Lancashire topped the points table at the ASA National County Team Championships 2015 to make it a 14th consecutive title with 493 points.
Early in the competition, it was Lancashire’s Lewis Clough who claimed the first points for his county, coming second place with 49.95 in the 16/17 Yrs 100m Freestyle to bag 19 points. Craig Maclean of Scotland East narrowly edged past Clough to claim the full 20 points in 49.61.
Team captain Holly Hibbott was next to add to Lancashire’s tally, coming third in the 16/17yrs 100m Backstroke. All three top placing girls were just a second apart, with Hibbott touching in 1:01.18 for third place.
Clough stepped up for the winning county again to claim another 18 points, this time in the 100m Backstroke. He swam 55.68 behind Maclean (55.59) and Yorkshire’s Joe Litchfield (54.34).
In the girls’ 16/17yrs Medley Team relay, it was Derbyshire who claimed the top spot, swimming 1:54.56 for the win. Lancashire followed up in 1:55.70, Kathryn Greenslade, Niamh Robinson, Holly Hibbott and Katie Reynolds touching home nearly two seconds faster than third-placed Yorkshire (1:57.28).
The boys’ 12/13yrs Medley Team relay saw Max Martin, Nathan Smith, Tobey Ryland and Kyo Tanner of Lancashire leave the field in their wake, touching more than two seconds clear of second-placed Northumberland and Durham, and winning the full points available in 1:57.11.
“It feels great to win our 14th consecutive title,” said Hibbott, who won European Games gold for Team GB earlier in 2015. “It was a great team to be part of. Everyone stepped up and swam really well.
“We were pretty confident coming in to the competition, I think we are often seen to be the underdog behind Yorkshire as they have a very strong team, but we always seem to pull it out of the bag. I think it adds a little bit of pressure being so successful in the past, but it is just a bit of fun.
“The highlight for me was winning, obviously, but just being part of a great team. The event is lot more relaxed and light-hearted thank others so it’s a great team atmosphere.”
Commentator Jo Jackson, added, “It’s always so much fun coming to County Team Championships, seeing all the teams together, they make so much noise, it’s such a fun event.
“All of the teams are focussing on getting the points but they all have a laugh together at the same time so there really isn’t any other event like this.”
- Click here for full results from Division One of the ASA National County Team Championships 2015.