Michaella Glenister has overcome a ‘tough year’ to win the National Open Water Festival Girls 16 Years title in only her second ever 5K race.
“I’ve not trained as much because of exams and also moved clubs so it’s been a tough year,” said Leicester Sharks swimmer Michaella, who finished in a time of 1:06.15 to beat silver medallist Tiegan Child, of Beckenham, by a second.
“I’d no particular race plan. I just wanted to give my all and have a good go. I saw Tiegan next to me and it helps me having someone close.
“It makes it easier to race and towards the end I felt I could give a bit more. That was only my second ever 5K swim and I’m pretty happy with that.”
Redditch’s Amelia Rodd won the bronze medal after clocking 1:06.26.
Girls 17-18 Years 5K
Maisie Macartney claimed her second National Open Water Festival title with victory in the Girls 17-18 Years 5K race.
The Thanet swimmer recorded a time of 1:06.07 as she won by less than a second from Wycombe District’s Emilia Sansome (1:06.08).
Wigan BEST’s Mellisa Braddock took the bronze medal after finishing in 1:06.16
Maisie said: “It was a close race at the end. But it’s nice to have someone to race – it makes you feel like you have won something rather than just swimming.
“I tried to stay with the front group and go for it at the end. I made my move when I could see the finish.
“It was a bit choppy but not awful. It’s nice to have the gold medal around my neck.”
Girls 19 years 5K race
Emily Clarke said she initially had no idea she had won a National Open Water Festival title after a close finish in the Girls 19 Years 5K race.
The Loughborough University swimmer was involved in a battle for the gold medal with City of Oxford’s Nicole Ryan.
But it was Emily who touched home first in 1:06.06, two seconds ahead of silver medallist Nicole.
And it proved to be the perfect comeback for Emily who missed last year’s event due to a broken arm.
“It’s my first time as national champion and that sounds pretty good to be honest,” said Emily.
“I wanted to stick with the front pace and sprint at the end, which seemed to work quite well. It was a close finish and I’d no idea who won at the end but I managed to pip her to the post.
“I really enjoy open water – it’s nicer than the pool – and I will be back next year.”
KingstonHull’s Daisy Hill won the bronze medal in a time of 1:06.19.
Boys 16 Years 5K
Henry Pearce won’t forget his third ever open water swim – as he was crowned national champion.
The City of Peterborough swimmer was told by a friend he should try open water swimming as ‘he would be good at it’.
“It turns out I am,” said Henry, who finished in a time of 1:01.58 to win the National Open Water Festival 16 Years Boys 5k by an impressive 48 seconds.
“I’m pleased with my swim. It was a lot harder than I was expecting as the conditions weren’t great but it was a good race.
“My coach said to go out strong and test the waters, cruise on the next lap and then really push on. Luckily no-one came with me.
“It’s my first time here and only my third open water swim. I’m definitely going to come back.”
Northampton’s Jackson O’Rourke took the silver medal in a time of 1:02.46, while Wycombe District’s Joshua Williams finished third in 1:02.47.
Boys 17-18 Years 5K
Jamie Scholes retained his National Open Water Festival title with victory in the Boys 17-18 Years age group.
Having won the gold medal last year in the 16 years event, the City of Peterborough swimmer came home again first at Rother Valley County park in a time of 58:54.
He was 34 seconds ahead of second placed Royal Wolverhampton School’s George Barber (59:28). Hatfield’s Max Jelfs was third in a time of 1:01.46
Jamie said: “It’s the second year in a row I have won and used pretty much the same tactic which was to hit it from the start.
“I knew that if I got a big enough lead at the beginning, they wouldn’t be able to catch up with me. George was just behind me after the first lap but I managed to increase that lead.
“It was a little bit slower than last year but the conditions then were much calmer so I’m happy with my time.
“Open water is my main focus and, hopefully, I’ll go to the European juniors next year and some international events.”
Boys 19 years 5K
Ryan Reader won his first National Open Water Festival title in the Boys 19 years 5K race but needed a sprint finish to take the gold medal.
He clocked 58:10 to take the gold medal but the Derventio eXcel swimmer was pushed all the way by second-placed Bailey Hairsine (City of Manchester Aquatics) who recorded a time of 58:14.
Bath University’s William Ryley won the bronze medal in 59:12.
Ryan said: “It’s my first time as national champion and it was nice to stand on top of the podium.
“The windy conditions weren’t great or ideal but it was nice to be able to race in different conditions and get some more experience.
“It was a good race. On the last lap, it was just me and Bailey and it was nice to come down to a sprint finish, which was quite exciting.
“I tried to sit back and hide from the weather conditions and not put up with the wind and make a move on the last lap and try and go past anyone. I’m very pleased.”
The National Open Water Festival Top Club trophy was presented to Wycombe District Swimming Club.
Swimmers from the team achieved seven podium places, including three gold medals.