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LISBURN CROWNED 2012 AQUASPRINTS CHAMPIONS Lisburn City Swimming Club has been crowned Aquasprints Champion for 2012. The young swimmers from the local Club took the top honour at a fiercely contested Final against Clubs, Bangor and Ards, at the Lagan Valley LeisurePlex. The Aquasprints League, sponsored by Forest Feast, sees top Clubs from across Northern Ireland compete against each other in four age groups (9 – 12 year olds) across all four strokes as well as medley and freestyle relays. The top three Clubs in the League then face each other again in a Final held at the beginning of June each year. The first races of the evening were the medley relays, often an early indicator of things to come during the rest of the Gala. Maximum points went to Lisburn’s youngest swimmers in Group A and the older swimmers in Group D. Two wins for Lisburn, with Bangor and Ards winning one each in Groups B and C, ensured that Lisburn took an all-important early lead, a massive confidence boost for the young swimmers. Lisburn was off to a super start. The individual events began with the backstroke. In Group A, Lisburn’s Leah Bethel and Abbie Crookshanks set the pace with 1st and 4th place finishes. Group A boys, Ben Harding and Cameron Doak gave impressive performances coming in 2nd and 3rd. These finishes were replicated in Group B with Nadine Pollock and Amy Jennings securing 1st and 4th place finishes and Conor Quinn and Paul Cox again coming home 2nd and 3rd. In Group C, Zoey Dickey and Rebecca Woods also gained valuable points for the team as did Oliver Chambers and Cameron Loan in 2nd and 5th place. In Group D, Rachel Bethel posted the fastest time, breaking the Club record in this event, with team mate and Captain Victoria Hunter finishing 4th. In Group D Boys, Captain Andrew Edgar and Philip Cox came in 3rd and 4th. The points after the backstroke were Lisburn 95, Ards 88 and Bangor 69. More successes for Lisburn came in the breaststroke with wins for Leah Bethel, Nadine Pollock and Namona Teggart and 2nd and 3rd places for Ben Harding, Paul Cox, Conor Quinn and Jack Harte. Abbie Crookshanks, Emily Estler, Caoli Magennis, Shay O’Kane, Anna Reid and Jamie Allison also secured important points for the club. Next up was the butterfly. Leah Bethel, Oliver Chambers and Rachel Bethel all took the top positions with Rachel breaking her second Club record of the evening. Ben Harding, Nadine Pollock, Zoe Dickey and Charlie Kenny came 2nd in their respective age groups with Andrew McIvor coming 3rd and Alice Cross, Paul Cox and Jamie Allison securing very credible 4th place finishes. By this stage Lisburn had 214 points to Ards 206 and Bangor 168. The last of the individual events were the freestyle races, an important gauge for the freestyle relays finale to follow. Lisburn’s finishes were impressive. Leah Bethel again took first place, making it four out of four for her on the night. It was a clean sweep in Group A as Ben Harding also was home first. Group B’s Conor Quinn was also first as was Group D swimmer Rachel Bethel. Nadine Pollock, Jamie Allison Victoria Hunter and Craig Boyce all took important 2nd places in their races, earning vital points for the home team. Special mention must also go to Abbie Crookshanks, Cameron Doak, Rebecca Wallace, Paul Cox, Zoe Dickey, Oliver Chambers and Charlie Kenny for their fine freestyle performances. Lisburn went into the final set of events of the evening in the lead but with double points up for grabs in the Freestyle Relays the three teams had all to swim for. The younger swimmers were more than ready for the final challenge, putting on a spectacular display of freestyle sprinting. Lisburn showed its dominance with three wins out of four. Swimmer, Rachel Bethel swam the last leg of the Group D Relay and brought it home to thunderous applause from the Spectator Gallery as the young Team ended the night as they had started with impressive wins and a comprehensive lead that was never seriously challenged throughout the evening. A very big well done to all the swimmers who took part throughout the season and contributed to an unbeaten Aquasprints year and also a special thanks to all the parents and coaches for their support throughout the year. Anybody interested in joining Lisburn City Swimming Club or its Learn to Swim Programme should contact Hilary Idzikowska at email@example.com.
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