Dolphins duo set for nationals

Alnwick Dolphins

While everyone else was dusting down their barbeques and applying sun lotion, a select few Alnwick Dolphins swimmers were locked in Sheffield’s Forge Pond swimming centre for two consecutive weekends.

They were competing in the North East Region’s (NER) swimming finals, the last major competition before July’s national finals.

These regional finals were sponsored by British Gas and it felt like the burners were on full blast as a combination of the weather and exertion made very hot conditions for both swimmers and their dedicated supporting families.

Alnwick provided five finalists for this event.

Benji Gillingham, 10, qualified for four events and this was his first competition in a long-course (50m pool) regional event.

Amy Thorne, 13, qualified for three events in this her first regional final. She achieved a personal best (pb) in the 200m breaststroke and narrowly missed out on a regional final for the 200m back crawl.

Kieran Vickers, 14, qualified for two events.

In the 200m breaststroke, for the second year running, he just missed out on the national qualifying time, this time by 0.04 seconds which makes him the first reserve for the final.

Jake Cross, 12, qualified for seven events and made six finals, achieving a good pb in the 100m freestyle, 400m individual medley and the 200 freestyle, in the last two he narrowly missed out on qualifying times for the national championships.

Jake achieved silver-medal position in the 1500m and bronze-medal in the 400m freestyle, both of which were in national qualifying times.

Kate Macphee, 13, qualified for eight events and made the regional finals for six of these. She did fantastically well, achieving three national qualifying times for the 200m freestyle and a fourth qualifying time for the 800m freestyle.

So Jake and Kate will represent Alnwick in five of the national finals in July, which is a huge achievement for such a small club competing on a national level.