Swimming: Otters team makes grand final for first time in 10 years
The Carnforth Otters' Microleague team has qualified for the North West grand final for the first time in 10 years.
The Microleague is the main series of competitions for swimming clubs in the North West region involving teams of swimmers aged between eight and 12 years old.
This year there were 27 teams competing across three divisions with each team racing in four galas between February and July in 2016.
The 30-strong Carnforth team pushed the highly ranked clubs Pioneer 79, Blackpool Aquatics, Everton and Garston outside of the top four, resulting in the young Otters competing in the final against the region’s top clubs – Preston, Leyland Barracudas and Southport.
The Otters team swam superbly, gaining a respectable 81 points with 10-year-old George Wilby and 12-year-old Alice Sands winning their individual events.
The 10-year-old boys Owain Heathcote Jones, Tom Adamson, Mckensie Ronson Horrocks and George Wilby won their freestyle relay to secure their position as the top 10-year-old relay team in the North West.
This result confirms Carnforth Otters as one of the top clubs in the North West for developing young swimmers.
It is also a testament to the talent amongst the squad of youngsters that travel to Salt Ayre, Heysham Pool, Carnforth Pool and Lancaster University to train with Carnforth Otters from all over the region.
Also, in addition to the boys under 10s relay team, the under 10s girls relay team, consisting of Anya White, Imogen Sharp, Rosie Walling and Amy Spurr, won a significant haul of points that placed them as the eighth top-scoring girls relay team across all the age groups in the competitive competition.
Forty youngsters also competed in Division C for the Carnforth Otters B team, many of these swimmers would have made the A team in other regional clubs and were a credit to their coaches and their team mates.
This year the B team achieved a fifth place fnish in Division C, ahead of the A teams from Lytham St Annes, Kirkham and Colne.
In terms of the quality of the swimming, the B team was exceptional in both technical ability and speed.
Carnforth Otters are now looking forward to the 2017 season with an ambitious expansion plan supported by their sponsor Oglethorpe, Sturton & Gillibrand Solicitors.
Given improved access to Salt Ayre via the Bay Gateway, this plan aims to fill gaps across all their swim teams to support their continued ambition to be top club in the North West.