A squad of Kendal’s Junior 9/12yr olds made the trip to Whitehaven to compete in the Copeland Club’s Griffin Gala.

Taking part were swimmers from around the County looking to the future for qualifying times for higher standard Meets where they can really assess their qualities and skills.

It also gave the young 9yr olds an opportunity to get their feet on the ladder of competition and swimming away from home. However they rose to the occasion and the majority managed to gain places in the top ten.

Elissa Kinley produced a marvellous effort in the 50 Breaststroke where she took on rivals from Workington, Cockermouth and club mate Rebecca Fisher.

Off the blocks they all got a great start and quickly got into their stroke pattern. Through the first length Workington’s Jessica Lister got a slight lead which left Kinley, Fisher and Cockermouth’s Ella Chambers battling it out shoulder to shoulder. Out of their turn and transition Lister held on to take the win, while in a storming finish for the rest Kinley took Silver with Fisher settling for 4th place. Another 9yr old Leo Murray also put in a superb effort to take the Bronze medal in the 100 Individual Medley.

Showing great all round skill he used all his talent to come up with a superb result using all four strokes. Isabelle Wall-Budden proved what a skilful powerhouse she is, especially at Freestyle.

In the 50 Sprint she really turned it on, setting a devastating pace over the first length and out of her turn began to turn it on. Dealing with the numerous challenges she stormed into the finish for a brilliant win.

The 50 Breaststroke sprint proved a real test of talents and Wall-Budden gave an immaculate display.

Ulverston’s Mazie Scales set the pace, but Wall-Budden stayed well in the mix and out of her turn and transition was in with a great chance. Into the pressure zone these two burst through in a blanket finish with Wall-Budden taking Silver. Another Silver medal came from her performance in the 100 Individual Medley.

With a closely packed field the race developed into a real battle and Wall Budden had to pull out all the stops to stay in the mix with five other contenders matching each other stroke for stroke. Bringing her all round skills to bear, she moved up a gear in the Freestyle leg and made her bid for victory.

Despite a perfect finish she had to settle for 2nd place in 1:24.52, two secs ahead of he Bronze medallist.

Three 11yr olds Mathew Foster Joseph Bulman and Mathew Gibson had a real mixture of results. Despite supreme efforts Foster had to settle for 5 Silver medals, all involving close finishes where he was just touched out of Gold. At 50 Backstroke, Butterfly, Freestyle and 100 Individual Medley Copeland’s Jackson Jardine held off all of Fosters challenges, and he had to work hard in Butterfly and Backstroke keep Club-mate Joseph Bulman in Bronze medal place.

Gibson put on a dazzling display in the 50 Breaststroke where he too battled it out with Jardine and using all his skill and elegant stroke pattern piled on the pressure. Out of his turn he put in another injection of pace and hitting the finish perfectly in 40.35 took gold with Jardine in Silver and Foster picking up bronze. Gibson went on to take a well earned Bronze in the 100 Individual Medley.

10yr old Annie Bottomley gave a superb display in the 50 Butterfly, taking command and dictating the pace from the start. A steady first length took her into the turn and out of transition she drove for the finish. With perfect timing she took the Gold in 38.80 and then followed up with a pair of Bronze medals from her 50 Freestyle and 100 Individual Medley.

To complete Kendal’s haul Kate Collin snatched the Bronze medal at 50 Breaststroke with a superb effort making the Meet a highly satisfactory outcome for the Club.