A NUMBER of Kendal swimmers moved up a level having qualified to compete at Manchester in the North West region's championships.

In the opening events for swimmers 15 years and over Kendal had five girls - Rosemary Swallow, Megan Jones, Bethan Rowley, Sophie Gibson and Lucy Sargeant - taking part and they all produced performances worthy of their standing among the elite of the big clubs.

Jones qualified for seven events and despite just being outside the medal list proved successful in reaching three finals. Her best effort came in the 200 individual medley where she finished fifth.

Another great effort came in the 200 breaststroke where she swam a brilliant tactical race, qualifying for the final as one of six swimmers who clocked under three minutes with a 2:57.63. In the final she found herself a little off the pace but still took sixth place.

She finished eighth in the 50 backstroke sprints before taking on the gruelling 400 individual medley and finished in seventh place in 5:40.74.

She completed her programme with fine efforts at 50 and 100 Breaststroke and 50 freestyle and was just outside those coveted final places.

Rosemary Swallow, 16, finished fourth in the 200 individual medley. She went on to give another powerful display in the 100 freestyle, just missing a place in the final by a fraction.

Gibson, swimming in her first Regionals, gained huge experience from her swims in the 50 and 100 Breaststroke.

Both Sargeant and Rowley were qualified for the sprints at 50 freestyle and 50 backstroke respectively. Both showed the form that got them there and with brilliant starts and transitions they worked hard to stay with the pace. Into the last 25 they both made excellent challenges and timed their finishes to perfection, giving them satisfactory places and times.

Another Kendal swimmer making his debut was Adam Stansfield in the 50 freestyle sprint. In a large field he gained a highly commendable place. He then took on the 50 backstroke sprint where was was just outside the medals.

Max Ainsworth was also contesting the 50 breaststroke and although he missed the finals his heat time of 36.26 was up to his personal best time.