FEBRUARY saw three full weekends of championship competition for the fastest swimmers across Yorkshire.
Twenty-one swimmers from Thirsk White Horse swim team qualified for the championships, across 70 events.
The first weekend, at the John Charles Centre for Sport in Leeds, saw swims from Jasmine Harrison, Connor Malone, Noah Dale, Imogen Vollans and Archie Norton, mainly racing over 200m across all strokes. Archie secured a bronze medal for 200m breast stroke in addition to two other top ten finishes on day one, followed on Sunday by a bronze for 200m freestyle and gold for 200m backstroke, making him Yorkshire Champion for that event. It was hard to say whether it was Archie, or Head Coach Ken Smith who was more excited!
The second weekend, held at Ponds Forge International Sports Centre in Sheffield- a favourite venue for many Thirsk swimmers- was the sprints. Eighteen swimmers across all age groups raced over 50m in freestyle, backstroke, breast stroke and butterfly. There were more medals for Archie Norton, who became Yorkshire Champion for 50m butterfly, in addition to a silver and a bronze for backstroke and freestyle respectively. Personal bests were achieved across the board with some impressive swims from all the swimmers.
Day two of the Sheffield gala was the teams. This gave the opportunity for more swimmers to be involved, swimming relays in both freestyle and medley. The 9-10 year-old boys' team of Ben Dale-Wood, Max Walker, Layton Charlton and Oliver Cowling, none of whom had swum in a 50m pool or attended a county championship before, swam a fantastic relay, to secure themselves a place in the final- a brilliant result for such a novice team. They were all awarded finalists’ pennants, of which they should be very proud.
The final weekend of the competition was back at Leeds, this weekend. Jasmine Harrison competed in the 200m backstroke and Noah Dale, Charlie Shepherd, Connor Malone and Archie Norton swam the brutal 100m butterfly, with Archie securing another silver medal.
The last race of the day was the 200m individual medley. It had been a very long afternoon, but at 5.45pm on Sunday, Archie managed to summon up a last burst of energy to win his fourth silver medal.