Yorkshire defend County Team Champs Division One title at Ponds Forge

Yorkshire won a competitive staging of Division One of the County Team Championships to lift the title for the 15th time.

The White Rose scored 456 points to defend their crown from 12 months ago, with Devon second on 435 and Lancashire third on 423.

For the first time since 2002, the top five all broke 400 points, with Scotland West (411.5) and Northumberland & Durham (401) also impressing at Ponds Forge.

While they only picked up two race wins, compared to eight from 2016, Yorkshire added another four second places and three thirds.

Team captains Harry Devlin and Amy Bell both starred with second place finishes in the 16/17 Yrs 100m Breast and 100m Fly respectively.

“It feels amazing to win and to be team captain,” said Bell. “We won last year so obviously to win again feels even better.”

Devlin added: “I’m extremely proud to have won again for my final year representing Yorkshire.”

Tia Ward and Boys’ 14/15 Medley Relay land race wins

City of Leeds’ Tia Ward was the only maximum points winner for Yorkshire, landing the 14/15 Yrs 100m Backstroke title in a PB 1:02.05.

Ward’s previous lifetime best of 1:02.13 had been set to clinch the 12/13 Yrs title 12 months ago.

Yorkshire’s other race win came in the Boys’ 14/15 Yrs 4x50m Medley Relay as Reuben Visda, Jason Robson, Ned Sharp and Archie Dunne took the touch.

The Yorkshire quartet stopped the clock on 1:48.10, with Leicestershire second best on 1:49.65.

Ryan Zhao bags double win for N&D

There were a range of eye-catching individual performances from Division One in Sheffield, not least from Gateshead & Whickham SC’s Ryan Zhao, who picked up maximum points for Northumberland & Durham in both the 100m Breast and 100m Back in the 12/13 Yrs age group.

Another N&D swimmer, Nick Pyle (Newcastle Swim Team) clocked the second fastest short course time by a British 16-year old as he came home first in a PB 54.23 in the 16/17 Yrs 100m Backstroke.

Heart Of Midlothian swimmer Emma Russell also jumped to second in the British historic rankings as the 13-year old won the 14/15 Yrs 100m Freestyle for Scotland East in 57.14.