Golden girl Niamh in seventh heaven

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NINE-YEAR-OLD Niamh Swailes led the way for Sunderland’s youngsters with seven gold medals in the City Of Sunderland Firecracker 2013 event at the Aquatic Centre.

Swailes also took top prize based on FINA points in her age group

In her first long course (50m) competition, Niamh set two club records in the 200m breaststroke and 200m butterfly.

She triumphed in the 50m and 200m butterfly, 50m and 200m breaststroke, 50m and 200m freestyle and the 50m backstroke events.

With the gala now an annual fixture in many clubs’ calendars, teams travelled from as far as Aberdeen and Staffordshire to compete alongside local clubs.

It was also a successful weekend for ten-year-old Tom Brumwell, who won four gold medals in the 100m and 200m freestyle, the 100m and 200m backstroke and won a silver medal in the 200m breaststroke event.

Luke Pye (10) won two silver medals in the 100m butterfly and 50m backstroke events.

Natasha Thorpe and Imogen Nichols, both nine, won their first medals at a long course event.

Natasha finished second in the 50m backstroke, third in the 50m breaststroke and fourth in the 50m freestyle events.

Imogen won silver medals in both the 50m freestyle and 50m breaststroke events.

Ten-year-olds Lara Greggs, Alicia Barnes, Caitlin Cambrook, Lucy Major, Skye Smith and Gemma Sproates won 19 medals between them and ensured that Sunderland made a clean sweep in the 50m breaststroke in both the nine and ten-year-old age groups.

Lara topped the podium in the 200m backstroke, was third in the 100m backstroke and breaststroke, fourth in the 200m breaststroke and 100m freestyle, fifth in the 200m IM and sixth in the 200m freestyle.

Caitlin finished sixth in the 100m freestyle.

Alicia finished with gold in the 50m freestyle, a bronze in the 50m breaststroke and was fourth in the 50m backstroke and sixth in the 100m breaststroke.

Lucy took home a fourth place medal from the 50m breaststroke while Skye finished with two silver medals in the 50m freestyle and 50m breaststroke, was fourth in the 100m breaststroke and fifth in the 50m backstroke.

Gemma won a gold and bronze medal in the 50m breaststroke and 50m backstroke events.

Competing in her first gala since recovering from injury, Ana Lazar (12) won a silver medal in the 50m butterfly.

Amy Dixon (12) finished second in the 100m freestyle to gain a qualifying time for the north east regional championships.

Natalya Sharp (12) won a bronze medal in the 200m butterfly and Vanessa Rubio (11) won two bronze medals in the 50m freestyle and 50m backstroke events.

Thirteen-year-olds Carissa Armijo, Eve Larsen and Joseph Pomfret brought home a further six medals.

Carissa finished second in the 200m backstroke and third in the 100m backstroke and 200m breaststroke.

Eve was third in the 800m freestyle and Joseph won silver in the 400m freestyle and a bronze medal in the 200m I/M events.

Sunderland’s swimmers aged 14 and over completed the club’s medal haul, winning ten medals.

Jodi Bunker (14) won a silver medal and a bronze medal in the 400m freestyle and 100m butterfly.

Amy Henshaw (14) finished third in the 800m freestyle, Will Robinson (14) finished second in the 50m backstroke.

Jennifer Sharp (14) won a bronze medal in the 50m freestyle, Anya Sordy (14) won a gold medal in the 200m butterfly and a bronze medal in the 400m I/M and Jay Whitehead (14) finished third in the 200m backstroke event.

Sixteen-year-olds Lucy Ellis and Lucy Walton finished second in the 50m butterfly and third in the 200m breaststroke respectively.

H Swimmers from the City of Sunderland Swimming Club’s Performance B and Age Group Development Squads came away with 12 medals in the second Hallowe’en Open Meet, at Middlesbrough’s Neptune Centre.

Winning a silver and bronze medal each, were 14-year-old Tom Whelan, 12-year-old JJ Robins, and 10-year-old Tom Brumwell.

Tom came second in the 200m butterfly and was third in the 200m breaststroke.

Robins won his medals in the 200m breaststroke and 400 IM, finishing second and third respectively.

Whelan finished second in the 200m I/M and third in the 100m backstroke.

Completing the medal tally for the boys was Joe Whelan (11), who finished second in the 100m backstroke event.

For the girls, Jennifer Sharp (14), finished with a silver medal from the 200m butterfly and Jay Whitehead (14), Lauren Exley (13), Eve Larsen (13) and Lara Greggs (10), finished with a bronze medal.

Twelve-year-old Natalya Sharp qualified for the final of the 50m freestyle after finishing eighth.