Swimming: Pioneer start season in style

Swimming: Pioneer start season in style

Mikaela Shackleton

Harry Robinson

Ben Havers-Strong shows off his clutch of medals

First published in Sport

Pioneer 79 Swimming Club have started the new season as they ended the last by winning a clutch of medals.

The Accrington-based club won no fewer than 39 gold, 33 silver and 44 bronze medals at the Age Group Swimming Championships.

A huge contingent of 59 swimmers made the trip down the M61 and also picked up more than 100 top 6 placings between them.

The competition took place over two separate weekends and included swimmers from the whole of the Greater Manchester and Bolton area. The competition was a level three meet, with no lower qualifying times, but the upper qualifying times meant that swimmers who were faster than these times, were unable to compete. The aim of the event for the swimmers, was to achieve Lancashire County Qualifying Times for the event to be held later this month and North West Regional Qualifying Times, due to be held in June. For some of Pioneer 79’s younger swimmers, this would be their first taste of open competition – and they responded in some style.

One such swimmer was young Ben Havers-Strong who returned with a personal haul of four golds, two silvers and six bronze medals.

Due to this being the first time the competition had been held under this affiliation, each of the Pioneer swimmers who won gold medals also wrote their names in to the record books for these events – so the club produced a phenomenal 39 new records!

It was encouraging to see so many swimmers also achieving new personal best times, Lancashire County Qualifying Times and Regional Qualifying Times. Many swimmers who did not feature among the medal winners, they achieved LQTs and RQTs. Pioneer 79 Head Coach, Mike Wilson was delighted with his young swimmers.

He said: “It has been extremely encouraging to see such spectacular results from our swimmers, both competitively experienced and inexperienced alike. “The support from the swimmers on poolside and their parents up on the spectator’s gallery was fantastic, pushing the swimmers on to achieve these incredible results.”

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