Williamson, Dennis and Moon shine in Sunderland

Kingston Upon Hull senior swimmers were in action at the weekend at the British Gas Youth and Senior North East Region Championships in Sunderland.

The championships brought together the elite swimmers from the North East Region, for the girls Rachael Williamson (16), Grace Dennis (14), Amy Felgate (14), Roisin Kelly (14) and Natalie Moon (15) all were swimming in the youth category that is age 17 and under. The boy squad of Matty Sleight (16), Alex Cook (16), Dale Booth (17) and Tom Clark (18) were also swimming in the boys’ youth category that are aged 18 and under. The 5th male swimmer was James Rodmell who was the only male from the Hull and East Yorkshire Region to gain qualifying times and swim in the senior age group.

Former hotshots winner Rachael Williamson had a busy championships. Rachael lowered her lifetime best time in the 800m frontcrawl by one second recording a time of 8.50.40 and collected a silver medal. Further silver medals followed in the 200m frontcrawl (2.05.38), 400m frontcrawl (4.20.52). There was also a bronze medal for Rachael in the 100 and 200m butterfly to bring her medal haul to 5 in the girls’ youth age group.


14-year-old Grace Dennis swimming against girls 3 years older then herself performed well. Grace Dennis was the fastest 14 year old in the 200, 400 and 800m frontcrawl and swam a fantastic race in the 100m frontcrawl to claim a silver in a time of 59.23 seconds. Just for good measure Grace made the 100m backstroke final and was again the fastest 14 year old on show.

Training partner Roisin Kelly who was swimming in her first ever youth/senior championships made the final of the 200m-backstroke event, the only 14 year old to do so. Amy Felgate also had some outstanding swims especially in the 200m butterfly in what was a tough weekend for the 14 year old.

The final girl to compete was 15-year-old Natalie Moon who was swimming in the British multi-disabled events. Natalie was in brilliant form swimming in the 200m frontcrawl, 200m breastroke and 100m frontcrawl where she finished second in all the events. She also competed in the 100m breastroke (3rd) but took the gold medal in the 50m-frontcrawl event.


In the boys events it was sad to see 18-year-old Tom Clark swimming in his last major championships before taking time out to concentrate on his University Studies. Tom swam in the event 50m backstroke, 50m free, 50m breastroke and 100m back and breaststroke events improving his times in all but one of the events.

16-year-old Matthew Sleight had a gruelling weekend swimming in 5 events. Matthew managed a 4th place in the 1500m frontcrawl, 5th in the 400m frontcrawl in a time of 4.16.30 and also 5th in the 400im final.

The final 3 swimmers Dale Booth, James Rodmell and Alex Cook all swam well. Dale yet again managed to improve his 50m butterfly 28.14. Credit must go to James who still manages to compete at this level, he managed a long course improvement in the 100m butterfly and 50m frontcrawl events.

16-year-old Alex Cook qualified in four events with his best swim coming in the 100m breastroke.