Commonwealth medallists Adam Peaty, Sophie Taylor and Aimee Willmott all returned to action for the first time in 2015 at last weekend’s City of Derby Level 1 Long Course Meet in Sheffield.
Having gained national recognition – including a nomination for BBC Sports Personality of the Year – for his six gold medals across last season’s Commonwealth Games and European Championships, Peaty made a low-key return to long course competition, taking the 100m Breaststroke in 1:00.68.
Fellow Commonwealth champion Sophie Taylor was also untouchable in the breaststroke events, winning the 50m Breast in 31.92 and the 100m Breast in 1:08.69.
Taylor – who has switched to train under Lisa Bates’ watch at London Aquatics Centre this season – also set a PB 27.29 in the 50m Freestyle.
Taylor’s training partner Aimee Willmott landed a quartet of gold medals as she touched first in the 200m Freestyle (2:01.82), 200m Backstroke (2:14.63), 200m Breaststroke (2:36.75) and 200m Butterfly (2:14.63) events.
Loughborough University swimmer Thomas Laxton also looked in good shape as he clocked a 54.42 to take the touch in the 100m Butterfly.
Across the younger age groups, City of Leicester’s William Bell and Royal Wolverhampton’s Niamh Hofland caught the eye in the 11/12 Yrs age group with an array of medal-winning performances.
Bell set seven PBs and claimed six gold medals over the three-day meet, claiming the 200m Free title by nearly 10 seconds in 2:07.46 and clocking the 10th fastest time by a British 12-year old with his 2:23.34 effort in the 200m Individual Medley final.
Hofland set four PBs as she also landed six golds including the middle distance quintet of 200m Freestyle, 200m Backstroke, 200m Breaststroke, 200m Butterfly and 200m Individual Medley.
One other notable swim came from Paralympic gold medallist Jessica-Jane Applegate who lowered her own S14 British 400m Freestyle record with her effort of 4:35.69.
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