Members of the Bassetlaw Swim Squad have been hailed after a prolific month in which they earned eight medals at two national events.
The medals were won at the British Summer Championships in Glasgow and also the Swim England National Summer Meet at the Ponds Forge International Pool in Sheffield.
The squad’s head of performance, Michael Glossop, said: “To see such great progress in such a relatively small period of time is amazing.
“We have only been established for two years, but we are already winning medals on a national stage.
“These swimmers have worked incredibly hard over the past 11 months, and the results speak volumes about their attitude and personalities.”
The roll of honour was headed by 17-year-old Natasha Utley, of Tuxford Academy and Retford Swimming Club, who became a national champion after winning gold in the women’s 17-years-and-over 200m butterfly.
Utley managed to overtake Stockport Metro’s Jessica McDonough and Guildford City’s Tilly Hansen-Hamilton with just 15 metres remaining, achieving a time of two minutes, 19.90 seconds, which was her second personal-best (PB) time of the day.
Glossop said: “Natasha has demonstrated how the Bassetlaw swimming pathway can really work, which is remarkable.
“She’s gone from learning to swim at Worksop Leisure Centre to national champion! The support from Barnsley Premier Leisure and its continued investment in performance swimmning for the local area is really paying dividends.”
Also bringing home national gold for Bassetlaw was 20-year-old para-swimmer Joe Seage, another member of Retford Swimming Club. He dominated the men’s 200m individual medley, romping home by almost 200 points in his category after also achieving a PB.
Seage is currently third in the British rankings ahead of next year’s Paralympics after also taking the national title in the 200m freestyle, a silver medal in the 100m butterfly and a bronze medal.
The Bassetlaw squad enjoyed further rewards at Sheffield, where debutants Alicia Clark and Cillian McGuiness bagged bronze and silver medals.
Clark, 13, of Valley Outwood Academy and Worksop Dolphins, earned a silver and a bronze in the 12-to-13-year-old girls’ 400m individual medley and 200m backstroke.
McGuiness achieved a bronze in the 14-year-old boys’ 800m freestyle and has also moved up to ninth in the British rankings in the 1500m freestyle category.
Other Bassetlaw swimmers to do well over the summer have been Malachy McGuiness, Amelia Stevenson and Isabella Hobson-Corbett, while 14-year-old Harry Benzies set new PBs in two breaststroke events.