Young­sters are hop­ing it’s Lon­don call­ing af­ter tremen­dous swims

Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News - - Theguide -

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.

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