Youngsters are hoping it’s London calling after tremendous swims
FOUR members of Halton Swimming Club – Joshua Howard-Hughes, George Winckles, Alfie Mather and Ben Clayton – represented Wade Deacon High School at the North West Area ESSA School Championships held at Everton Park Sports Centre.
The boys were competing in the junior (11-13 years-old) 200m freestyle and 200m medley against 20 other teams from around the North West.
The first race the boys competed in was the 200m medley with Alfie swimming the backstroke, Ben on the breaststroke leg, Josh on the butterfly and George swimming the final freestyle leg. Forming a very strong medley team, the boys swam in the second heat and posted a great time. Alfie was first to go and he put in a solid performance in the backstroke returning on the second 25m in second place.
Ben took over and gradually started to make ground on the first place team eventually overtaking them. Josh took over and put in a brilliant butterfly leg which gave George the chance to bring the team home in first place in the heat. They had to wait for the final heat to be over to see if their time would get them a medal and after a nervous wait it was confirmed that they had claimed first place, and the gold medal, beating the Canon Slade School from Bolton by more than a second.
After collecting their medals and with the excitement of their win still showing in the faces, the young relay team were quickly lining up for the 200m freestyle race.
It seemed a tall order for them to be able to repeat the win in they had in the medley event and it looked that way as Ben finished the first 50m in fourth place. George took over and gained a place.
In an exciting race, Alfie took over from George and he put the after-burners on, which resulted in him gaining one more place to give Josh the opportunity to reel the first place swimmer in. Josh used all his experience to pace the race to perfection which resulted in him overtaking the swimmer in front to help the team post a very quick time.
They had another nervous wait to see what position they would gain having swam in the second heat again.
With their parents watching in the stands and timing the final heat on their own stopwatches, the third heat was completed. The signal went up to the team from the parents that they had in fact claimed first place by beating the same school from Bolton by a second once again.
This win means that if their times are in the top 30 in the country after all regional championships are completed they will get the opportunity to take part in the national final to be held at the Olympic Pool in London next month.
Meanwhile, Eleanor Donald and Rachael Bate both from Halton Swimming Club formed a relay team with two girls ● from Warrington Warriors to represent Priestly College at the North West Regional ESSA Relay Teams’ event held at Everton Park Sports Centre.
Competing in the 200m individual medley and 200m freestyle, they swam brilliantly to gain a silver medal in the former and a bronze in the latter. The girls are now waiting to see if they have qualified to swim in the final in the Olympic Pool in London next month, a feat they managed last year.
Pictured ( from left) are Joshua Howard-Hughes, Alfie Mather, George Winckles and Ben Clayton who swam superbly representing Wade Deacon High School in the North West Area ESSA School Championships in Liverpool.