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Lancashire crowned County Champions for 12th consecutive year

20 October 2013

Lancashire again retained their Division One crown at the British Gas ASA National County Team Championships.

The 20 teams in Division One and 19 teams in Division Two created a great day of competition and healthy rivalry for the Intercounties event at Ponds Forge.

The venue was almost at total capacity with supporters and swimmers wore face paint and fancy dress in line with one of the most colourful events in the calendar.

Division One

Lancashire showed great form from the off. In the Girls 16/17yrs 100m Butterfly Lancashire’s Jessica Fullalove claimed first place and 20 points in a PB of 58.96. Cheshire’s Kathleen Dawson also swam sub 60 seconds for 19 points (59.55) and second place and touching third for 18 points was Hannah Meek for Notts (1:00.99).

At the halfway point, reigning champions Lancashire had the lead with 277 points, followed by Yorkshire with 236 points and Cheshire with 214 points.

Ross Davenport, commentating, said: “It’s been absolutely fantastic watching the racing and seeing such close races. The support from your team really does make a difference when you’re coming to the final five or 10 metres. Races are won by such small margins, it really helps you to get your head down and go for it.”

In the Boys 16/17yrs 100m ButterflyEuropean Junior medallist James Guy secured gold for Somerset in a time of 53.69. Guy was followed by Scotland East’s Craig Bowman and Caleb Hughes for Hertfordshire, touching in 55.11 and 55.85 respectively.

With the final four relays to go Lancashire were looking strong with 441 points and Yorkshire were holding onto second position with 381 points. The Middlesex team leapfrogged Cheshire for the third podium spot with 355 points.

Lancashire remained dominant, winning two of the four final relays. The final race of the meet, the 6x50 mixed freestyle relay was hotly contested with Somerset coming out on top. Oliver Manser, Abigail Abrahams, Thomas Sinclair, Emily Yap, James Guy and Rebecca Wilde dug deep to touch the wall first, recording 2:33.12, only just ahead of Lancashire (2:33.22) and Middlesex (2.33.34).

A sterling performance throughout the meet saw Lancashire retain their Division One crown for the 12th consecutive year. They finish with 512 points. York are second with 443 and Middlesex secure third place on 416.

Triple Olympian Jo Jackson commented, “Lancashire are such a hard team to beat, every year they come back stronger. Ponds Forge is a fantastic pool and this is a great competition and the more fun you have the quicker you swim.”

Swim Wales West, Swim Wales East, Worcs and Sussex were all in the bottom four and are relegated to Division Two. The top four teams in Division Two, Warwickshire, Essex, Leicestershire and Cumbria are promoted to Division One.

Click here for full results from Division One

Division Two

It was a close contest in Division Two. In the Girls 12/13 100m Breaststroke Beth Morrin of Warwickshire took the gold (1:14.08) followed very closely by Leicestershire’s Milly Scotchbrook (1:14.63) and Shropshire’s Ellie Hutchings (1:15.38).

Cumbria had opened up a tentative lead at the halfway point, with 261 points to Leicestershire’s 249 and Warwickshire’s 238.

In the Boys 14/15yrs 100m Freestyle, Warwickshire again had the upper hand, with Ben Stanford touching first in 53.87. It was a battle for the second podium position, claimed by Lincolnshire’s Alex Wray and Devon’s Myles Pillage in 54.27 and 54.48 respectively.

Warwickshire’s consistent performance paid off and they were crowned champions of Division Two with 497 points. Only three points separated second and third, Essex secured the second podium spot recording 467 points and a total of 464 points for Leicestershire saw them into third position.

Scot Midland, Bedfordshire, Cornwall and Northants finished bottom of Division Two.

Click here for full results from Division Two.

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