THE elite of South Lakeland swimmers reached for the stars when they competed at the Regional Winter Meet held at Manchester.

Following this great success a number of swimmers were invited to compete at National level at the peak of their careers.

Max Ainsworth qualified for the Regionals and enjoyed an outstanding performance in the 100 Individual Medley.

He was accompanied by James Escolme with high hopes of further success in their careers.

Ainsworth faced up to the task well and despite recovering from a shoulder injury produced an outstanding swim, whilst Escolme pulled out all the stops in the heats and got into three finals.

His 100 Individual Medley did however bring him the success he was seeking.

Using all his experience and technique to master the four strokes he burned off the opposition in his heat with an impressive display.

Taking it on in the final he produced another outstanding swim and into the last length and the pressure zone he drew on all his reserves and hitting the pads in a blanket finish he snatched the bronze medal. From there Escolme joined Indya Sharp, Jamie-Leigh Tyson, Amelia Mardel, Gyoktug Molla and Penelope Boyle at the Swim England National Winter Championships at Ponds Forge Sheffield.

For some this was a new experience and so the pressure was on. But they held their nerve and didn’t panic and produced performances that left them highly satisfied with the results. A number lowered their personal best times and all are now looking forward eagerly to taking part in next year’s Cumbria Championships. Meanwhile Molly Moran made her first visit to the Welsh National Winter Championships held at Swansea.

She made her debut in the Girls 16/Over 50m Long Course categories and produced excellent swims in the preliminaries, just missing out on the “B” final of the 50 Backstroke sprint by a split second.

This was a fabulous swim especially as she was amongst 10 swimmers who all hit 32 seconds and all the swimmers’ gained loads of experience that will take them forward into the future and help set the standard for up-and-coming youngsters.