A SQUAD of young swimmers from Ulverston Otters made the journey to Copeland to further hone their skills competing in an away gala, hoping to gain experience and improve on their p.bs and pick up a few medals at the same time.

Supporters were not disappointed as there were a host of superb performances all round.

The leading light proved to be 12-year-old Ethan Allpress, who throughout the day remained undefeated.

Contesting five events he was to prove victorious in every event, which qualified him for the ‘top boy’ trophy.

Opening his account with the 50 backstroke sprint he got a great start and out of transition put himself in a position for success. Gaining a slight advantage over the first length he then put in an immaculate turn and out of transition he began to dominate and increase his lead, which enabled him to take the win with a comfortable four-second gap ahead of his opponents.

His 50 breaststroke was a different matter as he became locked in a momentous battle for the lead with Cockermouth’s Robert Huggon. Shoulder to shoulder neither gave an inch and in a storming finish Allpress snatched the gold by a split second.

At 50 butterfly he reigned supreme, taking his third gold with a swim where he had too much skill for his rivals to match. Moving on to the 100 individual medley, Alpress was impressive with his all-round skills and despite serious challenges from Huggon he held his nerve to add another gold to his score.

His final effort was the 50 freestyle sprint and off the block he quickly got into his stroke pattern and piled on the pressure. A brilliant turn and transition brought him clear of the field and from there he went on to triumph in a storming finish.

Nine-year-old Marley Griffiths got a huge boost to his career, picking up three medals with some super swims.

Taking gold at 50 backstroke he lead them out from the start, took command and set a pace that gradually pulled him well clear and he drove to the finish with a fair degree of ease. Following that result he then set about the 50 freestyle, but in a blanket finish had to settle for silver.

A bronze to complete his clutch came from a fine effort in the 50 breaststroke where he worked hard to maintain his place right to the finish.

Maizie Scales had a well-earned win also at 50 breaststroke, taking it on with her elegant stroke pattern and saving her exertions for the final length. Out of her turn she stayed completely composed, then moved up a gear and finished just ahead of her nearest challenger.

The 100 individual medley produced a fascinating race, with two leaders getting away from the pack, leaving Scales battling it out with two opponents for the bronze medal. Stroke for stroke no one would break and in the rush for the finish Scales just managed to touch out the others for that vital third place. A delightful swim in the 50 backstroke brought her another bronze medal, fighting off two other challengers finishing on similar times.

Three other otters, Isaac Tizzard – 50 freestyle, Orna Lett – 50 butterfly and Annabel Crayston – 50 butterfly won bronze medals, whilst Nathan Lee Cheong, Malachy Kenny, Seth Kelly and Nighunth Arun swam well up to form.