Youth / Senior
Due to injury and illness, Team GAW took a relatively small group of seven athletes to Ponds Forge, Sheffield, for the Open Short Course North East Regional Championships. With the ‘open’ nature of the event, it was a step up for a young team of 16 years and under. However, step up they did, producing a host of fine swims. Out of a total of 27 swims, the team produced an astonishing 22 personal best performances, with seniors Thejes Sundar and Zoe Price claiming 100% PB success from their seven swims, a feat rare amongst 16+ year olds, and emblematic of their continued dedication and effort in training.
To top off the weekend, Zoe Price produced a blistering final effort in the 50m breaststroke to claim a fantastic bronze medal, her first senior medal to add to the junior title she won last year at the same meet. Age Group British Champion, 14-year-old Ryan Zhao claimed four places in his first senior finals, often competing against athletes much older than him, and again producing a 100% short-course PB record over the weekend.
A fantastic effort by all.
The much busier pool for the team was the Age Group pool, which saw 11 Team GAW (11-13yrs) athletes competing over the two days. Incredibly, everyone that competed achieved at least 1 top 10 (equivalent of a Regional final) position, with many achieving that feat in multiple events. In total, team GAW achieved 48 top 10 ‘final’ positions.
And to the medal winners…
Serial regional medallists Naomi Parker (12) and Ellie Houghton (13) were at it again. Naomi picked up bronze medals in the 100m IM and 100m butterfly while Ellie added silver medals in the 50m, 100m, and 200m butterfly events.
Stand out performers in the Age Group event however were 11yr old debutants Anna Finlay and Daniel Barrett who claimed a magnificent 11 medals between them. Anna picked up bronze medals in the 200m freestyle, 200m breaststroke and 200m backstroke, with two fantastic silver medals in the 100m breaststroke and 100m IM. While pocket rocket Daniel achieved bronze medals in the 50m freestyle, 50m backstroke, and 100m IM events; silver medals in both the 200m backstroke and 100m fly, and a magnificent gold medal winning performance in 100m backstroke, smashing a 10 second PB in the process.
In total, the Age Group team produced a stunning 16 medals between them, an excellent haul for new Group 1 coach Ross Bradley. The medal tally did not tell the whole story however, with GAW athletes also placing in 4th position an agonising 6 times. The goal will most certainly now be to convert those 4th places into future medal winning performances.
A massive well done to the Age Group team, we’re all very proud of you.