Coaches and officials at HUCKNALL FALCON SWIMMING CLUB glowed with pride after a string of polished performances at the Notts ASA County Championships.
Held at the Beechdale pool in Nottingham over three weekends, the championships pitted a squad of 29 Falcon swimmers against the cream of the county at all age levels.
But they emerged with no fewer than 23 top-three places, and they produced a four-times champion in Tom Howarth, who was in inspired form to land the 17-and-over county titles in the 50m breaststroke, 100m breaststroke, 200m breaststroke and 400m individual medley. Howarth was also second in the 400m freestyle and 100m individual medley, third in the 1500m freestyle and third in the boys’ open 200m freestyle.
Delighted head coach Ian Melvin said: “I am so proud of how we performed at the county championships this year. There were some phenomenal results, especially from swimmers coming back from injury.
“We might be a small club, but we have a big mentality!”
Plaudits were showered too on the classy sextet of Kyle Raison, Amelia Sale, Sam Murden, Ben Canavan-Taylor, James Terry and Dylan Walker, who bagged the rest of the podium places for Falcon.
In the 15-to-16-year-old boys’ class, county champion Raison won the 50m freestyle and finished second in three other events -- the 200m butterfly, the 100m freestyle and the 100m individual medley.
In the 15-to-16-year-old girls’ category, Sale was second in the 800m freestyle, third in the 100m freestyle, third in the 100m backstroke, third in the 400m individual medley and third in the 50m butterfly. She was also runner-up in the girls’ open 100m individual medley.
In the boys’ 17-and-over age-group, Murden was second in the 200m backstroke, second in the 100m breaststroke, third in the 100m backstroke, third in the 200m individual medley and third in the 100m butterfly, while Canavan-Taylor was second in the 100m backstroke and Terry third in the 100m breaststroke.
And in the nine-to-ten-year-old boys’ category, Walker bagged second place in the 50m backstroke and third in the 50m freestyle.
As well as the chance to become podium champions, swimmers aged ten to 14 could compete for BAGCAT (British Age Group Category) awards by accumulating points for each of their races.
Excellent individual BAGCAT achievements were obtained by Finley Ellis, who finished fifth in the ten-and-under awards, and by Ellie Barker, who was eighth in the 13-and-under section.
Among a host of personal-bests clocked by Falcon swimmers, Midland qualifying times were recorded by George Webster (13-to-14-year-olds’ 50m breastroke), Elise Connor (13-to-14-year-olds’ 50m freestyle) and Emily Butler (11-to-12-year-olds’ 50m breaststroke).