Dartes youngsters’ super show in regionals

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DONCASTER DARTES’ swimmers landed a host of medals in the opening North Eastern Regional Championships at Sheffield’s Ponds Forge.

Mark Beech struck gold in Saturday’s first event, the boys’ 11 year 1,500 metres freestyle in a club-record time of 20 minutes 31.20 seconds.

There was also a gold medal for Jarvis Parkinson in the boys’ 12 year 20m butterfly in a time which qualified him for the nationals in July.

Jarvis also gained a bronze in the 12 year boys’ 100m breaststroke, narrowly beaten by team mate Joe Litchfield who took the silver. Joe also touched within the NQT in the 200m butterfly event but unfortunately got disqualified for kicking beyond the maximum distance of 15 metres.

Oswald Hood won a bronze in the boys’ 11 year 100m breaststroke against stiff competition.

Two other boys also made finals - Alex Pollard came eighth in the 12 year old boys’ 200m butterfly and Jamie Clarke finished ninth in the 14 year old boys’ 200m butterfly.

Shannon Dodson continued her domination of the girls’ 100m backstroke, taking her third gold medal in as many years, this time in the 13 year old category. She too gained an NQT and will contest the nationals. The club’s younger girls, competing in their first regional championships, also did exceptionally well.

Ten year-old Amber Hardy came fifth in the testing 400m individual medley. Amber also came sixth in the 100m backstroke.

Another 10 year-old who looks to have a promising future, Tyler Dodson, came seventh in the 200m freestyle. Natasha Crow touched home in seventh place in the 12 year old girls’ 400m individual medley.

Sunday started with the girls’ 800m freestyle - Natasha Crow, who smashed her personal best by ten over seconds, and Chloe Hardy putting in fine performances to finish fifth and tenth respectively.

Another pair of 10 year-olds made their regional debut with Mathew Jubb swimming in the 200m freestyle and coming a creditable sixth place and Laura Brookes contesting the 200m fly and coming fourth.

Mark Beech won gold in the boys’ 11 year-old 100m backstroke, and Litchfield claimed a silver in the boys’ 12 year-old final in another NQT.

Jamie Clarke won a bronze, and secured a NQT for the squad in the boys’ 14 year 100m backstroke. Jarvis Parkinson won his second gold of the weekend, this time in the 12 year old boys’ 400m individual medley, winning by a margin of almost five seconds and gaining himself an NQT.

Other finalists included Finleigh Dukes, who came eighth in the 11 year old girls’ 200m butterfly, George Scatchard, fourth in the 13 year old boys’ 100m backstroke.

Parkinson (fifth) and Litchfield (seventh) went head-to-head in the boys’ 12 year old 200m freestyle, with Luke Shypylka and Jamie Clarke finishing seventh and eighth respectively in the boys’ 14 year 200 free

DARTES will go into this weekend’s championships, lying fourth in the overall medal table.