m backstroke and 200m medley.
Four golds each went to Swim Bournemouth’s Matthew Collins in the 14yrs 100 and 200m backstroke, 200m freestyle and 100m butterfly, Trevin Michelo in the 12yrs 50 and 100m freestyle and butterfly and Abbie Quarrie in the 11yrs 50 and 100m fly, 200m breaststroke and 200m medley.
Team-mates Ben Wickens, Morgan Long and Amy Brown each struck gold three times, Wickens winning the 16yrs 100 and 200m breaststroke and 100m butterfly, Long the girls’ 13yrs 50 and 100m freestyle and 50m fly, Brown the 9-10yrs 50 and 200m breaststroke and 50m backstroke.
Winning two golds each for the host club were Jemma Green in the 14yrs 100m fly and 200m freestyle, Harley Kemp in the 12yrs 200m freestyle and medley and 9-10yrs swimmers Ryan Symington (50 and 200m back), Hermione Cull (100 and 200m free) and Rosie Holland (100m breaststroke and 200m medley).
Harry Thorpe and Maisie Gor-mley joined Seagulls team-mate Weeks with trips to the top step of the podium, Thorpe winning the men’s 18 and over 50 and 100m butterfly in 24.31 and 59.41, and Gormley the 15yrs 50 and 100m backstroke (32.63 and 1:09.12).
Five Poole swimmers struck gold, including 15-year-old Madison Kemp in the girls’ 50m breaststroke (34.88), Alex Price in the boys’ 200m breast (2:47.20) and Kiran Olenicz in the 50m backstroke (28.97).
The other two Poole winners were Todd Price in the 17yrs 200m breaststroke (2:42.12) and Oliver Weston in the 13yrs 50m breaststroke (37.99).
Other Swim Bournemouth gold medallists were Alice Robinson in the 18/o 100m freestyle, Jordan Symington in the 17yrs 100m backstroke, Alan Wong in the 16yrs 100m backstroke in a speedy 59.79 and Hannah Stonier in the 13yrs 100m butterfly.