SWIMMERS from Burnley Bobcats recently took part in two major championships and returned with a clutch of medals, personal best times and places in the national finals.
A squad of eight took part in the North West Youth Regionals in Liverpool before another nine headed to Manchester for the Age Group Regional Championships – an event for younger swimmers.
And as always, the Bobcats brigade impressed on both outings.
In the Youth Regionals at Liverpool Aquatic Centre, Katie Rennolds, 15, won gold in the 800m freestyle just ahead of team-mate Grace Pickles who won silver.
Katie went on to reach the finals of the 200m freestyle – where she finished in fourth place – and also the 50m, 100m and 200m butterfly events as well as the 100m freestyle.
Grace also narrowly missed out on a second medal, finishing fourth in the 400m freestyle.
Kerry Holding was also in the medals, the 18-year-old winning bronze in the 50m butterfly but just came up short in the 50m, 200m and 400m freestyle finals where she was fourth in each. She was also sixth in the 100m freestyle.
William Beaven agonisingly just missed out on a medal and a National Qualifying Time in the 100m freestyle when he was fourth in the 55.81secs. He also reached the final of the 50m and 200m freestyle.
However, it proved to be second time lucky for William when he achieve his NQT in the 100m freesyle in Sheffield and will now compete alongside team-mates William Murray, 16, and 13-year-old Harry Pilkington in the Naitonal finals in August.
Erica Minozzi, Rennolds, Holding and Ella Sheridan competed in two relays, the 4x200m freestyle and 4x100m freestyle finishing fifth and fourth respectively but clocks times they will hope will book a place in the Nationals at Ponds Forge.
Over at the Manchester Aquatic Centre, Bobcats swimmers were in fine form in the regional Age Group finals a competition for swimmers aged 14 and under held over two weekends.
And Harry Pilkington was the pick of the bunch, the 13-year-old achieving two NQTs in the 200m freestyle and 100m butterfly to go with the one in the 100m freestyle he had already achieved.
Elliot Norman, 13, reached the 100m and 200m breaststroke finals and produced PBs in the 200m IM and 200m and 400m freestyle events.
The pair then joined up with Thomas Mackay and Jamie Sharley to finish in fourth place in the freestyle relay and sixth in the individual medley in times they are hoping will be good enough to reach the national finals.
Joshua Lambert, 13, had a fantastic championship, reaching six finals and winning three medals – silver in the 100m butterfly and bronze in both the 200m butterfly and 400m IM.
He narrowly missed out on a medal in the 1500m freestyle, finishing fourth, while he also reached the finals of the 100m and 200m freestyle.
Jamie Sharpley, 14, won bronze in the 200m backstroke and was also a part of the relay teams. He also took part in the 100m backstroke.
Collette Meade, Ellie Taylor, both 14, and Hannah Procter, 13, produced a number of PBs between over the course of the two weekends with Ellie reached the 100m freestyle final And Thomas Brown, 14, a recently classified S14 swimmer, also racked up the PBs in the pool.
Head Coach Mike Robinson was impressed with his swimmers efforts.
He said: “To have a number of swimmers in finals at both Age Group and Youths at this level of competition was excellent, and to come away with medals and two more National qualifying times is proof that the swimmers hard training has been rewarded this season.”
Burnley Bobcats hold training sessions at the St Peter’s Centreand can be contacted by visiting www.burnleybobcats.org.uk