Lauren strikes gold for Cestrians

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LAUREN Graham struck gold for Chester-le-Street in the 50m freestyle final at the Northern Area Zonal Meet held at Ponds Forge Sheffield.

Cestrians’ Lauren Patterson also claimed bronze in the fiercely contested 14-years-and-under sprint final.

The 50m freestyle heat gave an indication of what was to come in the final, with Lauren Graham touching home first in 28.22.

Team-mate Lauren Patterson took third place in 28.78, behind Poppy Yip, of Liverpool, who finished second in 28.35.

Yip replicated this time to take the silver medal in the final, while Graham posted an improved time of 27.91 to take the gold medal with ease.

However, Patterson had a tougher time to maintain her third place seeding, in an exciting battle with Kingston Hull’s Yasmin Brown and Salford’s Charlotte Marshall.

The duo pushed her to improve on her heat time, to take the bronze medal by 00.11 with a time of 28.64.

Chester-le-Street also enjoyed success in the men’s 16-years-and-under 400m freestyle with Mark Ovington (16) taking the bronze medal in a time of 4.12.31.

However, he had to improve on his heat time of 4.13.78 to hold off strong competition from Winsford’s Ashley Cook and Sheffield’s Samuel Budd.

A 00.20 of a second of an advantage was sufficient for him to claim bronze in a dramatic finish.

Kirklee’s Kyle Chisholm won the gold medal, while Middlesbrough’s Jack Baister took the silver.

Lauren Graham also made two further finals in the 100m freestyle, finishing fourth and in the 200m freestyle, finished tenth, while finishing 12th in the 400m freestyle heats.

Lauren Patterson also made the final of the 200m Individual Medley, finishing sixth, and in the 200m backstroke finished tenth.

She also finished 11th in the 100m breaststroke heats and 12th in the 200m breaststroke heats.

Mark Ovington also made it to the 200m freestyle final, finishing in seventh position.

Georgina Lee (13) also represented Chester-le-Street in heats of the 200m backstroke and 200m butterfly, where she finished 14th and 15th respectively.