Aquatic athletes are in the swim for Olympic pool final

Aquatic athletes are in the swim for Olympic pool final

17th November 2014


SWIMMING stars have dived into the finals of a national aquatic competition.

Carmel College, Darlington, swimming team raced into first place in the 14-16 girls’ freestyle relay at the English Schools Swimming Association North East qualifying championships.

Swimmers Hannah Briggs, 14, Sally Abbott, 13, Laura Nicholls, 14 and Alana Prior, 14, also triumphed over 18 teams, from Newcastle to Leeds, to win the individual medley relay putting them into the national ESSA finals in London.

Carmel PE teacher Derek Coates said: “The ESSA regional final is a very difficult competition to win so Hannah, Sally, Laura and Alana have done incredibly well.

“One of our boys teams made it through to the national finals last year but this is the first time a girls team from Carmel has made it so far in the competition.
“The girls were racing against teams from both state and private schools, some of which have their own pools and run competitive swimming programmes, so their achievement was absolutely outstanding.”

The national relay finals will take place at the Olympic Water Park, Stratford, on Saturday, November 22.

“Hannah and I have already swum in the Olympic Water Park at the National Biathlon finals last year where we finished second and it was an amazing experience,” said Alana Prior, of Darlington.

 “We really didn’t expect to do quite so well in the ESSA qualifying rounds so to win both the freestyle and the medley relay was quite a surprise.

“If we were to win at the finals it would just be an incredible achievement both for the team and for the whole school.”

All four girls also swim competitively outside of school for Darlington Amateur Swimming Club.

Sally Abbott, of Darlington, who has been swimming since the age of five, said: “We each get up at six o’clock in the morning, once a week, to train and then again after school five days a week.

“We’ve all swum together since we were eight-years-old so we know each other’s strengths and stroke ability, which is a good advantage to have.

“I’m really looking forward to be going to London and hopefully we’ll have another trophy to bring back.”

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