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WOOLLISCROFT WINS GOLD IN OPEN WATER

27 Jul 2009
The British Gas ASA Open Water National Age Group and Youth Championships took place today at Rother Valley Country Park under a sky of sunshine and showers.

Spectators crowded the start line as the 15/16 years and 17-24 years competitors dived into the water to contest the 1750m and 2000m respectively in the first race of the day.

Shiverers’ Charlotte Woolliscroft put in an impressive performance to take the girls title in the 17-24 division. Having just returned from the World Championships in Rome Woolliscroft put her experience to good use as she led from the front and got in the mix with the boys race. Closing the gap considerably between herself and the leading three boys Woolliscroft managed a 24:17.41 finish, only five seconds behind the boys 17-24 years bronze medallist.

After the race she said: “It was a good race and quite a bit faster than I expected...I do like swimming with the boys, I wish I could have beaten some more!

“I wanted to get out of the pack and lead from the front to avoid the scrappiness at the back and that is what I did.”

Of her experience in Rome she said: “It was amazing, I learnt a lot out there and picked up some good tactics so I know what to do next time I’m in that situation.”

Stephen Waterhouse (Scot Non-Res) comfortably took the boys 17-24 years title touching home in a time of 24:03.10 leaving James Radcliffe (Gallica) and Nathan Barr (Co Liverpool) to fight for silver.

Radcliffe, after leading throughout some of the race, reached the 2000m mark in 24:10.00 to take second place, two seconds ahead of Barr in third.

Speaking afterwards Waterhouse said: “It was cold out there today! It went faster than I expected and it was very tactical so I’m pleased I saved something for the end.”

City of Sheffield’s Eleanor Faulkner was a clear winner in the girls 16-years race. Managing to stay with the older girls until she had to turn off for the finish line, she recorded a time of 21:08.45 to take gold ahead of Sarah Lucas (Gallica) in second position with a time of 21:56.73.

“It was cold in there, but it was definitely an enjoyable experience. I stayed with the older girls which was good for me,” Faulkner said.

Adding: “At the moment I’m enjoying both the pool and open water events so I’ll just keep going and see how everything turns out.”

Aydin Berki of Mid Beds took the boys 16-years title in 21:06.46, leaving Chris Sugglit (Wigan BEST) and Ben Green (Northampton) to battle it out for the silver medal.

Sugglit took second after a tight final stretch finishing just 0.3 seconds ahead of Green in 21:10.47.

The afternoon saw the 12/14-years events contested over 1500m for both the boys and girls.

City of Sheffield’s Matthew Johnson made it 11 out of 11 as he took gold in the boys 14-years event with a time of 17:53.76, further adding to the ten gold medals he won last week in the pool.

After leading the pack from the start Johnson continued to make progress in the water, but came up against a strong fight from Mark Deans (City of Glasgow) in the final minutes. A sprint-finish between the two ended with Johnson hitting home 0.58 seconds ahead of Deans to round-off a very successful competition.

Speaking about the Championships as a whole Johnson said: “I’ve enjoyed this year more than last year and I’d like to thank everyone at City of Sheffield and my parents for their support.”

Northampton’s Georgina McManus took the title in the girls 14-years event in a time of 19:06.45, over 25 seconds ahead of her closest competitor: Derventio’s Gabrielle Hignett who finished in 19:33.42.

-ENDS-

Full results:

BOYS 12 Yrs Age Group (1500m) George Stannard 12 St Felix Sch 23:21.15
Oliver Webster 12 Clee & Scun 23:32.83

BOYS 13 Yrs Age Group (1500m)
Caleb Hughes 13 Mid Beds 18:28.12
Joel Knight 13 Millfield 19:03.83
Jordan Purdy 13 St Felix Sch 19:11.25

BOYS 14 Yrs Age Group (1500m)
Matthew Johnson 14 Co Sheffield 17:53.76
Mark Deans 14 Co Glasgow 17:54.34
Harry Payne 14 Bo Southend 17:58.48

BOYS 15/16-years (1750m) Aydin Berki (Mid Beds) 21:06.46
Chris Suggitt (Wigan BEST) 21:10.47
Ben Green (Northampton) 21:10.79

BOYS 17-24-years (2000m) Stephen Waterhouse (City of Leeds) 24:03.10
James Radcliffe (Gallica) 24:10.00
Nathan Barr (Co Liverpool) 24:12.30

GIRLS 12 Yrs Age Group (1500m)
Ellie Pollard 12 Co Sheffield 20:23.25
Freya Mitchell 12 Co Sheffield 20:47.99
Jessica Smith 12 Black Lion 20:51.56

GIRLS 13 Yrs Age Group (1500m)
Charlotte Hicks 13 St Felix Sch 19:43.39
Emma Lomas 13 Co Oxford 20:18.45
Molly Grayson 13 Co Sheffield 20:19.44

GIRLS 14 Yrs Age Group (1500m)
Georgina McManus 14 Northampton 19:06.45
Gabrielle Hignett 14 Derventio 19:33.42
Alexandra Taylor 14 West Suffolk 19:38.26

GIRLS 15/16-years (1750m) Eleanor Faulkner (Co Sheffield) 21:08.43
Sarah Lucas (Gallica) 21:56.73
Kelly Henson (Thanet Swim) 22:06.23

GIRLS 17-24-years (2000m) Charlotte Woolliscroft (Shiverers) 24:17.41
Aynsley Heseltine (Co Sheffield) 24:22.10
Alice McCall (Wigan BEST) 24:25.27


For more information please contact the ASA/British Swimming Media Assistant, Lauren Sanderson on 01509 632236 or email lauren.sanderson@swimming.org

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