Lucy Walton swims to a super seven golds

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LUCY Walton took top honours for the City of Sunderland at the North East Regional Championships in Sheffield.

The 13-year-old claimed seven gold medals and a GB top 10 ranking.

She won the 400m freestyle (4.32.56), 800m freestyle (9.22.34), 200m backstroke (2.22.38), 100m butterfly (1.07.11), 200m butterfly (2.25.75), 200m individual medley (2.27.70) and the 400m individual medley (5.07.67).

Lucy also took a silver medal in the 100m breaststroke and a bronze in the 200m freestyle.

A team of 25 swimmers from City of Sunderland ASC took part, returning home with a haul of 12 gold, four silver and nine bronze medals, as well as third place overall in the team championships.

Swimming his way to three golds in life-time best performances was 14-year-old Adam Taylor, who took the titles in the 100m freestyle (55.48) 100m backstroke (1.01.15) and the 200m backstroke (2.13.26).

He also took a bronze in the 200m freestyle, while his sister Laura (12) took two bronzes in the 200m and 800m freestyle events.

Jessica Thompson took the 12-year-old 400m individual medley gold medal in 5.20.21 and the 200m butterfly gold in 2.32.26, together with a silver in the 200m individual medley.

Eleven-year-old Jodi Bunker won two silver medals in the 200m butterfly and the 400m individual medley, together with three bronzes in the 400m and 800m freestyle and the 200m butterfly events.

Also representing the City of Sunderland in the championships were; 10-year-olds Natalya Sharp, Eve Larsen and Callum Dann, 11-year-olds Beth Nicholson and Joseph Pomfret, 12-year-olds Lauren Patterson, Georgina Lamb, Freya Rayner, Gabrielle Burdess, Jay Whitehead, Jennifer Sharp, Hannah Costello and Thomas Burns, 13-year-olds Ashlyn Liddle, Kristian Donaldson, Jack Tallentire and Andrew Markham, and 14-year-olds Ryan Henry, Jordan Henry and James Burns.

The girls’ relay teams won two bronze medals in the 800m freestyle (Laura Taylor, Gabrielle Burdess, Freya Rayner and Lucy Walton) and the 400m medley relay (Freya Rayner, Jessica Thompson, Lucy Walton and Laura Taylor).

H Sunderland’s open water swimmers demonstrated their prowess in recent outdoor events in Northumberland and the Lake District.

At the Queen Elizabeth II Country Park in Northumberland, 17-year-old Alexandra Robinson and 14-year-old open water newcomer Lucy Ellis took part in the first of the Challenge Swim Series.

Alexandra, competing in the 3,000m event, touched home to take first place in an impressive 40.22, while Lucy powered her way home to a well-deserved debut victory in the 1,500m event.

The Sunderland swimmers then focused their attention on the Lake District and the Great North Swim on Lake Windermere, where Alexandra started the programme with a battle against a strong field and challenging weather conditions in the two-mile event.

She did not disappoint, however, starting the race strongly and taking an early lead, which she extended during the course of the race to finish in first place with a time of 43.59.00.

Matthew Bell (17) finished second in an exciting one mile race in a personal best time.

Rachel Robinson (14) also made her open water debut in the half-mile event.

Next stop was a return to Northumberland at Ladyburn Lake, Druridge Bay, for the second of the Challenge Swim Series.

In the 3,000m event, Sunderland took a 1-2, with 18-year-old Danielle Huskisson leading from the start to claim gold more than one minute ahead of the field. Team-mate Alexandra Robinson finished the event strongly with another determined swim to take the silver.

In the 1,500m events, Lucy Ellis led from start to finish, recording two victories from two open water events to take another impressive gold medal, while 12-year-old team-mate Laura Taylor powered her way to a podium finish with a well-earned bronze.