Sunderland swimmers take national titles

Matt Wylie and Nicole Lough
Matt Wylie and Nicole Lough
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Swimming

CITY of Sunderland swimmers Matt Wylie and Nicole Lough both clinched gold medals as part of the ASA North East Team in the DSE Junior and Youth National Championships in Sheffield.

The event is a national competition for disability swimmers up to the age of 18, with swimmers competing in their own classification.

Matt competed in six events and was crowned S9 class National Youth Champion in the 400m freestyle, 100m backstroke, 100m individual medley and 100m freestyle.

He also secured silver medals in the 50m freestyle and 200m individual medley, and also swam as part of the 34 point 4x100 relay team that finished in bronze medal position.

Nicole, competing at her last DSE Junior and Youth Nationals, competed in three events.

She clinched gold and the National Youth Champion title in the S14 Classification 100m breaststroke event.

In addition, Nicole took silver medals in the S14 50m freestyle and 100m freestyle, as the ASA North East Team finished in second position, behind the team from the ASA East.

Sunderland Swimming Club lead performance coach Danny Thompson said: “It was a nice way for Nicole to bow out because she now moves into the senior ranks.

“And Matt performs consistently at that level and seems to be able to do it comfortably in a race environment.”

The focus for Matt and Nicole now is next month’s Great Britain international disability trials for June’s World Championships, in Montreal.

Nicole needs to replicate her form from last month’s British Gas International Meet, in Leeds, where she set a new personal best in the 200m freestyle.

Her time was under the qualification mark for the World Championships, but she must match that time at the trials.

City of Sunderland fielded a team of 45 swimmers, from Junior Gold through to Performance A Squads, and won 33 medals between them in the Northumberland and Durham Swimming Association Championships at the Aquatic Centre.

In the relay events, Sunderland took home a further two silver medals and one bronze.

Freya Rayner and Callum Reveley, both 14, continued a successful season by winning a stunning 14 individual medals between them.

Freya won her first medal in the 200m backstroke, finishing second and then just a short time later, finished second again in the 100m freestyle final in a national qualifying time.

However, it was in the sprint events that Freya really excelled, winning gold in the 14-year-old age category in the 50m freestyle, backstroke and butterfly events.

She then competed in the finals of the same events, but in the Open Age category – and won three silver medals.

Her freestyle time of 27.26 was not only a club record but also county record for her age group. Her butterfly time of 29.33 was also a club record.

Callum took home two gold, two silver and two bronze medals from the championships.

He was first in the 50m freestyle and butterfly events, winning the freestyle by just two hundredths of a second.

Callum was second in the 200m and 100m freestyle events and finished third in the 200m and 100m butterfly events.

Alexandra Robinson (18) added to the club’s gold medal total by finishing first in the Open 800m freestyle event.

Alex touched home just six tenths of a second ahead of her nearest rival, Lucy Ellis (16) who won silver making it a 1-2 for Sunderland.

Performance A team-mate Gabrielle Burdess (14) won three medals, winning a sliver in the 50m freestyle, bronze medals in the 100m freestyle and 200 Medley.

Thomas Burns (13) won two medals in the backstroke events. He finished second in the 200m event and hung on to win bronze in the 100m event.

Jessica Thornton (10) was the club’s youngest winner, finishing second in the 200 Medley to take home a silver medal.

Also winning silver were Eve Larsen (12), Joseph Pomfret (13) and Ryan Brewster (14).

In the last individual event of the championships, Eve triumphed in the 50m butterfly when she won silver. Joseph’s best performance came in the 100m butterfly, where he won a silver medal.

Swimming in his first county championships, Ryan performed brilliantly in the 50m breaststroke event to finish second.

Ana Lazar (11) won a hat-trick of bronze medals, underlining her strength in the freestyle events. She was third in the 50m, 100m and 400m freestyle events.

Winning two bronze medals in the 50m backstroke and butterfly events was, Jodi Bunker (13). She reached seven finals, including the Open 200m butterfly, finishing 10th.

Completing the individual medal tally were Joe Middleton (17), Emma Sinclair (16), and Jay Whitehead (13). Joe finished third in the 50m backstroke.

Emma won bronze in the 100m butterfly and also swam in the finals of the 100m backstroke, 50m butterfly, and 200 Medley events. Jay’s strength in the backstroke events came to the fore, winning bronze in the 100m event.

The women’s relay teams won three medals in the Open age group.

The 4x100m freestyle team of Jen Tatters, Jodi Bunker, Freya Rayner and Gabrielle Burdess finished second.

The 4x100m medley team of Freya Rayner, Lida Abrie, Emma Sinclair and Lucy Ellis also won silver.

The last medal of the championships went to the women’s 4x200m freestyle team. Jen Tatters, Jodi Bunker, Lucy Ellis and Gabrielle Burdess finished third.

Nine-year-old Caitlin Cambrook swam in her first championships and set two new club records in the 50m freestyle (35.63 seconds) and 50m backstroke (42.17 seconds) events. She finished fifth in both finals.