A SUCCESSFUL trip to Whitehaven brought Kendal swimmers a host of medals and personal best times.

Competing in a graded gala consisting mostly of middle distance events organised by Copeland Swimming Club, the stand out performer was 12-year-old Joel Saunders who added a gold, silver and bronze to his collection.

His 100m breaststroke was pure class.

Saunders got off to a brilliant start and was quickly into his stroke pattern, setting a devastating pace which took him into an early lead.

Out of his 50 turn, he had a clear three second lead and despite spirited challenges from club mate Evan Dart he hit the pads in a winning time of 1:35.70.

His 100 freestyle was another fine effort and though he was up against an outstanding Cockermouth swimmer and had to accept a minor place, he showed pure determination and over the last length charged through to take a well deserved silver medal in 1:17.22.

Saunders then crowned a successful say when he went on to produce a super all round swim in the 100 individual medley where he took full advantage in the breaststroke leg to clinch a bronze medal, and he then completed his programme with highly competent efforts at 50 and 200 freestyle and 100 backstroke.

Charlotte Stainer was also in dazzling form, especially in the 100 butterfly where the 11-year-old reigned supreme.

And the race was a great triumph for the Kendal girls as Stainer and Emma Duxbury battled it out with Cockermouth’s Rosie Horton for the medals.

Stainer immediately put herself in front and dominated the pace, with Duxbury and Horton shoulder to shoulder, and at the 50 split Stainer was in full command and Duxbury had opened up a gap over Horton.

The next 50 saw the girls maintain these positions right to the finish with Stainer lifting gold and Duxbury silver.

Stainer went on to win bronze at 100 freestyle and both girls were to achieve pbs in a number of other events.

Dart had a day of mixed fortune whereby having taken silver at 100 breaststroke the 12-year-old added a bronze medal with a superb effort in the 100 backstroke.

However his luck changed and he found himself having to settle for fourth place in four other events despite some valiant efforts and immaculate swims.

Another of the club's rising stars is Anna Roberts who was never outside the top four in all her events.

She opened with an outstanding demonstration of all round swimming with a bronze medal in the 200 individual medley and followed this up with another bronze in a storming finish in the 100 breaststroke following a well judged race.

A test of her sprinting ability followed and again she was able to take the bronze medal hitting the pads in a blanket finish in 38.50.

Kendal’s other medal win came from breaststroke specialist Chloe Westmorland who engaged in a tremendous effort with Penrith’s Caitlin Padgett for the honours.

They were shoulder to shoulder into the final length but Westmorland was edged out and had to settle for the silver medal with a brilliant time of 1:31.90.