MAX Litchfield made quite a splash in last weekend’s North East Regional Swimming Championships held at Sunderland.
The Doncaster Dartes’ ace won four gold and two silver medals in the six Under-17 events he contested. He also improved four of the club records he holds and recorded his 12th national qualifying time (NQT).
Caitlin Dixon was also in sparkling form in the Under-15 girls’ events.
She added three more NQTs to her collection giving her five in total - easily her best ever haul.
Her time in 200m individual medley earned her a gold in the youth event and a silver in the senior class in the same race.
She also set three new club age-group records in her first event as a 15-year-old.
The female 200m individual medley record had stood since 1995 when Emma Parker clocked a time of 2 minutes 34 seconds. Caitlin’s time was a whopping 10 seconds faster.
Jessica Gillatt (15) was another Dartes’ swimmer to catch the eye. She made four finals including the 200m IM where she also beat Parker’s record with a time of 2:31.83.
Other competitors who managed to reach finals in some of their swims included Richard Lee, who finished tenth in both 50m and 100m freestyle, and Heidi Smith, who came eighth in the final of the 50m freestyle.
The event doubled up as the National Team qualifying weekend for the youth age group.
The Doncaster quartet of seasoned campaigners Litchfield, Richard Lee and Elliot Trofimowicz, and newcomer at this level, Jamie Clarke, won gold in both the 400m medley team and the 400m freestyle team.
They must now wait and see whether their times were among the fastest in the country.
The Dartes girls’ squad of Heidi Smith, Jessica Gillett, Caitlin Dixon, and Shannon Dodson, lined up in three events, and whilst they didn’t finish in the first three in any of the races their fast times mean they may have just done enough to squeeze into the finals.