A gala first for Gators

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Garstang Gators has staged its first open graded medal gala at the Palatine Leisure Centre in Blackpool, attracting entries from clubs as far afield as Barrow, Troutbeck, Kendal and Penrith.

It was a major landmark for the town’s swimming club, with more than 100 competitors taking part in the first event of this size it had hosted.

It is hoped it will become an annual event and a licensed ASA meet in future.

Swimmers aged from eight to 19 took part in the sprint meet,competing in 50m freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly plus 100m individual medley races.

Medals, or ribbons, were presented to the top six swimmers in each age group, with speeding tickets presented to any swimmer who exceeded the time cap for that event.

The presentations were made throughout the competition by the guests of honour, Garstang ASC chair Sandra McKean and secretary Sue Roome.

Forty-three Garstang swimmers made the trip to Blackpool for the event. The children had a great day in a fantastic atmosphere, relishing the opportunity to have their efforts rewarded. Many achieved personal best times and won medals and ribbons.

The Gators’ swimmers achieving gold medals were: Hannah Metcalf (100m IM, 50m backstroke), Lucy Metcalf (50m butterfly), Natalie Charlesworth (100m IM, 50m freestyle, 50m backstroke, 50m butterfly, 50m breaststroke, Edward Clegg (50m butterfly, 50m breaststroke), Rachel Wilding (50m freestyle), Kiera Richmond (100m IM, 50m backstroke, 50m butterfly), Jack Holmes (50m breaststroke), Jessica Critchley (50m breaststroke), Karin Busby (50m freestyle), Matthew Fricker (50m backstroke, 50m butterfly, 100m IM, 50m freestyle), Abbie Hewitt (100m IM, 50m breaststroke), Eleanor Moss (50m freestyle, 50m backstroke, 50m butterfly), Alicia Clegg (100m IM), Sian Atkinson (50m freestyle, 50m butterfly, 50m breaststroke), Matthew Gardner (50m backstroke), James Hewitt (50m butterfly), Hadley Price (50m breaststroke, 100m IM), Olivia Mulroney (50m breaststroke), Harriet Price (50m freestyle, 50m butterfly), Allan Eccles (50m backstroke, 50m butterfly, 100m IM), Hanna Leeson (100m IM, 50m backstroke, 50m breaststroke) and Edward Dunkley (50m breaststroke).

Three Garstang swimmers put in some amazing swims and achieved speeding tickets: Abbie Hewitt (50m freestyle, 50m backstroke, 50m butterfly), Hadley Price (50m butterfly) and Karin Busby (50m breaststroke)

The club would like to thank all who helped to make this gala a success.

Garstang Gators is always looking for new members. It welcomes children from pre-school age upwards to learn to swim, train and compete. There is coaching for beginners to experienced swimmers. Visit the website www.garstangasc.org.uk for further information.