Sarah gains second in successful swim

Sian Heap of Matlock Swimming Club collects a memento at the James Rigby Memorial Gala.
Sian Heap of Matlock Swimming Club collects a memento at the James Rigby Memorial Gala.

Sarah Cross of Tansley has enjoyed the most successful Midlands Swimming Championship of her burgeoning career.

Qualified to swim in five events, Sarah, from Matlock and District Swimming Club, came away with one second place and two third places, all in her favoured freestyle.

Her 1.02.25 and 2.12.62 recorded at 100m and 200m respectively are very close to British Qualifying Times and are testimony to Sarah’s continual development, particularly as the 50M pool at Coventry, where the competition took place, has a reputation for being slow.

She also competed strongly at the 200m and 400m individual medley.

Sarah was accompanied by fellow Matlock Swimming Club members Helen Thornhill and Callum Gascoyne, although, as the rules dictate, these two swam in the name of Derventio, the county’s elite squad, where they fulfil part of their training.

Callum swam 100m Freestyle in 1.00.81 to achieve a fifth place finish, and, in a sign of consistency, swam 1.00.78 in his leg of the 400m Team Freestyle event.

In the 400m team medley, Callum bettered this significantly by swimming the last leg, again freestyle, in an excellent 59.64 seconds.

12-year-old Helen Thornhill swam backstroke at 100m and 200m and freestyle at 400m and was content with her performance, close to personal bests, on each occasion.

On Saturday night, a team of mainly younger swimmers travelled to Derby to compete the Jamie Rigby Memorial Gala hosted by Ilkeston Swimming Club.

What would ideally have been a team of 40 swimmers was reduced to 24 willing to travel, which meant that many of the girls, particularly, led by Laura Punchard from Middleton-by-Wirksworth, were asked to swim well above their age. It is testament to their courage and commitment that Matlock managed to field swimmers in 57 of 61 events and finished a very creditable fifth place, with an accumulated score of 138 points.