placeholder image
February, Thursday 29

Northumberland and Durham Championships Report

Alnwick Dolphins have had their most successful ever 2 weekends at the Northumberland and Durham swimming championships (N&D) held at the Sunderland aquatic centre.

With a record number of swimmers making the tough qualifying times, there were personal bests (PBs), finals qualifications and a large medal tally of 7 golds, 5 silvers and 6 bronzes! This left the club an amazing 9th on the medal table of all the teams in Northumberland and Durham. This built on an impressive 13th place last year.

Just making the tough qualifying times for this competition is a huge achievement, as it includes the best swimmers from Northumberland, Durham and Tyne and Wear with large City clubs like Newcastle, Sunderland and Middlesbrough included.

For some of the younger swimmers this was their first taste of competition at this level and for the older ones, keeping their form and requalifying again (some now in the hugely competitive open category) is a testament to the dedication and commitment they have put in.

In the age group category Edward Gale, Eliza Hodson, Finn Orr, Isla Samuels and Isabella Oldfield had fantastic swims. Special mentions must go to Faye Campbell and Archie Brown who qualified a year early aged just 9years old!! They had very impressive swims securing PB’s with Archie following in his big brothers’ footsteps in claiming a club record in his 200m Backstroke. As well as being hugely successful in triathlon, Emilia Waugh had great swims in the 200m freestyle and the 800 freestyle where she claimed a new club record!

Finley Waugh, Oscar Dennis and Emma Owen on their debuts all secured finals places. Finley and Emma made 2 finals in the Breaststroke events and Oscar in the 100m freestyle. Tom Robinson had a strong championships, making finals in backstroke and freestyle. He agonisingly missed out on a medal in the competitive 50m freestyle but did secure qualification to the North East Regional Championships (NERs).

Felicity Oliva had an Impressive first weekend making finals in the 50m fly and securing a bronze medal in the 200m backstroke- an excellent swim that could have very well been added to in the second weekend if she had not fallen ill before the event.

Andrew Batley qualified in the breaststroke events and secured an excellent hard fought bronze medal in the 50m- a great achievement in a competitive category. He narrowly missed out by fractions of a second on a second medal in the 200m Breaststroke.

Sandy Brown had another strong championships, culminating in a bronze in 800m fc, 2 silvers in 400fc and 1500fc and a fantastic gold medal in the 200 backstroke. Unable to compete on the final day due to a school trip meant he was unable to potentially add to his medal haul in the 200m FC, arguably his strongest event.

Once again Matilda Wilson performed very well at the championships, claiming club records, making finals and getting a silver medal in the 200IM. She went on to take the clean sweep of gold medals in the 50,100 and 200 breaststroke, achieving top 3 times in Britain in the process.

However pipping Matilda for the medal count was once again Harriet Oldfield. An excellent championships left her with 3 bronze medals (100FC, 200BR, 200IM) 2 silver medals (50 free, 100m fly) and 3 gold medals in the 50 and 100 Breaststroke and the 50m Fly – in which she went under 30 seconds for the first time. A lot of club records also went tumbling to Harriet during these swims.

In the super competitive open category the club had Ed Brown, Megan Park and Tiffany Jones flying the flag for the club.

Tiff, who is coming back to her best form swam the 200 fly and 50 free. She had a strong swim of 2.36 to make the final of the 200m fly.

Ed once again had a strong championships, qualifying in virtually every event, making numerous finals and setting new PB’s. He had a really good 200m fc swim where he went 2.00.15 just agonisingly missing the 2min long course mark. He also set a new PB in the 200 backstroke as well as the 200IM.

Megan, swam in the 200 FC and 50m backstroke, completing two fantastic swims

This set of results leaves a number of the swimmers in a strong position for regional championships in May and also in with a chance of gaining qualification to the prestigious British Summer Championships and English Summer Nationals.

Thanks to the fantastic coaching team and the dedicated Alnwick Dolphins Committee, all volunteers.

Katy Batley

Head Coach