Swimmers qualify for national semi-finals

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TYNEMOUTH Amateur Swimming Club (TASC) won the Northumberland and Durham Junior Swimming League.

The young swimmers, aged between nine and 12, had competed in three preliminary rounds to make the final against five other clubs, all battling for that one place in the national league semi-final in Blackpool on October 7.

The event began with a fancy dress parade but Tynemouth – who turned out in London Olympic themed colours and apparel, including London buses and Olympic rings – were beaten by Sunderland ASC.

When the gala started in the water, Tynemouth suffered disaster as both boys and girls’ teams were disqualified from the freestyle cannon events.

However, the young swimmers battled on and after ten events were in third place.

Along the way there were some impressive swims with ten-year-old Adam Wilson breaking club records in the 50m fly to take first place in both individual events.

In the team events, there were wins for nine-year-olds Elijah Stannard, Luke Bell, Ciaran Thomas and William Morris while the nine-year-old girls’ team included fabulous displays from Harriet Lee, Leah Martin, Sally Brandon, Niamh Paige and Laura Cook.

After 20 events Tynemouth were in the lead but not in a safe position.

Emily Boyack Short and Eve Helm produced excellent individual swims for the girls’ ten-year-old team and Alfie Kelly produced two top place finishes and broke club records in both events.

Tynemouth’s 11-year-old team were outstanding with the girls of Sian Martin, Ailish Gregory, Sophie Brandon, Madeline Brandon, and Caitlin Chadwick winning most of their events while their male team-mates Henry Willis, Patrick Millar and Kier Lillie ensured every swim counted.

In the 12-year-old category, Tynemouth’s young swimmers dug deep against Newcastle’s national swimmers with Elysia Hunter taking first place in the 50m breaststroke while Alice Smith was outstanding in both her 50m events.

The final event, the 200m freestyle, saw every team put their best swimmers forward. Sally Brandon started for Tynemouth, Elijah Stannard swam the second length, followed by Emily Boyack Short, Alfie Kelly, Kier Lillie, Sian Martin, Andrew Kay and Alice Smith brought the team home.

In the end, Tynemouth won by 20 points, qualifying for the national semi-finals ahead of Newcastle ASA.

Tracey Booth, club manager and diddy squad manager, said the win had been the fruition of a five-year swim development plan.

She said: “TASC has encouraged young members to join, who learn to swim with the club form an early age, and develop good swim techniques and competitive spirit.

“We have also produced more county level swimmers with Kier Lillie and Alfie Kelly finishing second and third respectively in the age group championship points in the March Northumberland and Durham County Championships.”

TASC has spaces for members to join in September, contact them via their website or e-mail tynemouthasc@hotmail.co.uk