Salford Quays was the destination for Grimsby Aquatics Swim Team as they competed in the Northern Regional Open Water Swimming Championships on Saturday 24th May. Aquatics travelled with a team of 17 swimmers, all aiming for county and regional medal success and an opportunity to qualify for the prestigious National Open Water Championships to be held in July.
First to compete were GAST stars George Barber (16) and Oliver Duckworth (15) in the 3K event, each needing to complete 6 laps of the 500 metre open water course. This epic race saw the Aquatics duo dominate the field from the start. It was often difficult to separate the two as they battled it out for the win and in a tense finish, GAST and GB swimmer Barber narrowly edged out his teammate, with both achieving County and Regional gold medals in their age groups and automatic qualification for this summer’s national championships.
Representing Grimsby in the women’s event were Olivia Woods (16) and Isabelle Newson (15), both delivering fine performances with Olivia achieving a Yorkshire County bronze medal and Isabelle gaining both a Yorkshire gold and a regional silver.
Next up was Billy Hendry (17) in the gruelling 5K event. With 10 laps of the course to complete, Billy was delighted to achieve Yorkshire County silver and North East Regional bronze medals in a time of 1 hour, 12 minutes and 49 seconds.
For the younger swimmers, the competition distance was 1.5K. Grimsby were strongly represented in this event with 11 swimmers taking part. First off were the boys, Alexander Woods (14), Joseph Ward (14), Kian Brown (12), Jack Wood (13) and Benjamin Hughes (13). From a busy dive start, the boys all battled for position as they headed out to the first marker buoy where Alex Woods took up a strong position which he converted to a superb win in a personal best open water time of 19 minutes and 58 seconds. Within minutes the girls joined the fray. Lucy Woodliffe (14) Evie Barber (13), Beth Crump (13) Eve Linton (13), Beth Bradley (13) and Danielle Crump (20) all lined up for what was a frenetic start as they aimed to get the best positions into the first corner. Lucy Woodliffe took up a leading position early on and held that throughout the race, setting the pace for the rest to follow and winning in a time of 19 minutes and 43 seconds. The Aquatics swimmers achieved astonishing success in this 1.5K event, netting an incredible 4 gold, 2 silver and 2 bronze medals at regional level, plus 6 gold, 4 silver and 4 bronze medals at county level.
With a total of 10 regional medallist qualifying for the national championships and a further 16 swimmers gaining medals at county level, Head Coach Mark Sheldrick was brimming with praise for his athletes, saying “The dedication of this group of swimmers never ceases to amaze me. They have travelled here to Salford today and demonstrated their skills and determination to succeed at this high level. Off the back of such a successful season in the pool for the club, to come here and perform to this standard in the open water is simply fantastic. Grimsby has a wealth of regional and county champions and medallists. All of these swimmers should be extremely proud of their achievements.”
The GAST stars will be back in action at Ponds Forge for the Sheffield end of season meet and the National Open Water Championships later in July.
Grimsby Aquatics Swim Team and Grimsby Aquatics Swim School offer the very best development opportunities from learn to swim through to competitive swimming. For a free trial or just for more information email firstname.lastname@example.org