YOUNG swimmers from Carnforth Otters have been out in force over the past three weeks, competing in a series of top level events.
Four members of the top training squad travelled to Scotland to compete in the Scottish National Championships. All four recorded personal best performances. In the 100m Freestyle events Sam Timpany (aged 14) narrowly missed reaching the final. Alasdair Fairhurst (15), having reached the final of the 100m Freestyle finished 4th, while 12-year-old Josh Thompson won a silver medal in a very close final. In the 100m Breaststroke final, birthday girl Rachel Ritchie (15) fought a very hard battle against much older swimmers, narrowly missing gold and finishing second to a new national record.
The Lancashire County Championships were held over two weekends in Liverpool and Manchester, where 27 Otters competed, delivering some great performances and PBs across the age groups, and bringing home a sack full of medals and new County Champions.
For some of the younger swimmers, it was their first time competing at the event. They all did brilliantly, improving their times and coming very close to the medal positions: Alex Livingstone (9) 6th 50 Free (6 second PB); Tom Horner (9) 4th 200 Free (20 second PB), 7th 200 Breast, 8th 50 Back; Max Gleadow (9) 4th 50 Fly, 9th 200 Free; Aimee Banks (10) 5th 50 Free; Amie Turner (10) 5th 50 Breast, 6th 50 Free, 8th 200 IM; Matthew Brown (10) 9th 50 Fly; Josh Banks (11) 4th 50 Free, 6th 50 Fly; Isabelle Brown (12) and Ellena Clarkson (14) put in cracking performances in the 50 Back, narrowly missing out on medals, coming 5th and 6th respectively.
Shannon Nicholson, Olivia Clinton, Toa Smith, Josh Hillis, Becky Townend, Freddie Carter, Michael Bellamy, Sophie Walker, Sam Tomlinson, Bill Timpany all swam across the two weekends, each delivering some excellent PBs. The Breaststrokers Josh Thompson, Sam Timpany, Rachael Ritchie and Alasdair Fairhurst made a clean sweep, all taking Gold in the 50 Breast and dominating the 100 Breast.
The medal table: Kirsty Fairhurst (12) Bronze: 50 Fly. William Ritchie (12) Bronze: 1500 Free. Josh Thompson (12) Gold: 50 Breast, 100 Breast, 50 Fly; Silver: 50 Free, 100 Free, 100 Fly, 200 Breast, 50 Back; Bronze: 200 Free; 3rd in BAGCAT awards. Sam Timpany (14) Gold: 50 Breast; Silver: 100 Breast; Bronze: 200 IM. Rachel Ritchie (15) Gold: 50 Breast, 100 Breast, 200 Breast, 50 Free, 100 Fly; Silver: Open 200 Breast, 100 free; Bronze: 800 Free, 50 Fly. Alasdair Fairhurst (15) Gold: 50 Breast; Silver 100 Free; Bronze: 100 Breast, Open 100 Free, 50 Free. Steph Spencer (16) Bronze: 100 Back.
Meanwhile, at Pond’s Forge in Sheffield, LRGS pupil Joe Barton (18) swam in the British International Disability Championships, competing against some of the best swimmers from countries including Brazil, China, France, Malaysia and Japan.
Taking part in the 50, 100 and 400m Freestyle as well as the 100m Backstroke and 100m Fly, Joe recorded five new PBs, finishing in the top 10 in all events and continuing his steady progress towards London 2012.
More good news followed with the naming of the North Lancashire Inter Association team. Sixteen of the club’s swimmers aged 10-14, the highest number ever, have been selected to swim against teams from across the Midlands and North of England. Sam Timpany (14), competing in the team for the last time, was also named as team captain in recognition of his recent success and previous year’s successes in the team.
Away from the pool the good news continued for Otters, with the successful re-accreditation of Swim 21 status for teaching swimming for the third year. One of very few North Lancashire swimming clubs to be awarded Swim 21, it is in recognition of the club’s continuing progress along the ASA development plan for teaching and club development. It also recognises the effort put into the club by volunteers on the committee and the pool side staff, where all 16 level two teachers and six assistant teachers give up time free of charge to help all swimmers in the club reach their full potential. The Otters train under the direction of head coach Mark Smith.
Anyone interested in joining the club or attending a trial session can contact Susan Goodfellow on 07971 254535, Sheila Brown on 01524 720884 or visit www.carnforth otters.co.uk.