Henshaw makes a big impression

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CITY of Sunderland ASC produced a creditable haul of 39 medals in their Level 1 May Open at the Aquatic Centre, competing against swimmers from Scotland and across the North East.

The Age Group Development squad (14 and under) made a big impression, notably 14-year-old Amy Henshaw, who improved her 800m freestyle personal best by more than 11 seconds to 9min 34.03sec to secure an Open Water National qualifying time (QT) – her first individual national time.

Her superb swim secured a bronze medal, and she went on to record personal bests in the 50m butterfly and 100m backstroke.

Eleven-year-olds Tom Brumwell, Lara Greggs and Joe Whelan, Sunderland’s youngest competitor at the meet, won nine medals.

Brumwell won the 100m backstroke and 200m freestyle (improving his PB by more than 14 seconds), adding a silver in the 50m backstroke and bronze in the 50m breaststroke and 50m freestyle.

Greggs grabbed gold in the 50m freestyle and silver in the 50m backstroke, and set seven new PBs throughout the weekend, while Whelan won the 50m backstroke, took a 200m backstroke bronze and improved his times in all eight of his events.

Natalya Sharp, 13, won a 50m breaststroke silver, while Joseph Pomfret (14) sealed a bronze in the 50m freestyle, improving his time by more than a second. He also slashed his 400m freestyle time by 10 seconds and his 400m medley by 15 seconds.

Adam Cambrook, Jay Manners, Darcy Palmer, Alisha Ballantine, Adam Boxall, Amy Dixon, Jamie Kemp, Matthew Phillips and Connor Steele all set new PBs in all their races, many making vast improvements.

Phillips reduced his 400m freestyle time by an incredible 35 seconds, while Dixon cut hers by 25 seconds, Boxall took 20 seconds off the 200m backstroke and Manners’ 400m medley time was 15 seconds better.

Ana Lazar, J.J. Robins and Lauren Exley also posted improvements, with Robins reducing his 1500m freestyle best by six seconds.

The Performance squad swimmers made their mark, too.

Adam Taylor, 17, won a hat-rick of golds in the 100m backstroke, 100m freestyle and 50m butterfly, in which his 25.25sec was a new meet record.

Jennifer Tatters, 19, won the 50m and 200m freestyle, while Lida Abrie, 18, triumphed in the 200m breaststroke and set new PBs in the 200m backstroke and medley.

Nicole Lough, 19, won the 50m breaststroke gold, setting a new club record of 36.01 – all the more impressive as she is a S14 disability swimmer.

Jodi Bunker, 14, picked up a hat-trick of silvers, in the 50m and 100m butterfly and the 400m freestyle, helped by a new PB., while Joshua Campbell, 16, was second in the 50m breaststroke and joint second with South Tyneside’s Jake Whitelock in the 200m breaststroke, while setting a PB.

Alexandra Clements, 15, won silvers in the 50m and 100m backstroke, while Anya Sordy, 14, was runner-up in the 200m butterfly and third in the 100m butterfly.

Kieran Peart, 17, bagged bronzes in the 50m and 200m freestyle, while Jack Tallentire, 16, was third in the 200m backstroke.

Will Robinson, Callum Walker and Tom Whelan missed out on medals but improved their times across the board, while Callum Conway, Thomas Walker and Rachel Taylor all made promising debut appearances.

Sunderland dominated the relays.

Thomas Walker, Joshua Campbell, Adam Taylor and Kieran Peart won the men’s 4x100m medley, while Jack Tallentire, Thomas Walker, Campbell and Peart combined for the 4x100m freestyle gold.

The B team (Jay Manners, Callum Walker, Joseph Pomfret and Tom Whelan) finished third in both events.

The women’s teams did even better, securing gold and silver in both events.

Freya Rayner, Rachel Taylor, Jodi Bunker and Eve Larsen took the 4x100m medley, beating Alexandra Clements, Lida Abrie, Anya Sordy and Laura Taylor.

In the 4x100m freestyle, Jennifer Tatters, Elizabeth Clements, Eve Larsen and Laura Taylor took gold, ahead of Freya Rayner, Lauren Exley, Alexandra Clements and Amy Dixon.