Swimmers from the region help Devon make history at Ponds Forge

SWIMMERS from Plymouth Leander, Mount Kelly, Dartmoor Darts, Devonport Royal and Dinnaton helped Devon make history on Sunday in Sheffield.

After years of trying, Devon finally won the National County Team Championship Division One title.

The county had finished third last year and in 1986 and runners-up in 2017, but at long last they were crowned champions at Ponds Forge.

Devon finished with a total score of 469 points, which was 30 more than their nearest rivals, Northumberland & Durham, with Kent taking third. Last year’s top two counties, Yorkshire and Scotland West, were jointed fourth this time around.

The competition saw individual events for 12-13 year-olds, 14-15 year-olds and 16-17 year-olds, plus team relays.

Devon claimed four outright victories – two individual and two relays, plus came runners-up in another five races.

“We love this event – it’s awesome and a great bonding event for us,” said Glenn Currie, one of the Devon coaches. “We come here and we have some fun. We try and race hard from the start of the season and it’s just a great experience for us all.

“We’ve tried a yo-yo team over the last few years and we’ve thought about how we can strengthen our team and it’s really paid off.”

Devon’s individual wins came courtesy of Plymouth Leander’s Honey Osrin and Dartmoor Darts’ Cameron Williams.

Great Britain international Osrin, who was a medal winner at this summer’s European Junior Championships, took victory in the 16-17 year-old girls’ 100m backstroke in 1:01.47.

Fellow international Williams, who medalled at this year’s European Youth Olympic Festival, triumphed in the 14-15 year-old boys’ 100m breaststroke in 1:04.14.

Another international, Plymouth Leander’s Sophie Freeman finished second in the 14-15 year-old girls’ 100m butterfly (1:00.34) and took third in the 100m freestyle (56.69).

Leander team-mate Finn Broekhoven took second in the 12-13 year-old boys’ 100m backstroke (1:03.58) and there were also second-placed finishes for Reid Jones in the 16-17 year-old boys’ 100m freestyle (50.67) and James Hart in the 14-15 year-old boys’ 100m butterfly (56.54).

Dinnaton’s Jasmine D’Cunha could not have been closer to a top three finish in the 12-13 year-old girls’ 100m breaststroke. She was fourth in 1:13.96 but was only 0.04 of second place.

There were also fourth placed finishes for Mount Kelly’s Macy Lawrence (16-17 100m freestyle), who captained the team, Leander’s Filippo Coacci (16-17 100m breaststroke) and Sam Perks (16-16 100m backstroke).

Devonport Royal’s Aiden Symons-Brown, Leander’s Lana Broekhoven and Hubert Gdaniec and Mount Kelly’s James Wheatley and Imogen Lambert were among those claiming top eight finishes in individual events.

Devon won both the 16-17 years’ male and female 200m medley relay events.

The boys team of Ra’eez Warley, Coacci, Perks and Jones clocked 1:43.36 to take victory, with Osrin, Lucia Grant, Olivia Marshall and Lawrence making up the successful girls’ quartet, who stopped the clock in 1:54.68.

Dartmoor Darts’ Williams led the way as the Devon team took second in the 14-15 year-old boys’ 200m medley relay, while Devon also took third place in the girls’ equivalent race.

In Division Two, Cornwall found it tough going and have to make do with 17th place.


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