Swimming: Impressive Ripley team make mark against best in country

Both the senior and junior boys teams won bronze medals at the English Schools Swimming Team Championships.

Both the senior and junior boys teams won bronze medals at the English Schools Swimming Team Championships.

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The Ripley St Thomas Year 8 boys’ swimming team returned from the English Schools’ Swimming Team Championships as one of the top state school teams in the country in both the medley and freestyle relay events.

The competition, which they qualified for back in October by winning a bronze medal in the medley relay and finishing fourth in the freestyle relay at the North West Regional finals in Liverpool, was held at the London 2012 Olympics pool at the London Aquatics Centre and featured the top 30 top ranked schools in the country.

In the first event, the 200m medley relay, Ripley were up against the eventual competition winners, Millfield School and North West region runners up, Birkdale High.

The team of Rhys Ashton, backstroke, Isaac Quarry, breaststroke, Daniel Leach, butterfly, and George Cookson, freestyle, finished in 2:23.10 minutes and were just outside the time achieved when winning the bronze at the North West Championships, a result which placed them 23rd overall.

It was a similar story in the 200m freestyle relay with another consistent swim and a similar outcome, again just outside their North West Regional time to place them 24th overall.

In both events, five state schools in the national competition finished ahead of Ripley, which represents a fantastic achievement by the team.

The performances of the junior boys’ team at the national competition followed what has been a successful few months for Ripley swimming teams.

The junior boys team broke the long-standing district inter schools competition record in both relays, and the Senior Boys 200m medley relay team of Rio Quarry, Robin Austin, Michael Sallis and Matthew Crabtree won a bronze medal at the North West Regional, just missing out on the national finals.