RASCALS quartet shine at midlands championships

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Four young swimmers from RASCALS gained qualifying times to compete at the East Midlands Swimming Championships in Corby.

A busy weekend of swimming saw heats in the morning and afternoon, followed by finals in the evening, making it two long days of competition for the youngsters.

The quartet were 11-year-old Jacob Whittle, Gracie Dawes, 12, George Atkin, 13, and Liam Dawson, 11.

RASCALS’s Babs Ingram said: “They all performed exceptionally well, and held their own against some of the best young swimmers in the region, making a total of 16 finals between them.”

Jacob Whittle, who isn’t 12 until September, had a remarkable meet as he was crowned Midlands Champion in an astonishing five events, having qualified in ten.

He won the 50m freestyle in a new personal best time of 28.93, 100m freestyle in 1.04.88, 100m backstroke in 1.13.81, 200m backstroke in 2.34.02 (PB), and 200m individual medley in 2.37.39 (PB).

In addition, Jacob won silver medals in 50m butterfly and 100m breaststroke, and a bronze in 200m freestyle.

“He made finals in all ten events, showing great maturity and focus to compete in so many events in a short space of time, leaving little time for recovery,” said Babs.

Gracie Dawes qualified in ten events, and made the final in six of them. She came away with silver medals in 50m breaststroke and 100m backstroke.

She was fourth in 50m freestyle in 30.40 seconds (PB), and 200m individual medley, and fifth in 100m breaststroke. “Again Gracie had a lot of races in a short time, and did exceptionally well to swim personal best times under pressure,” said Babs.

George Atkin qualified for 50m and 100m freestyle, and made finals in both. He finished in seventh place in 50m freestyle, and sixth in the 100m freestyle, producing personal best times in the heats.

Liam Dawson qualified for 50m and 100m butterfly, coming 10th and 20th respectively in these events in the 11/12 years age group. He will be in this age group again next year, and will doubtless be challenging for the finals in 2017.

Babs added: “RASCALS swimmers have shown that they can hold their own against the other teams in the region. The improvement seen since head coach Glenn Fisher was re-appointed has been nothing short of remarkable, and he has one again shown himself to be an inspirational coach.”