The boys’ and girls’ 3k open water swimming events kicked off with the 16yrs age group at the Rother Valley Country Park in Sheffield.
16yrs age group
Cameron Croot of Swansea won the first 3km race, in 35:48.21, with Thomas Stacey of City of Coventry finishing close behind for silver (36:09.54).
Bicester’s Kieran Bird, who had been heading up the main pack behind the two front runners, kept his position to win bronze (37:06.51).
Sophie Evans of Swansea and Rose Foden of Northampton swam almost on top of each other for the majority of the race and both fought until the final stroke. Evans came out on top with 36:41.10 and Foden following a second later, with 36:42.07.
Sophie Millen (Wycombe District) and Loulou Vos (Hillingdon) were also not much more than a stroke apart after the final corner, but Millen bagged the bronze with a time of 38:16.14, only a second ahead of Vos.
15yrs age group
Nathan Hughes of Hatfield finished with a 14 second lead, in 35:31.45 to win, having led for most of the race with Jacob Butterfield (City of Leeds) sitting right in his feet, before claiming his second place reward (35:45.50).
Max Murphy of Milton powered through the field to win himself a bronze medal with 36:48.32
“The competition was a lot harder than last year, but I actually found it better, said Hughes. “I do a lot of open water swimming, regionals, the Great Swims and the Henley events, so I do get a fair bit of training. I did the Great Lake Swim at Windermere earlier in the year, which was great.”
With the main pack all finishing within a minute of one another, Pheobe Griffiths of Waltham Forest, Sarah Branch of Northampton and Tazmin Pugh of Ellesmere managed to pull away, each one desperate to claim that gold medal finish.
Griffiths finished first with 36:57.40, Branch second with 37:01.69 and Pugh finished in 37:07.58.