Gemma leads the way for young City of Sunderland swimmers

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GEMMA Sproates led the way for the City of Sunderland ASC girls, posting a personal best as she won the 50 metres backstroke in the 11 years age group at the Wear Valley Gala.

She raced home in 42.84 seconds. Team-mates Layla Trueman, Alicia Barnes, Bethany Grey, Molly Joyce and Maria Birchall also competed in the same event, Maria finishing sixth.

Nine-year-old Elyssa Palmer also showed a great improvement, cutting her personal best by seconds.

In the 50m freestyle, Sunderland had nine competitors.

Gemma Sproates had another good swim, coming sixth in a new best time of 38.19, and Maria Birchall was sixth in the 12 years age group in 35.11, another personal best.

Jasmine Campbell set the benchmark in the 50 metres breaststroke, with the nine-year-old finishing fourth in 51.98, a new PB.

She also set a new time in the 200m, taking 23 seconds off her previous best time, showing great versatility in the different distances.

Laura-Jayne Smith had a great swim, taking 29 seconds off her PB, showing a great improvement, while Madeleine Smith had a good race in the 50m, coming 10th in the 10 years age group in 54.45, only just off her PB.

Emma Corbett-Skedd, in the same age group, secured a new PB of 56.50, while Georgia Richardson was only slightly off her PB in the same event, but achieved a new best time in the 50, butterfly (48.01).

Sunderland’s boys also showed a promising display in the 50 metres breaststroke.

Fran Proctor came third in the nine years age group in 59.93, and Benjamin Milford came sixth (53.60) in the 11 years age group, as well as taking 15 seconds off his personal best time in the 100m breaststroke.

Nine-year-old Lorenzo Corsi competed in his first 200m backstroke event, giving him the perfect chance to gain experience for the future.