Swimming: Carnforth Otters start season in style

Carnforth Otters at the North Lancashire Age Group Championships.
Carnforth Otters at the North Lancashire Age Group Championships.

The new competition season got off to a great start for the Carnforth Otters at the North Lancashire Age Group Championships.

Held across two weekends in Blackpool, 50 club swimmers entered the meet.

Several younger swimmers were competing for the very first time. Ace Bower, Sasha Robb, Hannah McMillan, Maia Bishop, Zara Wilson, Pippa Darlington, Jack Collet, Sid Metcalfe, Tim Woodman, Aleksander Tokarski, Isabelle Woodman and Jake Edwards all gained valuable experience and put in some solid performances.

Nine-year-old Ace finished in top five positions in all of his events with some fantastic times.

At the other end of the club, it was a privilege for everyone to watch Masters World Record holder Sophie Casson swim 4.20.80 in the 400m Freestyle.

Producing 235 personal best times and 54 medals, the competition saw some excellent performances with swimmers achieving county and regional qualifying times.

Ace, George Cookson, 10, and Lydia Denby, 13, all qualified for the Lancashire County Championships for the first time.

George and Alice Sands put their mark on the competition with the former finishing in the top five in six of his events and the later finishing in the top 10, bagging six medals in the process.

Sunni Rich and Charles Moore, both 11, and Thomas Dugdale, 12, finished in the top 10 in all their events.

With some superb swims, Aimee Bank, 13, won medals in all of her eight events, picking up six golds.

The 13-year-old girls were a force to be reckoned with, especially in the 200m freestyle and 200m backstroke, with Aimee, Hannah Edwards, Alex Livingstone and Ella Mounsey all finishing in the top 10.

Hannah and Alex continued their form throughout the competition with top 10 finishes in all their events.

Emily Reay, Holly Salisbury, Ben Winterburn, Richard Mead and Chris Stainton, all 14, swam well with the girls finishing in the top six in all of their events and the boys in the top 15 in theirs.

Jess Shatford, 15, swam in the breaststroke events, winning gold in the 50m and silver in the 100 and 200m events.

William Ritchie, 16, finished in the top eight in his events, posting six personal best times and winning four silver medals.

Josh Thompson had an excellent competition, producing a string of top ranking times and a 50m freestyle time of 23.19 which ranks as the fifth fastest ever for a 16-year-old.