Sunderland Juniors earn top spot in style

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WEARSIDE’S finest young swimmers earned themselves a top medley place in the pool as they started their 2011 season.

City of Sunderland ASC Junior Swimmers were looking to improve on last season’s second place finish in Division 1 of the Durham and District Junior League.

But they were also facing stiff opposition in the form of teams from Newcastle, Middlesbrough, Stockton, Tynemouth, Chester-le-Street, Newburn and Alnwick.

In the round at Hebburn Pool, the city’s 12-year-old girls’ team – Jodi Bunker, Amy Henshaw, Lauren Patterson, Jennifer Sharp and Jay Whitehead – led the way with a series of point-scoring performances.

The girls took first in the medley relay and second in the freestyle relay.

This was followed up by some fine individual performances from Lauren Patterson, who finished first in the 50-metre freestyle and second in the 50-metre butterfly, and Jodi Bunker, who won the 50-metre breaststroke event.

The 11-year-old boys’ team – Callum Dann, Matthew Phillips, Joseph Pomfret and Matthew Walker-Smith – also enjoyed a successful day, with Joseph Pomfret winning the 50-metre freestyle and 50-metre butterfly, while Matthew Walker-Smith took second spot in the 50-metre backstroke.

The 11-year-old girls’ team – Jazmine Moss, Beth Nicholson, Bethany Star-Cooper and Lola Tindle – also chipped in with the points, led by a winning performance from Beth Nicholson in the 50-metre backstroke.

Junior league debutantes Pardis Farahi, Lara Greggs, Laura Smith, Jessica Thornton, Luke Cullen, Joseph Marsh, Joseph Whelan and Joshua Wright all performed well in the nine-year-old age group.

Ten-year-olds Alisha Ballantine, Aimee Hansen, Charlotte Jurgens, Molly Robinson, JJ Robins, Ethan Shaw, Kye Symington and Stone Wallace also contributed to the city’s points total.

The 12-year old boys’ team of James Brewerton, Thomas Burns, Joseph Pomfret and William Robinson also went on to take third place in the freestyle relay.

The Sunderland team finished the day in fifth, behind Tynemouth, Newcastle, Stockton and Chester-le-Street, with two more rounds to go to determine which teams qualify for the regional finals.