The second weekend of the Lancashire County Swimming Championships kicked off much as the first had ended, with Manx success. 

The inspirational Laura Kinley qualified fastest for the senior 100-metres breaststroke final in a storming 1min 12.17sec, while the in-form Ellie Johnson reduced her lifetime best down to a very respectable 1.24.29. 

In the final, Kinley delivered another classy swim to claim the gold medal. 

The age-groups saw Zoe Neuwirt recording a lifetime best for ninth place in the 14-year-olds, while Chloe Batty knocked two seconds off her pb to clock 1.25.44 in the 16-year-olds. 

Carter Kneale was the only Manx swimmer to take on the tough 400m individual medley, earning a new personal best of 5.54.26 and a fantastic fifth place in the 13-year-olds category in the process. 

Lancs Swimming

The 200m free saw Lauren Dennett shine. Swimming in the 15-year-old age group, she impressed with a 2.11.03 lifetime best to take a brilliant bronze medal. 

In the age-groups, Olivia Wiliamson (2.31.75/11th), Zoe Neuwirt (2.27.10/17th) and Holly McEvoy (2.27.84) all had superb swims in personal best times. 

The Manx medal rush continued with Charlie Foster’s outstanding swim in the age-16 200m backstroke where he finished in 2.21.7 to claim the silver medal. 

Jamie Farnan also swam well for eighth place in the age 14 final, a four-second lifetime best of 2.38.45. But his best result of the championships came in the 1500m where he recorded a rapid 18.38.9 to take a very well-deserved gold medal. 

Dennett also had a good 1500m swim, clocking 18.23 for the age 15 silver medal, second only to British senior champion Amelie Blocksidge. 

Ed Pearson swam a well-paced race to take silver in the age 13 race. Pearson needed to dig deep to come out on top of a prolonged battle with Everton’s Jacob Irving, ultimately holding him off by a three-second margin to finish in 19.43. 

Thomas McEvoy kicked off the 100m breaststroke performances in style with a personal best 1.47.3 for 13th place. Farnan, Josh Hollamby and Carter Kneale all made their respective finals, Kneale and Farnan qualifying fourth fastest, clocking 1.25.30 and 1.22.80 respectively, while Hollamby was eighth fastest in a rapid 1.18.34. 

Jacob Brookes swam a two-second personal best in the seniors for a speedy 1.15.45, while 17-year-old Zack Bellhouse also had a great swim with a remarkable three-second personal best of 1.17.18.  Also noteworthy was Adam Shuttleworth’s eight seconds improvement to 1.19.43. 

Despite tiredness understandably creeping in, there was no slip in standards in the finals. In the 16-year-olds, Hollamby had a good swim to finish seventh.

Kneale churned out yet another personal best time of 1.24.78 in the age 13 final to finish fourth fastest in Lancashire, while Farnan had an excellent swim to reduce his lifetime best down to 1.19.55 and finish fourth fastest in the 14-year-olds. 

On the Sunday, Pearson and Kneale matched each other stroke-for-stroke in the 200m freestyle.  

Kneale narrowly touched ahead, but both recorded lifetime bests.  

Foster had a fine swim in the 16-year-olds to place 11th in 2.12.41, with Hollamby not far behind in 16th, while Tom Caine clocked a swift 2.10.76 in the seniors.  

In the 200m backstroke, Libby Curphey took a fine fifth place in the 15-year-olds in 2.32.12, while Kaya Reynolds knocked a further two seconds off her best. 

Lancs champs
Charlie Foster produced an outstanding swim in the age-16 200m backstroke to claim the silver medal (IoM Swimming)

Oscar Maddrell made his Lancashire debut in the 100m backstroke and recorded a speedy 1.25.88, while Kneale also set a new best in the 13-year-olds, touching in 1.18.68 for 11th place. Farnan qualified eighth for the 14-years final in 1.15.17, while Foster clocked a very impressive lifetime best of 1.05.43 for fifth in the 16-year-olds. 

In the seniors, Tom Caine swam well to claim 21st in 1.10.53. Farnan recorded another best of 1.14.21 for eighth place in the final, while Foster improved further to 1.05.20 and fifth place. 

New lifetime bests proliferated in the women’s 50m freestyle on the Sunday morning. 

Williamson’s 30.80 seconds was outstanding in the 13-year-olds, while McEvoy (16s) and Neuwirt (14s) both recorded 30.53. 

The Guernsey Island Games contingent did not disappoint with their swims: Dennett’s rapid new best of 28.75 seeing her head into the final third fastest, narrowly ahead of Curphey in 29.65 in a strong ninth. Batty had a very speedy 28.54 heats swim, finishing third fastest 16-year-old. 

In the seniors, Johnson was just outside her recent personal best in 30.27, while Kinley qualified fourth fastest for the final. 

Laura Kinley with her medals from the second weekend of the Lancashire championships (-)

Williamson chalked up another personal best in the age-13 final with a swift 30.61 to place fifth, followed by. Dennett who swam with her usual determination to finish fourth in the age-15s. 

From there it only got better, with Batty knocking another chunk off her best in clocking 28.42 for a brilliant age-16 bronze, while Kinley showed her class in upping her game to take the senior silver medal in 27.33. 

Continued in next week’s Isle of Man Examiner.