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Reigning champs England Central top UK School Games leaderboard

4th September 2011

There was a buzz in the air on Day Two of the Sainsbury’s UK School Games 2011 at Ponds Forge, Sheffield, as the teams competed to take the top spot on the leaderboard.

On Day One, England North were in the lead with 125 points ahead of England South and England East.

But it was all change at the top as reigning champions England Central were crowned the winners at the end of Day Two with 253 points.

The England Central team said: "Everyone on the team is amazing, it is just so great to come back here and take the win.”

It was a close finish with England South scoring 249 points to put them in second position and England North in third place with 246 points.

There were some strong performances from swimmers that had won medals during Day One. Danielle Lowe (Eng North) led the field in the Girls 200m IM, taking her second gold of the meet in a time of 2:19.51 to set another Games best time.

Lowe said: “I’m so happy to have won a second gold medal today and to have got another Games best. I was just outside of my PB so this is really something for me to aim for in the future.

“The Games have been a really great experience but there’s nothing better than being able to win medals for your team.”

England North took another victory in the Boys 200m IM, with Max Litchfield scooping his second gold of the meet in 2:08.86.

Kristina Neves (Eng South) had a comfortable swim in the Girls 400m Freestyle, touching well ahead of the rest of the field in 4:22.01. The result increased Neves’ personal medal haul to two golds and two silvers.

Jessica Applegate (Eng East) was just 0.04 outside of the British Record for the S14 classification in the Girls MD 100m Freestyle, taking gold with 976 points and setting a Games best points total. Meanwhile, S12 swimmer Hannah Russell (Eng South) was just inside her British record, touching in 1:04.55 and taking bronze with 782 points.

There was another Games best points total set in the Boys MD 100m Freestyle as pre-race favourite Jacob Parker (Eng Central) from the S14 class touched in 59.00, to scoop gold with 825 points.

Sophie Taylor (Eng North) improved on her silver medal from Day One in the Girls 200m Breaststroke, taking gold over 100m. Chloe Bean (Eng East) touched close behind to take silver, followed by Bethan Davie (Wales) in bronze medal position.

Alexander Murphy (Eng East) also improved upon his medal from Day One, touching ahead of Adam Peaty (Eng Central) in the Boys 100m Breaststroke.

Murphy said: “I’m so pleased, my main objective today was to come and take the gold medal ahead of Adam.

“I have enjoyed the experience of being at the Games in Sheffield and staying in the Athlete’s Village, but my favourite part so far has definitely got to be winning that race.”

In the Girls 4x200m Freestyle team event, Lauren Quigley just held off Neves (Eng South) in the last 50m to secure the gold medal for England Central in a time of 8:33.14. It was just as close in the Boys event, with England East and England North taking it right to the touch. England North took the gold in 7:48.85, setting another Games best time.

Bethany Firth (Ireland) took gold in the Girls MD 200m IM, finishing in a time of 2:41.98 with 849 points, setting herself a new Games best points total and winning Ireland’s first gold medal of the meet. Meanwhile, in the Boys MD 200m IM final Jack Thomas (Wales) took his second gold of the meet with 723 points.

In the Girls 200m Butterfly, it was a closely fought race between Kayrine Kelly (Scotland NW) and Gillian Clark (Scotland SE), but Kelly just beat Clark to the top step of the podium touching in 2:21.98. The Boys 200m Butterfly also went down to the touch with Luke Howdle (Eng Central) touching in 2:08.28 ahead of Jay Lelliott (Eng South) in 2:09.52.

Emily Bashforth (Eng South) denied Quigley’s (Eng Central) attempt for most decorated individual swimmer at the Games, winning gold in the Girls 100m Freestyle 58.50, just 0.07 ahead of Quigley.

Meanwhile, in the Boys 100m Freestyle final the field was also extremely close resulting in a dead heat between Matthew Watkinson (Eng Central) and George Wilson (Eng East) who both finished in 53.04.

In the Girls MD 100m Butterfly, Tully Kearney (Eng Central) from the S10 category took the top step of the podium with 626 points. Kearney was joined by Reagan Doig (Scotland SE) and Russell (Eng South) in silver and bronze medal positions. Parker (Eng Central) from the S14 category took gold in the Boys MD 100m Butterfly event with 737 points.

Natasha Hofton (Eng Central) had a strong swim in the Girls 200m Backstroke, securing the win in 2:14.93. Sophie Pyatt (Eng North) took the silver medal in 2:17.74 and England East’s Eleanor Dolan took third place in 2:20.37.

The Boys 200m Backstroke was another closely fought race with the field neck and neck at the final 50m. Watkinson (England Central) managed to power forward to take the gold medal ahead of Daniel Hussey and Alastair Miley, who took silver and bronze respectively.

In the Boys 400m Freestyle, Joel Knight (Eng South) just held on to the lead ahead of Alex Dunk (Eng North), who touched in 4:05.31 and 4:05.45 respectively.

As the Games drew to a close on Day Two the teams again rallied around to cheer on their 4x100m Medley teams.

In the Girls event, Quigley gave England Central a strong start but Bean and Lowe pulled back with their performance in the breaststroke and butterfly. In the last 50m Kathryn Woolston-Thomas managed to just pull it back, to give the gold medal to England North.

The overall winning team was decided by the performance that was put in by the Boys 4x100m Medley teams.

England East gave an outstanding performance, with Wilson bringing home the team in the last 50m ahead of England South and England Central. However, England East was disqualified due to a faulty takeover, giving England South the gold ahead of England Central and England North in silver and bronze.

This win essentially gave England Central enough points to top the leader board and take the win at the Sainsbury’s UK School Games 2011.

Full results from Day Two of the Sainsbury’s UK School Games 2011 can be found here.

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