Gold joy for Lucy, Jennifer

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LUCY Ellis led the way for City of Sunderland swimmers in the North East Regional and Northumberland and Durham County open water championships at Wykeham Lakes, near Scarborough.

Ellis, competing in the 17-18 year old category, impressively won the 3km swim by five seconds in a time of 38min 04sec, claiming both the regional and county titles in the process.

Nineteen-year-old Jennifer Tatters, competing in the senior age group, also struck gold, posting a time of 39.58.

Making it a family affair, Lucy’s dad, Ian Ellis, finished second in the Masters event.

He swam the 3km course in 67.58, securing him the county title and a silver medal in the regional championship.

Jay Manners (14) made a brilliant start to his open water career by finishing fifth overall in the boys’ 12-14 year old age group.

His time of 19.14 for the 1.5km swim sealed a silver medal in the county championship, while JJ Robins (12) finished 12th overall and ninth in the county rankings in 21.00.

In the girls’ 12-14 years category, Sunderland had Anya Sordy (14), Amy Henshaw (14), Darcy Palmer (14), Elizabeth Clements (13) and Natalya Sharp (13) competing.

Sordy led the Sunderland girls to fifth place overall and claimed a county bronze medal with a fast time of 18.03, with Henshaw coming home just six seconds behind in 18.09, finishing seventh overall and fourth in the county championship.

Clements was eight (fifth in the county in 18.47), with Sharp 12th (seventh, 21.29) and Palmer 16th (10th, 21.48).

The championship also offered the opportunity for swimmers to enter “come and try it” events.

These events did not form part of the championships, but enabled novice open water swimmers to take part in a competitive event over 500m.

Six swimmers from Sunderland took up the challenge and performed excellently.

Adam Boxall (13) won the boys’ race in 9.08, while Alisha Ballentine (13) triumphed in the girls’ event in 9.51, ahead of Lara Greggs (10.02), with Vanessa Rubio (10.45) fourth, Maria Birchall fifth and Rhianna Ibbitson sixth.