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79-year old Jeanne steals the show as seven clubs win national golds

A show-stealing performance from 79-year-old City of Leeds swimmer Jeanne Ansley headlined the morning session at the 2023 Swim England Artistic Swimming National Masters Championships.

It was a start to the competition that saw seven clubs win gold across both the Free Solo and Free Combination events.

As well as the City of Leeds, Gateshead Artistic Swimming Club, Seymour Synchro, Aquavision, Aqualina, Rushmoor and Walsall Artistic Swimming Club all came away with gold around their necks after a number of impressive performances at Ponds Forge.

But it was Ansley who took centre stage with her beautiful Free Solo performance to ‘You Raise Me Up’, by Westlife that was adored by the Sheffield crowd.

Ansley, the only competitor in her age division, took home yet another gold medal for City of Leeds, proving that Artistic Swimming is a sport for all ages to enjoy.

City of Leeds Synchronised Swimming Club are no strangers to gold medals and won three at yesterday’s Combo Cup, where they were crowned the overall winners.

A strong solo competition

The 18-24 year old Free Solo competition kicked off today’s events with Sophie Robinson, representing Gateshead Artistic Swimming Club, earning the number one spot.

Robinson had a fabulous score of 63.5667 with City of Salford’s Libby Taylor not far behind, scoring 63.0333 marks in second place. The last spot on the podium was awarded to Eloise Sewell, who made Aqualina Swimming Club proud with an overall total of 61.8333.

The Free Solo round stepped up another gear when we moved on to the 25-29 age category.

Although all competitors put up a good fight, it was City of Leeds’ Rosie Barrington who won with 65.2000 – several points ahead of her competition.

Taking the silver medal in the 25-29s was Laura Perry from City of Bristol, who stepped away with 59.2333 points. The bronze award went to Team Bath Synchro Club’s Annabelle Byrne, who had a solid mark of 56.9000.

The competition continued with amazing performances from the 30-39 Free Soloists.

Laura Loi, from Seymour Synchro Swim School, was the group’s winner and had a commendable score of 57.7667.

In second place was Marion Grimes, who scored 55.1333, representing Brighton Dolphin Swimming Club.

The last spot went to male swimmer Martin Harding, he earned a total of 54.3000 for the impressive Out to Swim team.

Things stayed equally intense in the 40-49 category, where the scores were even more impressive.

Elizabeth Winter grabbed the gold after an outstanding solo routine, where she earned 58.5667 points, representing Aquavision North London Swim Club.

Rushmoor Artistic Swimming Club’s Carla Sanders was this round’s silver medalist, with a total of 57.6667. John Kelly earnt another bronze for Out to Swim, with a 50.1333 score.

In the 50-59 category, Sarah Anderson, from Aqualina (Stevenage), took the number one spot with a total of 53.8000.

The second place medal went to Rugby’s Annette Parker, who scored 51.6667 marks.

Rushmoor Artistic Swimming Club were able to secure a gold medal in the 60-69 Free Solo category, with the talented Carolyn Macdonald, who earned an overall total of 51.2000.

Walsall, Rushmoor and Aqualina top Free Combination events

The Free Combination Routines saw Artistic Swimmers of all ages come together for a spectacular show of creativity, skill and teamwork.

In the top spot of the 18-24s was Walsall Artistic Swimming Club, who secured a great score of 60.4333.

The team performed to a medley of Queen’s biggest hits, including ‘Love of my Life’, ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ and ‘We Will Rock You’, which the audience loved!

The winning team included: Isabelle Watkins, Madeleine Bayliss-Cox, Chalani Appuhamilage, Hannah Birch, Isabel Adams, Olivia Clarke, Sharni Hooper, Laura Burt and Philippa Dolby.

In this round, Medway Artistic Swimming’s fun Beyoncé medley came second, with 56.6000 points, and Rykneld Swimming Club were third, with their Pirates of the Caribbean inspired routine scoring them 55.7000.

There were also some fantastic scores in the 25-39 Free Combinations Aqualina (Stevenage) landed another gold medal today, by earning 59.8333 points.

Representing the number one team were: Kerri Brennan, Eloise Heathcote-Sharif, Lucy Hogg-Tempany, Jayne Jarvis, Mary Lowe, Frances Mann, Eloise Sewell,  Ella Smith, Ruby Smith and Alina White.

