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The inaugural North of England Age Groups was held at Broughton Pool on Saturday 21st October 2017. The event saw the best of the North’s Age group swimmers compete for the North of England titles. Four North West Clubs; City of Salford, Trafford SSC, Stockport Metro and City of Preston Aquatics along with City of Leeds and Gateshead SSC completed the line up.
The event followed the same format at the forthcoming Swim England National Age Groups, with all swimmers competing in the figure section and top six solos and duets to qualify for the free routines.
In the 12 and under section the figures were won be Emma Laycock from City of Leeds with Evie Walker, Trafford SSC in second place. Evie together with duet partner Rhiannon Woodhouse went on to repeat their recent success at the Swim England North West competition to take the gold in the Duet event, Gateshead second and City of Salford’s Olivia Thurston and Mollie McDermott the bronze. The team event was a North West hat trick with City of Salford winning ahead of City of Preston Aquatics and Stockport Metro.
Moving up an Age Group, the 13 – 15 age group was again dominated by the North West Clubs. Figures saw City of Preston’s Daisy Rushton take the gold with Aimee Lawrence and Libby Taylor of City of Salford silver and bronze. This result was then repeated in the Free Solo event. The duet saw a strong performance from City of Salford with a one, two placing and also gaining the Free Team title in this age group.
In the final age group 15 – 18, the figures were won by City of Leeds swimmer Millie Costello with a strong North West Competition of Melissa Knapton and Rhea Howard. Melissa, City of Salford, gave a powerful performance to improve on her figures to a gold in the solo event with Rhea, City of Preston Aquatics taking a second bronze. City of Leeds won the duet title with a silver for City of Preston Aquatics duo Rhea Howard and Leah Meyer. The final event of the day, the Free Team gave City of Leeds it’s first team win, with City of Salford and Stockport Metro in second and third places.
This pilot event was a great success with North West clubs winning seven of the twelve titles and twenty two of the thirty six medals available, demonstrating the depth and talent within the region. Once again a huge thank you to all the volunteers, officials, swimmers and clubs for their support, without which such events would not be possible.