Girls power to medal success

Rachel Taylor.
Rachel Taylor.
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CITY of Sunderland 14-year-olds Rachel Taylor, Anya Sordy and Jodi Bunker raced to three gold and two silver medals at the regional British Gas Age Group Championships.

Rachel, swimming in her first championships, dominated the girls’ breaststroke events, winning both the 100m and 200m in new club records for the 14 years category.

Her 100m time (1min 15.71sec) was a national qualifying time, a feat matched in the 200m, with a new personal best if 2:43.27, 2.7 seconds better than her previous mark.

She also finished fifth in the 400 medley.

Anya struck gold in the 200m butterfly, winning in 2:28.26, and set a new PB with a sixth-place finish in the 100m butterfly (1:08.25). She also ended eighth in the 800m freestyle and 13th in the 400m freestyle.

Jodi secured silver medals in the 400m medley and the 100m butterfly. Her butterfly time of 1:05.65 was a 1.5-second PB and gained another national qualifying time.

She also finished sixth in the 200m breaststroke, with a PB, and the 800m freestyle.

Joseph Pomfret (14) also had a successful championships, putting in a strong performance to be fifth in the 200m butterfly (2:21.58) and improving his personal best by more than five seconds, just half a second outside the national qualifying time.

He also reached the finals of the 200m freestyle (ninth) and 200m backstroke (10th), and was 13th in the 200m medley and 200m backstroke.

Jay Manners set new PBs in all three of his events, taking almost three seconds off his 100m breaststroke time and slashing his 200m breaststroke best by nearly four seconds.

Backstroker Lauren Exley showed continued improvement, finishing 15th in the 100m (achieving a 1.5-second PB) and beating her 200m best by almost two and a half seconds.

Amy Henshaw finished seventh in the 200m butterfly and 200m backstroke, and was ninth in the 400m freestyle and 800m freestyle.

In the 13 years category, Amy Dixon, Elizabeth Clements, Eve Larsen and Natalya Sharp set 10 PBs between them.

Eve had five on her own, in eight events, while Amy swam in the 200m butterfly and 100m freestyle and Elizabeth was eighth in both the 400m freestyle and 200m medley, both in PBs. She also ended seventh in the 800m freestyle.

Natalya’s PB came in the 200m breaststroke, with a 15th-place finish.

The youngest members of the Sunderland squad, JJ Robins (12) and 11-year-olds Tom Brumwell and Lara Greggs qualified for three finals and set eight PBs.

Robins just missed out on a medal in the 1500m freestyle, finishing fourth, and swam well in the 400m medley (ninth), cutting three seconds off his PB. He added PBs in the 200m breaststroke, 400m freestyle and 100m butterfly.

Tom impressed with a fifth-place 200m backstroke finish, with a new five-second PB, was ninth in the 200m breaststroke and set another PB with eighth in the 200m medley.

Lara showed her aptitude for the backstroke events, finishing 12th in the 200m, with a new PB of more than 1.4 seconds, and 19th in the 100m.

The relay teams were in action too with the girls’ 4x200m freestyle A Team, finishing in sixth place and qualifying for the nationals.

The team comprised:

Amy Henshaw, Elizabeth Clements, Anya Sordy and Jodi Bunker combined to finish sixth in the girls’ 4x200m freestyle rely, sealing a national qualification place.

The B team (Eve Larsen, Lauren Exley, Rachel Taylor and Amy Dixon) finished 12th.

In the 4x100m freestyle, the A team (Elizabeth Clements, Anya Sordy, Eve Larsen, and Jodi Bunker) and B team ( Lauren Exley, Rachel Taylor, Amy Henshaw and Amy Dixon) finished seventh and 13th respectively.

Elizabeth Clements, Rachel Taylor, Jodi Bunker and Eve Larsen finished sixth in the 4x100m medley relay, while the B Team (Amy Henshaw, Natalya Sharp, Anya Sordy and Amy Dixon) was 14th.

The boys’ 4x100m freestyle team (Joseph Pomfret, Tom Brumwell, JJ Robins and Jay Manners) came home 14th and the 4x100m medley team (Adam Boxall, Jay Manners, J.J. Robins and Tom Brumwell) ended 13th.