The National Age Groups Open Water Swimming Championships started with the boys’ and girls’ 1.5km races at Rother Valley Country Park in Sheffield.
12yrs age group
The girls dominated this race with nine out of 10 swimmers in the lead pack being female.
Ellesmere College’s Eleanor Bainbridge came in first place (19:59.60) having won the district championships to qualify for the event, while Lucy Woodliffe of Grimsby AST came second in 20:05.77 and Charlotte Wynne-Jones of Bicester was third (20:23.38).
13yrs age group
Hudman proves challenge for boys
Anne-Marie Hudman of Northampton gave the boys a run for their money, coming in third overall and winning the gold medal in the girl’s event in 19:47.03.
Tia Wilson of Modernians claimed silver with 19:52.91 and Enfield swimmer Megan Molloy received bronze with 19:56.79.
Stealing the limelight in the boys’ race was Ioan Evans of Bridgend City, swimming almost two minutes faster than third place, and nine seconds faster than second place, touching 18:01.11 for gold.
Charlie Hutchison came in second place with a time of 18:10.65 and Timothy Hughes of Hatfield claimed his bronze medal with a time of 19:55.63.
14yrs age group
Newcomer Crisp bags gold
City of Leeds’ Leah Crisp clinched the gold medal in a time of 18:56.37, overcoming a difficult start to comeback and win ahead of Rosie Holland of Ellesmere College (18:57.21) and Emilia Sansome of Wycombe District (19:03.53).
The newcomer to open water said, “That was hard. It’s my first time doing open water and I wasn’t sure what to expect. I came along for the experience, so I never expected to win, but winning the gold is incredible.”
In the boys’ race George Barber of Grimsby AST and Jack Buswell of Northampton matched each other stroke for stroke in the final straight, with Barber eventually clinching the win with a time of 18:23.09.
Buswell finished under a second behind (18:23.98) with Hector Pardoe of Ellesmere College following up for third (18:25.80).