Swimming one of the ‘cool kids’ at County Upper after success

TRAILBLAZERS: The nine County Upper and West Suffolk swimmers with team managers Pete Wortley and Elaine Bowen at the Aquatic Centre
TRAILBLAZERS: The nine County Upper and West Suffolk swimmers with team managers Pete Wortley and Elaine Bowen at the Aquatic Centre

County Upper School is basking in the glow of its recent swimming success, after competing in the national finals of the English Schools Championships for the first time.

Nine swimmers represented County Upper, one of the few comprehensive schools to qualify for the finals, held at the iconic London Aquatics Centre over the weekend.

IN THE GIRLS CORNER: The four County Upper and West Suffolk girls who made the national finals of the inter-school competition

IN THE GIRLS CORNER: The four County Upper and West Suffolk girls who made the national finals of the inter-school competition

It was the school’s first-ever appearance, after qualifying impressively through the regional round in October.

Swimming is now firmly on the sporting calendar at County Upper and the school will be entering a Suffolk schools’ gala in Ipswich in December.

The experience of the swimmers, who are all West Suffolk Swimming Club members, was enhanced by the GB squad practising behind them in the diving pool.

They enjoyed a 30-minute water acclimatisation session in the Olympic 50m swimming pool, followed by an afternoon of relay racing against some of the top swimming schools in England.

IN THE BOYS CORNER: The five County Upper and West Suffolk boys who made the national finals of the inter-school competition

IN THE BOYS CORNER: The five County Upper and West Suffolk boys who made the national finals of the inter-school competition

The boys and girls’ teams swam in both the Freestyle and Medley relays and finished a credible 12th and 14th out of 30 finalists respectively.

Both teams had qualified either first or second from the East Region in all four relays and outdid themselves as they swam personal bests.

The girls’ team consisted of of Ella Hale, Charlotte and Lucy Hudson, and Hannah O’Connor. The boys’ team, meanwhile, was made up of Sam Wortley, Alex Harrison, Ben Wilkinson, Taylor Bowen and Ollie Pyle.

Freestyle specialist, Ben Wilkinson said: “This is my first time competing in the Olympic Pool and it’s been great to swim with my mates.

“You certainly feel as though you are swimming faster in this pool.”