THERE was a last chance of 2019 for Kendal swimmers to log county and regional qualifying times for next year when they attended Cumbria’s winter meet held in Carlisle.

And the 50 strong contingent grasped the opportunity with both hands, showing some top form to pull off some amazing swims and produce a mass of outstanding results.

Not only did they win a total of 20 gold medals, but seven of the squad qualified for the 202 Swim England North West Regional Championships.

James Escolme was a real star, setting the trend with an outstanding six golds and three silvers together with pbs and qualifying times for six regional events.

He completely dominated the 100 and 200 backstroke races, taking an early lead he never looked likely to lose.

His 100 individual medley also proved to be a masterpiece of all round swimming whilst in the 200 breaststroke he reigned supreme.

Escolme then turned to sprinting and over 50m he completely outclassed his rivals and he kept up the momentum in the 100 butterfly where he won by three clear seconds.

The Roberts sisters Sophie and Anna also shone, taking home 12 medals between them.

Anna was at her best at breaststroke with stunning victories in the 50 and 100 but had to settle for silver in the more challenging 200.

Her 100 individual medley then brought her another superb win.

The 50 freestyle sprint produced an exciting blanket finish with Roberts just getting the winning touch by a fraction.

Her 200 breaststroke had her locked in a tremendous battle with Cockermouth’s Rachel Lewis and though both swimmers clocked 3:31, Roberts had to be content this time with silver.

But the shorter distances were different and in the 50 sprint burned off the opposition with a devastating swim, before storming to another win over Lewis in the 100m race.

Sister Sophie, a butterfly specialist, produced her usual superb talent and technique to take gold in the 50 sprint in a regional time 32.23, then won the 100m in a time of 1:14.15.

Still on a high, she stormed to another brilliant win and regional time in the 100 freestyle and went on to take silver at 50 freestyle where her time of 29.56 proved to be another regional qualifier.

Evelynn Atkinson and club mate Emma Duxbury put on a magnificent show in the 200 butterfly which Atkinson just edged.

She then added further gold with a fine effort in the gruelling 400 individual medley, whilst Duxbury added another silver to her score for 100 butterfly together with a pair of bronze medals in her other events.

Isabelle Wall-Budden once again displayed her strength and power in the water, especially at freestyle.

The 50 sprint saw her just miss gold by a fraction, but her time of 30.66 earned her a first time visit at regional level.

Then in the 100 she got a brilliant start then launched a stunning attack to which her opponents had no answer and snatched a well deserved gold in a grandstand finish.

Wall-Budden went on to earn another silver and three bronze medals for her efforts.

The Gibson family also had a highly successful meet with Sophie moving up a gear in the 200 breaststroke to take the gold and book her regional place with a time of 2:52.79.

She then added a further three bronze medals to her name.

Brother Matthew ground out a brilliant win at 200 breaststroke but could only take silver in the 100.

However both his times proved to be regional qualifiers and three more silver medals brought him great satisfaction.

Another magnificent performance came from Chloe Westmorland in the 200 breaststroke.

Getting into her stroke pattern, she inched her way into the lead and drove to a brilliant win in a time which earned her that coveted regional place.

Kendal’s other gold medal went to the up and coming Jake Smith who was competing for his first time at county level, and he went on to take a silver and two bronze.

Though outside the medal winners in the 14/over group Adam Stansfield had a great result with his regional time of 29.81 in the 50 butterfly, and a host of minor place medals completed a great day for the Kendal club.