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Emily Clarke downs PB for 800m Freestyle gold in Sheffield

The second day of the ASA Summer National Championships 2015 saw the women’s 800m Freestyle titles decided with some excellent races in Sheffield.

In the 18yrs+ age group, Guildford City’s Lucy Bean led the way after the first 100 metres and continued to push her lead forwards.

But a late challenge from Emily Clarke saw the Poole swimmer power her way to the wall to touch first in 9:02.87 and take gold, knocking 10 seconds off her PB. Early leader Bean took silver in 9:04.05 and Ealing’s Rebecca Dutfield won bronze (9:05.03).

“It felt so good to take 10 seconds off my PB,” said Clarke. “I’ve been doing open water swimming in fairly rough seas and this seemed to really help.

“My coach and I have also been working on a new pacing plan of saving more energy for the second half of the race. Everything paid off tonight.”

After a strong start, Laura Boardman (9:08.02) took silver in the 16/17yrs behind Wycombe District’s Nicole Ryan (9:07.01), while Lincoln swimmer Abigail Burr took bronze in 9:10.74.

Earlier in the day, City of Leeds swimmer Tia Ward dominated the Women’s 12/13yrs age group, touching the wall with a lead of 17 seconds (9:12.50). Silver went to Northampton’s Anne-Marie Hudman (9:29.26) while Chester’s Ellie Brown took bronze (9:30.72).

In the 14yrs event, Caitlin Mackay (Chesham) took gold in 9:21.59 just ahead of local City of Sheffield swimmer Linden Davison (9:24.84), with bronze going to City of Milton Keynes’ Helen Odams (9:27.55).

Only a second separated the top three swimmers in the 15yrs 800m Freestyle with Chelsea and Westminster SC’s Elizabeth Boeckman taking gold in 9:21.30, followed by Weston’s Imogen Moroney in second (9:22.14) and Barnet’s Megan Davies took bronze (9:22.50).

Men’s 200m Backstroke

Leinster’s Sean Scannell held off a late challenge from James Cooper in the final 50 metres of the Men’s 12/13yrs 200m Backstroke to take gold in 2:14.47. Romford Town’s Cooper dropped five seconds of his lifetime best to win silver (2:14.62) with City of Birmingham’s Oliver Watson also setting a new personal best in third (2:21.59).

Bo Kirklees’ Samuel Loizou led from the start of the 14yrs 200m Backstroke and extended his lead to over a body length by the final touch (2:15.91). Sutton and Cheam SC’s Kieran Rutter and Durham City’s Oliver Smith took silver (2:16.53) and bronze (2:16.53) respectively, both setting new lifetime bests.

A strong turn from Harry Middleton at the half way mark saw the Plymouth Leander swimmer edge ahead of the rest of the field and take gold in 2:12.99 in the 15yrs 200m Backstroke. Samuel Phippen (Chalfort) touched the wall second in 2:14.73 while Miles McAuliffe (City of Milton Keynes) took third in 2:15.08.

Jarvis Parkinson, who won silver in the 200m Individual Medley at the European Games in Baku, won gold in the Men’s 16/17yrs in 2:06.96 ahead of Team Ipswich’s Charles Seller (2:08.24) and Mount Kelly’s Tobias Stanyer (2:08.74).

South African swimmer Nils Van Audekerke (2:02.54) touched first in the Men’s 18yrs+ 200m Backstroke ahead of Bo Kirklees’ James Reidy (2:05.62), who was crowned ASA National Champion, and Loughborough University’s Kieran Smith (2:06.15) who took silver. Bronze went to Stockport Metro’s Ciaran Bear-Jones in 2:07.15.

Richter and Reeson win MC 100m Backstroke crowns

In the Women’s MC 100m Backstroke, Orion SC’s Megan Richter (S9) went into the race with the highest points (676 BDP). She replicated her success in the final, shaving a further 0.31 seconds off her time in the heats to claim gold in 1:18.64 for 684 BDP.

She was followed by Wellingborough swimmer Maisie Summers-Newton (S6), who lowered her PB by almost six seconds to 1:38.71 for silver (632 BDP). Derwentside’s Jay McCabe, also S9, claimed bronze in 1:22.68 (589 BDP).

In the Men’s event, Luke Reeson (S9) of Cockermouth topped the table with 661 BDP (1:10.88). Rotherham’s Joseph Seage (S14), highest points scorer in the heats, took second with 641 BDP (1:10.08) while Macauley Ainslie (Gateshead & Whickam) came third with 624 BDP (1:10.73).