Silver medals for swimming duo

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Two Ashville College pupils have won silver medals at a national schools swimming tournament.

The pair, Jacob Brown and Lucas Waligora, were two of a record number of Ashville pupils who had qualified to compete in the IAPS (Independent Association of Prep Schools) National Swimming Finals.

While Jacob finished second in the U10 butterfly, Lucas was runner-up in the U11 butterfly. In addition, Lucas’s sister, Carys, made history by becoming the first Ashville Junior School girl pupil to compete in these National Finals. She competed in the breaststroke and was ranked 16th after the heats.

The day started with U10’s medley relay team of William Cullen, Ben Douglas, Jacob Brown and Oliver Grattoni-May finishing fourth overall and improving their qualifying time by over six seconds.

This was quickly followed by the freestyle relay. With Edward Crack replacing William Cullen, the team finished fifth and improved their qualifying time by three seconds.

The relays were followed by the heats of the boys individual events. In the U10 front crawl Oliver Grattoni-May swam well but didn’t qualify for the final. He was ranked 14th nationally.

In the U10 breaststroke Ben Douglas was second reserve for the final and was ranked tenth nationally.

To round off an excellent morning’s swimming, the U10’s finished third in the team event.

This builds on the recent success at the English Schools National Finals, where the Ashville boys won the freestyle and medley relay, and the girls were runners up in both relays at the regional round of the English Schools Championships.

This means that Ashville will have four teams representing both the school and North East England at these championships in mid-June.

This is also the first time Ashville has both boys and girls qualifying for the nationals.

Duncan Archer, Head of Swimming at Ashville College, said: “To have two pupils winning individual silver medals and a team bronze is an outstanding achievement, both for the pupils and the school.

“It is incredibly satisfying to see our pupils qualifying for the national finals in record numbers this year.

“The swimmers continued hard work and dedication.”