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Final joy for St Bart's swimmers

School team make it through to London Aquatics Centre finals

Sarah Bosley


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Final joy for St Bart's swimmers

The St Bart's team at the London Aquatics Centre

A team of young swimmers from a Newbury school qualified for the national finals in their first year of competition.

St Bartholomew’s School entered a number of boys and girls teams, across different age groups, into the English Schools Swimming Association’s (ESSA) National Secondary Team Championships for the first time this year. And their youngest group of girls qualified for the finals in both the medley and the freestyle events.

The year 8 swimmers - Lucy Bosley, Bella Castle, Lara Doran, Kirsten Fraser and Saba Williams - just missed out on a medley medal in the qualifying round, after finishing fourth in their regional division.

This ranked them 12th nationally going into the finals. They were ranked 24th nationally in the freestyle event.

The finals, which were held at the London Aquatic Centre at the end of November, saw the top 30 teams nationally qualifying in each race and age group.

The girls all swam personal bests on the day but were up against tough competition from schools such as Millfield and Mount Kelly and they unfortunately didn’t pick up any medals.

Teacher, Sam Williams, said she was delighted with their performance though and it was something they could build on for next year.

“It was a great achievement to make the finals in our first year competing at this level of competition and ranks the girls as one of the top teams in the country,” she added.

“We are all very proud of them and are pleased that they enjoyed a fun day out and got to compete at the London Aquatics Centre.”

More than 2,000 teams from hundreds of schools across the country take part in the competition every year.

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