Jonathan Carlisle shines for swimming Talent team

Jonathan Carlisle (red cap) competes in the 100m Backstroke.
Jonathan Carlisle (red cap) competes in the 100m Backstroke.
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CITY of Sunderland swimmer Jonathan Carlisle represented the level 3 England Talent team in an exciting triangular meet against the Canadian Youth team and a select England North team, at the Aquatic Centre.

For many of the selected swimmers, this was their first opportunity to compete against an international team and for others a great opportunity to compete against another nation, filling a gap between European Juniors and Senior teams.

Carlisle (18), the 2010 ASA National Youth Championship bronze medallist, who is ranked third at 100m backstroke and fifth at 200m backstroke in the British Swimming age group rankings, was representing England in his specialist backstroke events as part of the ASA Level 3 England Talent Programme – and he did not disappoint.

In the 200m backstroke event, Carlisle finished in first place, touching ahead of England Talent team-mate Sam Van De Scootbrugge and Canada’s Brayden Salman, with a time of 2.05.21.

He continued his scintillating form with a second individual victory in the 100m backstroke in 58.55 – just 00.34 second ahead of second-placed Sam Horrocks of England Talent. Adam John of England North finished in third spot.

Carlisle enjoyed a hat-trick of success when he later joined with Christopher Steeples, Harry Needs and Felix Samuels to form the England Talent A Team in the 400m Medley Team event. The team were clear winners, finishing in 3.49.92 – over three seconds ahead of the second-placed Canadian team and third-placed England North.

The overall results saw the Canadian Youth Team finishing just ahead of the England Talent team, with England North coming third.

H Laura Dawson returned to her native Scotland to grab second place in the women’s 100 metres butterfly at the Scottish Short Course Nationals.

City of Sunderland took a small team to compete at the event in Glasgow, which featured a number of Scottish Commonwealth Games Team swimmers, including gold medal winners from the Delhi Games, Robbie Renwick and Hannah Miley.

In an exciting race, 17-year-old Laura pushed Miley all of the way, but was just touched into second place in an impressive time of 1.01.58.

Dawson went on to smash the 27-second mark in the 50 metres freestyle with a superb time of 26.61 to take the bronze medal behind Scottish Commonwealth Games member Sara Hamilton from South Aberdeenshire.

Dawson capped a successful meet by making her third final from three events, with a fine performance in the 100 metres individual medley to take fifth place in a time of 1.06.71.

Lucy Walton (13) had a superb meet with a series of personal best times.

In the 800 metres freestyle, she raced incredibly hard to post an outstanding 9.11.77 to take the silver medal. Lucy followed this with 2.22.20 in the 200 meters backstroke where she was placed tenth in the open final – a fine achievement for a 13-year-old.

Lucy also enjoyed further success in the 400 metres individual medley with a 5.10.24 finish to take a closely-fought fourth place, together with great performances in the 200m individual medley (2.30.68), 200m butterfly (2.32.57), 100m backstroke (1.09.66), 200m freestyle (2.12.75) and the 400m freestyle (4.34.54).

Dan Heeley completed his short course season with some very fast times. Pick of the bunch was the men’s 100 metres freestyle where he smashed his best time by over half a second to set a very fast 51.37 in fifth place.

Heeley followed that up with some excellent performances in the 50m freestyle (24.06) to place 15th overall, 100m butterfly (59.80) and the 50m backstroke (28.86).

In the boys’ 15 years and under category, Joe Middleton produced a series of strong performances in the freestyle and backstroke events. He took fifth spot in the 400m freestyle to record a time of 4.16.92 and followed this with a personal best time of 17.01.80 in the gruelling 1500 metres freestyle.

Joe also enjoyed further success in the 200m freestyle (2.03.93), 200m backstroke (2.18.09) and a personal best time in the 100m backstroke (1.03.76).

Alex Pierce-Harrison continued his great season to achieve personal best times in all of his races – 200m backstroke (2.24.10), 400m medley (5.08.93), 400m freestyle (4.27.04), 100m medley (1.09.82) and the 50m backstroke (31.71), while team-mate Alex Richardson raced in several races – 100m butterfly (1.04.44), 50m freestyle (26.42), 200m butterfly (2.27.80) and 200m freestyle (2.09.56).