The 2014 Sainsbury’s School Games took place at the Manchester Aquatics Centre with eight teams competing, representing England North, England Central, England East, England South, Scotland North & West, Scotland South & East, Ireland and Wales.
England North were the overall winners of the two-day event, having led by 142 after the first day, finishing top of the table with a massive 280 points.
The other England teams took the next three places: England East, 239.5; England South, 225; and England Central 217.
One of the winning team’s stars was Joe Litchfield, who won two gold medals on the first day in the 100m Back (58.21) and 400m IM (4:38.24).
Litchfield commented, “The 2016 Rio Olympics might not be possible for me but the 2018 Commonwealth Games could be and Tokyo in 2020 is a real aim”.
Another star of England North was Edward Baxter, winning both the 100m and 200m Breaststroke races (1:06.41, 2:22.86).
Other double gold medallists were England East’s Katie Nesbitt (MC 200m IM, 2:39.36; MC 100m Freestyle, 1:05.33), and Ryan Nicholls (MC 100m Freestyle, 59.32; MC 100m Backstroke, 1:07.09). For England South, Craig Harris struck gold twice winning the MC 100m Butterfly (1:06.54) and MC 200m IM (2:26.56).
England North took victory in both the boys’ and girls’ 4x200m Freestyle Relays, with the boys’ winning by over five seconds, and the boys’ 4x100m Medley Relay gave England North their third team gold, while England East took the girls’ top position.