Swimmers have a cracking time

The victorious England Team celebrate an overall win at the WISE 2012 International Championships held at the Sunderland Aquatic Centre.
The victorious England Team celebrate an overall win at the WISE 2012 International Championships held at the Sunderland Aquatic Centre.
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CITY of Sunderland hosted the Firecracker Open Meet – its first Level 1 gala of the season at the Aquatic Centre.

The event began with the 800m and 1500m freestyle events on Friday evening and was followed by two further days of racing over the weekend.

The prestigious gala attracted top-class competitors from as far south as Shropshire and as far north as Aberdeen and included Middlesbrough ASC’s Aimee Willmott, fresh from competing at London 2012.

Sunderland’s Performance and Development Squads fielded a team of 31 swimmers, and won 43 medals.

In the distance events, Lucy Walton (15), Thomas Burns (13) and JJ Robins (11) all made the podium.

Lucy was third in the 800m freestyle event, Thomas was second in the 1500m freestyle and JJ was third in the same event.

All three went on to win further medals over the weekend with Lucy winning gold in the 200m freestyle and silver medals in the 200m butterfly and backstroke events,

Thomas won silver in the 400m I/M and JJ took silver in the 400m freestyle.

JJ finished third in the 11-year-old boys BAGCAT Points category.

Seventeen-year-olds Jennifer Tatters and Joe Middleton both won a bronze medal, Jennifer in the 200m backstroke and Joe in the 50m butterfly.

In the 16-year-old age group, Lida Abrie was third in the 200m breaststroke and Adam Taylor was third in the final of the 100m butterfly and second in the 200m backstroke. Emma Sinclair was third in the 200m butterfly. James Burns (15) was second in the 200m breaststroke.

Disability swimmers Nicole Lough (17) and Matt Wylie (16) warmed-up for the Disability National Short-Course Championships with a series of solid swims – focusing on race skills and technique.

The 14-year-old boys and girls swam well to win 16 medals between them.

Jessica Thompson was first in the 200m butterfly and second in the 50m breaststroke, 200m breaststroke and 400 I/M events.

Callum Reveley matched Jessica’s medal haul to win four medals: gold in the 50m butterfly, silver in the 200m freestyle and 200m butterfly events and bronze in the 400m freestyle.

Callum finished second in the 14-year-old boys BAGCAT Points category.

Andrew Markham won a hat-trick of bronze medals in the 50m backstroke and freestyle events and the 200m backstroke.

Gabrielle Burdess, racing for the first time as a 14-year-old was second in the 200m freestyle, third in the 400m I/M and came second in the 14-year-old girls BAGCAT Points category.

Georgina Lamb won gold in the 200m breaststroke, Ashlyn Liddle was third in the same event and with Jessica taking silver it was a clean sweep for Sunderland.

Freya Rayner completed the 14-year-old medal tally by winning silver in the 200m backstroke.

Tom Whelan, 13, won silver in the 50m breaststroke and was third in the 200m breaststroke and 400 I/M events.

Jodi Bunker (13) was second in the 400m freestyle and finished thirrd in the 100m freestyle final.

Also 13, Jennifer Sharp and Lauren Patterson won gold and bronze respectively in the 200m butterfly event.

Twelve-year-olds Eve Larsen and Joseph Pomfret won two medals each. Eve won bronze medals in the 50m breaststroke and 200m freestyle events whilst Joseph won the 200m butterfly and was third in the 400m I/M.

Ana Lazar (11) finished third in the 50m freestyle.