Yorkshire beat border rivals Lancashire for the first time in 14 years at the ASA National County Team Championships. They took the top spot with 544 Points.
It was a historic moment for the county, who are usually the strongest team on paper. Despite this they have narrowly missed out on the Division One trophy until today. They took a total of eight victories, including three within the first four races.
Yorkshire seemed unstoppable from the first race, with Darcy Deakin touching first in the Girls 16/17 100m Freestyle taking the full point score for that race, finishing in a time of 56.26.
Elliot Clogg followed up in the second race of Division One, dominating the Boys 16/17yrs 100m Free. The City of Sheffield swimmer seemed to be spurred by the home crowd, touching in 50.15 for the win.
At the midway point of the event, Yorkshire took their first relay of the event. They finished second in the Boys 16/17yrs Medley Team Relay, and looked determined to seal victory in the 14/15yrs.
“The atmosphere at the event is amazing. Everything is just so loud, everyone has face paint on and it’s just so different to anything else. Everyone has to work together and cooperate, and it’s a lot more relaxed, which makes it more fun.” – Amelia Clynes
Despite a strong start from Lancashire in the 14/15yrs Medley Relay, Charlie Brown, Jonathan Milner, George Barber and Lewis Collins swam home 1:49.27 for Yorkshire.
Yorkshire’s final relay victory was in the 6x50m Mixed Freestyle Relay. They were behind Kent at the start of the final 50m, but a last ditch effort from Elliot Clogg saw them take the win with 2:33.24.
Amelia Clynes, Yorkshire Team Captain said: “It’s amazing, I’ve been doing this event for five years, and ever time we’re come we’re always been beaten by Lancashire. To come and beat them finally is amazing.”
Cameron Brooks-Clarke, also Team Captain, added, “Yeah it’s great, I was here last year, and I heard Lancashire had held the title for all that time. It was my first time so I thought, right this is the year…and it wasn’t. But this year was actually the year – 2016 was the year we beat Lancashire.”
“You get a rush from that responsibility, you know? You’re representing your team, representing Yorkshire and that drives you. This competition gives you confidence and you feel like you’re on track, following the footsteps of some of the stars in the sport.” – Cameron Brooks-Clarke
Second place for Lancashire in Division One
Lancashire missed out on the trophy for the first time in 14 years, but it wasn’t all doom and gloom for the Red Rose.
They finished second with a significant lead over runners up, Kent, tallying a total of 433 points.
Pioneer79 swimmer, Naimh Robinson secured their first victory in the Girls 16/17yrs 100m Butterfly. She had half a second on her closest rival, touching 1:01.11 for the win.
Although they have dominated the relay races in previous years, Lancashire didn’t manage a victory in any this year. They did, however, secure second place finishes in the Girls 14/15yrs and the Girls 16/17yrs 4x50m Medley Relays.
Swim Wales West relegated once more
Swim Wales West were relegated at this year’s County Team Championships, after only being promoted into Division One in 2015. They finished bottom of the table with 187 points.
They were joined in the relegation zone by Berks and Bucks, Derbyshire and Hertfordshire, and will compete in Division Two for 2017.