City of Bradford also delivered a solid performance, but fell short of first place with 58.5333. The third place spot went to City of Leeds, who narrowly missed out on top two with a total of 58.3667 points.

As we started to round up the Free Combinations, we saw Rushmoor Artistic take another win in the 40-64 age group.

The team had an overall score of 58.8667 and included: Emma Adams, Janice Brignull, Nicola Buckingham, Rachel Davies, Harriet Mutlow, Karen Nightingale, Grace Reukers, Deborah Richards, Louise Ross, Carla Sanders and Chloe Williams.

Next on the podium was the Free Combination team from Rugby who had 54.5333 marks. The final group in the top three was Denton Artistic Swimming Club, with 43.3000 as their overall total.

You can see the full list of medallists from this morning’s session below.

Images: Will Johnston Photography.

Report written by Omo Ifabua.

Free Solo and Free Combination medallists

Free Solo

18-24 Years

1. Sophie Robinson, Gateshead Artistic Swimming Club, 63.5667

2. Libby Taylor, City of Salford, 63.0333

3. Eloise Sewell, Aqualina, 61.8333

25-29 Years

1. Rosie Barrington, City of Leeds, 65.2000

2. Laura Perry, City of Bristol, 59.2333

3. Annabelle Byrne, Team Bath, 56.9000

30-39 Years

1. Laura Loi, Seymour Synchro, 57.7667

2. Marion Grimes, Brighton Dolphin, 55.1333

3. Martin Harding, Out To Swim, 54.3000

40-49 Years

1. Elizabeth Winter, Aquavision, 58.5667

2. Carla Sanders, Rushmoor, 57.6667

3. John Kelly, Out To Swim, 50.1333

50-59 Years

1. Sarah Anderson, Aqualina, 53.8000

2. Annette Parker, Rugby, 51.6667

60-69 Years

1. Carolyn Macdonald, Rushmoor, 54.2000

70-79 Years

1. Jeanne Ansley, City of Leeds, 48.9000

Free Combination

18-24 Years

1. Walsall Artistic Swimming Club (Isabelle Watkins, Madeleine Bayliss-Cox, Chalani Appuhamilage, Hannah Birch, Isabel Adams, Olivia Clarke, Sharni Hooper, Laura Bert, Phillipa Dolby), 60.4333

2. Medway Artistic Swimming Club (Emily Crowe, Lauren Foster, Emma Harris, Katy Hughes, Rosie Lonsdale), 56.6000

3. Rykneld Swimming Club (Mia Hudson, Alyssa Ward, Rebekah Nash, Katie Hibbs, Evie Mae Greenhalgh, Lauren Tann, Marianne Bogdanovic, Pauline Bogdanovic), 55.7000

25-39 Years

1. Aqualina (Kerri Brennan, Eloise Heathcote-Sharif, Lucy Hogg-Tempany, Jayne Jarvis, Mary Lowe, Frances Mann, Eloise Sewell, Ella Smith, Ruby Smith, Alina White), 59.8333

2. City of Bradford (Amy Bennett, Orla Cassidy, Chloe Heaton, Gemma Hollas, Charlotte Hughes, Emma Knight, Bethany Seal, Lydia Thompson), 58.5333

3. City of Leeds (Rosie Barrington, Lynda Devanny, Deanne Ward, Freya Taylor, Rebecca Hartley, Abigail Linley, Georgina Hayes, Laura Simmonds, Sarah Hoof, Jennette White), 58.3667

40-64 Years

1.  Rushmoor, (Emma Adams, Janice Brignull, Nicola Buckingham, Rachel Davies, Harriet Mutlow, Karen Nightingale, Grace Reukers, Deborah Richards, Louise Ross, Carla Sanders, Chloe Williams), 58.8667

2. Rugby (Julie Bowler-Smith, Annette Parker, Sandra Anstruther, Catherine Reekie, Alison Richardson, Ruth Maccallum, Joyce Williams), 54.5333

3. Denton (Nicola Blomeley, Kerry Brelsford, Victoria Chow, Jaqueline Naraynsingh), 43.3000