A LARGE team of 31 Sunderland swimmers from Age Group Development, Junior Silver and Gold Squads took part in Middlesbrough ASC’s Christmas Gala at the Neptune Centre.
The meet provided the opportunity for swimmers to take part in the 1500m and 800m freestyle events as well as the sprint events – and the club came away with 29 medals; seven gold, 13 silver and nine bronze.
Making a clean sweep in her events was 14-year-old Lauren Exley, who triumphed in the 100m IM, freestyle, backstroke and breaststroke events and recorded some excellent personal best (pb) times in all events.
Fellow 14-year-olds Jay Manners and Adam Cambrook also struck gold. Jay won the 100m butterfly and 100m backstroke events, finished second in the 100m breaststroke and third in the 100m freestyle, achieving pbs in three events.
Adam finished first in the 1500m freestyle, in his first attempt at this event.
Joseph Pomfret (13) took home a silver medal from each of his four events: 100m freestyle, butterfly, IM and breaststroke, setting new pbs in the latter two events.
JJ Robins (12) also won four medals: silver in the 100m backstroke and breaststroke and bronze in the100m and 1500m freestyle events, achieving three pbs.
Between them, Alisha Ballantine (12), Darcy Palmer (14) and Jamie Kemp (13) won a further seven medals.
Alisha finished second in the 100m backstroke and freestyle events and third in the 100m breaststroke.
Darcy won silver medals in the 800m freestyle and 100m butterfly, while Jamie finished second in the 100m backstroke and breaststroke events.
Darcy and Jamie set improved times in all their events.
Achieving new pbs and a medal each were Vanessa Rubio, Caitlin Cambrook, Matthew Phillips, Ben Hutchinson and Adam Boxall.
Vanessa finished second in the 800m freestyle, Caitlin was third in the 100m IM, Matthew, Ben and Adam won bronze medals in the 1500m, 100 IM and 100m backstroke events respectively.
This gala provided the rare opportunity for the under-nines to compete, giving some of the youngest members of the club their first taste of an ‘away’ gala.
Making their debuts were eight-year-olds Tilly Abbott and Jessica Ord, nine-year-olds Jack Ashman, Lorenzo Corsi, Katie Johnson, Louie Scott and Lauren Ventress,10-year-old Olivia Miller and 11-year-old Emily Atchison.