WEST Suffolk swimmers made the short journey to Newmarket to compete in the Suffolk County Development Championships last weekend.
This represented one of the first opportunities for the youngsters, many with little competition experience, to gain qualifying times for the 2013 Suffolk County Championships.
West Suffolk Swimming Club did not disappoint, bringing home a total haul of 23 gold, 27 silver and 14 bronze medals.
Star of the weekend was nine-year-old Ciaran Riches, in his first year of competition, who raced his way to three gold, two silver and three bronze placings, all in personal best times (pbs).
Thirteen-year-old recent regional qualifier Charlie Eshleby used this opportunity to compete in his weakest stroke, and surprised himself with three golds and three pbs in the breaststroke events.
Daniel Arbide, 12, continued his steady climb up the rankings with three gold medal performances in 100m breaststroke, freestyle and individual medley events.
Other gold medal winners were Lorna Wright and Gregory Buckle, achieving two each, with Robert Kimpton, Bethany Mottram, Ailsa Eshelby, Georgie Brittain, Bethany Little, Sancia Wheate, Ben Wilkinson, Clara Ryan, Finlay Drummond and Kerry Clarke each winning one.
Yet again this was a great performance from the West Suffolk team, finishing the weekend in second place behind the dominant Beccles.
Many of the West Suffolk swimmers will round off the 2011-12 season by competing at either the Cambridge Open Meet or the Regional Open Water Championships, both to be held on Sunday, July 17.
Development Championships club points: Beecles 214; West Suffolk 143; Leiston 132; Deben 107; Newmarket 99; Sudbury 87; Stowmarket 78; Felixstowe 70; St Felix 59; Lowestoft & OB 55; Mildenhall 35; Hadleigh nine.