SKIPTON swimmers have enjoyed a stunning start to the winter competitive swimming season with success at both the County and Regional Championships, including four County gold medals.

The Winter Yorkshire County Championships, held in October at the John Charles Centre for Sport in Leeds and the North East Regional Championships, held in November at Ponds Forge International Pool in Sheffield, are key events in the competitive swimming calendar. A total of forty Skipton swimmers aged between 9 and 17 years old, achieved the qualifying times for their respective age group events, which is an outstanding achievement for the club.

Leading the way in the medals table for Skipton was Zak Sherriff (15), who was crowned Yorkshire County Champion in the 50m backstroke, 50m butterfly and 100m butterfly events. Zak also scooped a silver medal in 100m backstroke and placed 6th in the 50m freestyle. He went on to achieve further success at the North-East Regional Championships, clinching the silver medal in the 50m backstroke, 9th place in the 50m freestyle and 9th place in the 200m backstroke.

Skipton’s Poppy Dunne (15) was also crowned Yorkshire County Champion in her 50m backstroke event, along with a brilliant bronze in the 100m Freestyle, 4th place in 50m freestyle, 6th place in 100m breaststroke, 6th in the 200m Individual Medley and 9th place in the 50m breaststroke. Poppy went on to qualify for the North East Regional Championships where she placed 6th in the 100m freestyle, 6th in the 100m backstroke and 8th in the 100m Individual Medley.

Club Captain, Jack Jenkinson (17) claimed County bronze in the 400m Individual Medley and was placed in the top ten in his 100m breaststroke, 100m backstroke and 50m freestyle events. Jack achieved further success in the North-East Regional Championships, winning the silver medal in the 200m freestyle and placing 9th in the 50m freestyle.

Betsy Rider (12) achieved County bronze in the 100m breaststroke and placed 7th in the 50m breaststroke. She went on to swim at the North East Regional Championships, achieving within the top ten times in the 50m, 100m and 200m breaststroke, 100m IM, and the 50m and 200m freestyle events.

There was more success for Sam Smith (16) at the Regional Championships where he cliched the bronze medal in the 100m butterfly followed by 7th place in the 50m freestyle and 9th in the 200m freestyle.

Nine other Skipton swimmers also achieved top ten positions in their County and Regional age group events which is a fantastic achievement for the individual swimmers and the club as a whole.

Special mention must go to Skipton’s first-time county qualifiers who were: Violet Appleby (9), Douglas Oliver (10), Noah Balnave (10), Isla Molyneux (10), Belle Tattersall (10), Ella Timmins (11), Sebastian Oliver (12), Sam Brook (12), and Olivia Batty (13).

The Club’s Head Coach, Ian Scrivin said, “The club is incredibly proud of all its swimmers. Huge congratulations go to our medallists and all of our county and regional qualifiers, who train incredibly hard, week in-week out, to achieve these fantastic results. A special well done also to our first-time county qualifiers, who all swam brilliantly in their events. It can be quite daunting attending these large-scale events for the first time, but our debutants took it all in their stride and I hope they are as proud of themselves as we are of them.”