The County-level swimming championships took place over the first and third weekends of February at the impressive purpose-built Sunderland Aquatic Centre 50-metre pool.
County level for Sedgefield 75 swimming club takes in all the swimming clubs of Northumberland and County Durham plus the northern reaches of North Yorkshire and the old county of Cleveland.
Known locally as the “N&D’s” 29 clubs in all sent over 600 different swimmers who had met demanding qualifying times in previous competitions to compete for the various age-grouped titles. Collectively, over 4000 swims were completed with most events decided by a final following qualification via heats.
Sedgefield 75 had nine qualifying swimmers, their highest number since 2016 which included three debutants in the competition; Filip Wilczynksi, Tom Curran and Charlie McEwan.
Commemorative hoodies, swim caps and water bottles were bought by most swimmers to celebrate their achievement in earning their participation.
Matthew Wimbury, swimming his last race for Sedgefield, signed off with a good PB in the 50m breaststroke event.
In the 11 years age group, Tom Curran swam 100 and 200m freestyle taking an impressive two seconds of each PB. Filip Wilczynski racked up eight new PBs as he entered eleven events across all strokes and qualified for six finals in; backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly – 50m and 100m distances. He placed 5th twice and 6th four times in a very successful first N&D.
James Hodgson swam 50, 100 and 200m freestyle and Katelyn Craig 200m butterfly. Matty Wilczynski swam all butterfly distances plus 50m backstroke, qualifying for the 200m butterfly final.
Charlie McEwan swam 50m backstroke and freestyle setting an impressive new PB in the freestyle which also earned him his first qualifying time for the next competition level up – the North East regional championships in May.
Niall Coulthard took on 100m and 200m freestyle, qualifying for the 200m final where he finished fourth.
Emma Price entered twelve events and swam in all nine sessions, amassing twenty swims as she qualified for all but one final. Eight new PBs were set as she retained her 200m freestyle title and added the 100m and 400m freestyle golds as well. Silver medals were won in 200m backstroke, 200m individual medley, 100m butterfly and 800m freestyle. She also won bronze in 50m backstroke and 400m individual medley. At the time of writing, Emma’s 200, 400 and 800m freestyle swims all place her second in British long course rankings showing this is a swimmer with a real talent.
Chief Coach John Moore was absolutely delighted with everyone’s performances over the two weekends. He stressed “winning is important but even more so the manner in which you win”. The number of medals won by Emma is the highest by one swimmer he has had at this competition as far as he could remember.
Sedgefield 75 swimming club is based in Newton Aycliffe offering coaching for post-swimming lesson children with a route to national competitions via local, county and regional levels. www.sedgefield75.com