Dartes aces make impact in top gala

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DONCASTER Dartes’ elite swimmers mixed it with a host of Olympians, national champions and 2012 hopefuls from all over the globe in the four-day Long Course Scottish Gas National Swimming Open Championships in Glasgow.

Max Lichfield and Caitlin Dixon had the busiest schedule, swimming on all four days in a number events as part of their build-up to this month’s National Age-Group Championships.

Lichfield started well, clocking 54.02 in the 100m freestyle to secure 30th place.

He built on his good start making the finals in the remainder of his events. He finished ninth in the 200m breaststroke B final with a time of 2:30.72. The Doncaster youngster touched home in second place in the 100m backstroke in a time of 1:00.14. He was seventh in the 200m medley in 2:08.96. He also claimed eighth spot in the 200m backstroke in 2:09.91.

Dixon, just turned 14, found herself up against Spain’s Mireia Belmonte, the fastest woman in the world in the event in 2011 in the 400m individual medley, and two of the top-ten fastest British women this year in the 100m butterfly.

She acquitted herself well in both events, finishing 38th in the longer race in a time of 5:26.96 and 60th in the sprint race in 1:12.34.

The highlight of the gala for Dixon, however, was her swim the 400m freestyle where she claimed 25th spot in a time of 4:39:99,

Heidi Smith clocked 38.93 in the 50m breastroke, just a tad slower than her PB when claiming 57th place, to cement her place as Dartes’ top sprint breast-stroker and one of the top 14 year-olds in Yorkshire,

Shannon Dodson, another 14 year-old prospect, was keen to build on her recent backstroke success in both the 100m and 200m events.

She reached the 200m B final where she finished 18th overall with a time of 2:27.25.

She also produced solid performances in the 200m IM, claiming 42nd spot with a time of 2.32.53 and the 50m butterfly, where she finished 33rd in a time of 30.78.

Elliot Trofimowicz produced a series of solid performances across three days. His highest finish was in the 400m freestyle where he touched home in 4:25.33 to claim 38th spot.

Richard Lee also provided strong finishes across his events in particular the 100m butterfly finishing 27th with a time of 1:00.82. He finished 31st 50m freestyle (25.36)

Jamie Clarke also qualified for the B 200m backstroke. His time of 2:17.51 initially placed him 23rd overall.

But when several few swimmers withdrew he was promoted into the final where he improved his earlier time to claim eighth place (18th overall).