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Swimmers Qualify for ESSA National Finals

  • Swimming - ESSA nationals qualification

A group of five swimmers in Year 6 competed in the ESSA (English Schools Swimming Association) North West Division Primary Team Championships, held at Everton Park in Liverpool. This competition serves as the qualifying round for the ESSA Nationals: the top three teams from each race qualify for the National Finals, held in June at Ponds Forge in Sheffield.

Junior Girls’ School pupils competed in two relay events, the medley and freestyle. Mrs Higgins said this was by far the most exciting qualifying event she has had the pleasure to attend. The races were extremely exciting and very close with Merchant Taylors on both occasions. However, the girls were all fantastic and showed excellent team work to ensure all five got through to Sheffield.

In the Open Girls Freestyle Relay, the team comprised Pip Nuttall, Anna Brennand, Charlotte Harris and Olivia Melling.

The girls were instructed to do safe changeovers, to ensure the team would not be disqualified. They listened carefully and played it safe, yet swam with excellent technique and speed. After the third leg, the Bolton School swimmers were just slightly behind Merchant Taylors. However, an outstanding swim from Olivia Melling saw her not only catch up but take first place!

For the Open Girls Medley Relay, the swimmers were Charlotte Harris (Backstroke), Erin Turner (Breaststroke), Olivia Melling (Butterfly) and Pip Nuttall (Freestyle).

This was an even tighter race between the Bolton School girls and Merchant Taylors. After excellent swims by Charlotte and Erin, the team were a close second. Olivia swam brilliantly to catch up and make it neck and neck. Pip showed sheer grit and determination to keep it level and the touch was so close it was impossible for spectators to see who was first or second. However, Merchant Taylors were announced as first. The Bolton School team achieved a time of 1.16.53 minutes.

As the team took first and second place in their two events, they will now go forward to the National competition to swim in both relays. All the girls swam brilliantly and should be extremely proud of themselves.

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