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Titles galore for Town

PUBLISHED: 15:37 02 April 2010 | UPDATED: 21:47 02 July 2010

ROMFORD TOWN picked up a further 17 county titles in a 46-medal haul, but came up just short in their bid for the top club prize at the Essex Age Group Championships at Blackshots last weekend. Sean Houlihan walked off with the Captains Trophy as the even

ROMFORD TOWN picked up a further 17 county titles in a 46-medal haul, but came up just short in their bid for the top club prize at the Essex Age Group Championships at Blackshots last weekend.

Sean Houlihan walked off with the Captains Trophy as the event's Top Performer as Elena Sheridan, Holly Hildrew and Daniel Stepton topped their respective age groups.

But Town could not prize the top award away from holders and final round hosts Thurrock.

Stepton began with a personal best in the 100m butterfly heats and won bronze in the final, before adding silver in the 200m freestyle and gold in 200m backstroke.

Another silver followed in the 100m medley, before Stepton won the 200m medley and rounded off a fine display with his third win of the weekend in the 100m freestyle

Stepton qualified fifth fastest, but was among the front runners at the midway mark and produced a storming finish to win in a new best of 52.80secs.

Houlihan, 14, claimed a golden hat-trick of his own, after leading the 200m breaststroke from start to finish to win in 2mins 34.10secs.

After 200m butterfly bronze and 100m backstroke silver, Houlihan edged out Epping's Lee Baker in the 200m freestyle for his second win and completed his treble in some comfort in the 400m freestyle.

Harry Coker smashed his best by five seconds in the 200m butterfly to come within a stroke of an upset as he took silver in 2:19.04.

George Foley added a pair of bronze medals in 200m and 400m freestyle and was fifth in his 200m butterfly.

Sheridan was short of her best, after a shoulder injury, but still did enough to win her 400m medley and added the 200m butterfly in an event best time of 2:20.12.

A third win followed in the 100m freestyle and, after finishing fourth over 400m, Sheridan added another gold and event record of 2:24.42 in the 200m medley.

Betheney Hall, 14, picked up bronze medals in the 400m medley and 100m freestyle.

Hildrew won all three of her swims in the 10-year-old section.

A strong start saw her in complete control of the 400m freestyle and a good breaststroke leg led to another victory in the 200m medley.

Hildrew produced her best swim of the championships to make it a golden treble in the 200m butterfly in a time of 2:50.64.

Sam Ellis was a surprise package in the boys competition as he eased his way through the field in the 200m breaststroke to secure his first county title.

Ellis was also fourth in the 200m backstroke and had a top-six finish in the 200m medley, while Aiden Jackson took breaststroke bronze ahead of Mitchell Wilson, who had another fourth place in the medley.

Calum Connelly, 11, had to fight for his two gold medals, going to the front after the breaststroke leg of the 200m medley and holding off his Thurrock rival, before adding the 200m breaststroke title.

Silvers in the 400m medley - in a national qualifying time - and 50m breaststroke completed a good haul for Connelly, who finished just outside the medals in the 200m backstroke.

Clubmate Jake Ayling added bronze medals behind Connelly in both the medley swims and had four top-six finishes as well.

Harry Taylor was the pick of Town's nine-year-old boys as he won silver in the 200m breaststroke, while combining with David Brooks and Jack Rice for six top-six spots.

Brock Whiston, 13, maintained her excellent championship form with silver medals and personal bests in the 200m and 400m medleys before a last-gasp gold medal in the 100m butterfly, where she dipped under 1min 10secs for the first time.

And Whiston had to settle for a third silver in the 100m breaststroke, where she missed out on gold by 0.04secs.

Sophie Ward, 11, took silver in her 100m and 200m butterfly swims, but just missed out on a bronze in the 400m medley despite a strong butterfly leg.

Training partner Bethany Moore grabbed silver in the 100m freestyle and was behind Ward in third in the 100m butterfly.

Victoria Christmas won bronze in the 12-year-old girls 100m freestyle and was fourth in the 400m medley, while Harriette Davis took bronze in each of her medley events and Louise Harrington added silver in the 200m butterfly.

Davis and Harrington were fourth in their respective 100m and 400m freestyle swims.

Strong swims in the 100m and 400m freestyle earned Nicole Raymond, 17, a pair of bronze medals and she was fourth in the 200m medley.

Other Town swimmers to claim top-six finishes and vital points for the overall tally included: Amy Beardwell-Lacey, Rachel Welsh, Rosie Webber, Amy Gore, Sam Bishop, William Manning, Luke Sheridan, Anna Manning, Tom Clark, Charles Sturley, Amy Harris and Jodi Whitehead.


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