Freya leads the way with gold as Sunderland swimmers make Summer splash at Sheffield

Sunderland swimmers at the ASA Summer Championships in Sheffield, with Gareth Orr holding his medal
Sunderland swimmers at the ASA Summer Championships in Sheffield, with Gareth Orr holding his medal
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City of Sunderland swimmers enjoyed success in the ASA Summer Championships at Ponds Forge in Sheffield.

The six-day event got off to a good start with Rachel Taylor, 15, producing a two-second personal best, just a tenth of a second outside the Sunderland club record, to secure a silver medal in the 200m individual medley in 2min 35.34sec.

Freya Rayner, 16, continued the excellent form by landing gold and bronze medals.

The national title came in the 100m freestyle, thanks to a PB in the final, with her time of 57.54sec breaking the 16/18 age group club record and going close to the all-time club record.

In the 100m butterfly, Freya was in fourth place after the heats with a PB of 1:04.46, but she improved her time by a further 0.6 seconds to finish in third place in the final, with 1:03.78, a new all-time club record.

It was third event lucky for Emma Cassell, 17, who finished fifth in the 100m butterfly final and eighth in the 100m freestyle before winning silver in the 200m butterfly.

She set new PBs in all three events – 1:04.23 in the 100m butterfly, 59.30 in the freestyle and 2:20.42 in the 200m butterfly.

S14 paraswimmer Gareth Orr, 22, swam in four events and qualified for three finals.

He missed out on a medal in the MC 200m freestyle despite achieving a five-second PB in the heat to finish third, falling to sixth in the final.

However, in the MC 100m breaststroke, Gareth improved his PB by almost two seconds in the heats and almost matched that time to finish third in the final and win a bronze medal. He also finished sixth in the 200m medley and 12th in the 100m backstroke.

Jack Bridge, 21, an S10 swimmer who has trained with Sunderland this season but represents Preston SC, had a highly successful meet.

He won two gold medals (in the MC 200m medley and 100m butterfly), a silver (100m freestyle) and a bronze (50m freestyle), thanks to a string of PBs.

Mason Jacques, 17, secured three top-10 places. His best result came in the 50m freestyle, ending sixth in a time of 24.56, improving on his heat time by 0.12sec. He was seventh in the 200m freestyle, with a PB, ninth in the 100m freestyle, and was 11th in the 50m and 100m butterfly and 100m backstroke.

The girls’ 14/16-year-old 4 x 200m freestyle relay team of Anya Sordy, Elizabeth Clements, Amy Henshaw and Jodi Bunker were fifth in the heats, beating their entry time by more than five seconds, then improved their time in the final to 8:46.40 only to finish sixth.

Sunderland also had competitors in the ASA Open Water National Championships at the Rother Valley Country Park.

Amy Henshaw (15) and Zak Logue (16) both gained top-10 finishes. Amy finished eighth in the girls’ 16-year-old category in the 3k event, finishing in 39min 9.89sec.

In the boys’ 17/18 5k event, Zak was ninth in 1:02.30.