Five golds among the medals for Pugh at Midland championships

VALE swimmers Tazmin Pugh and Harry Bamforth did Ellesmere College Titans proud at the Midland Age Group Championships in Coventry.

The Shropshire club won 22 golds among a haul of 45 medals to top the West Midlands table and finish second overall behind Nottinghamshire's Nova Centurian.

Pugh claimed the overall British Age Group Categories (BAGCAT) title with 2,806 points, which was more than 100 ahead of her nearest rival.

The Pershore prospect, 14, led Titans off in the 4x200-metre freestyle as they took silver in eight minutes 47.99 seconds and secured a national place for the summer.

The girls were fourth in 4.07.82 in the 4 x100m freestyle and fifth in the 4x100m medley in 4.30.42 with Pugh recording the quickest legs.

She rewarded her coaching team with a medal in every one of her 10 individual events.

Her first of five golds came in the 100m butterfly in a new long-course pb of 1.03.75 to consolidate first place in the United Kingdom rankings.

Pugh took gold in the 200m individual medley in 2.24.69, rising to sixth in the UK, and won the 800m freestyle narrowly.

In the gruelling 400m individual medley, Pugh recorded a pb in 4.56.98, beating an English international by more than three seconds and rising to first in the UK rankings.

She set another pb in the 200m butterfly in 2.17.98 and rose to first in the UK rankings.

Three silver medals came in the 200m backstroke (2.24.17 and ninth in the UK), 200m freestyle (2.07.47 and second in the UK) and 100m backstroke (1.07.85).

Pugh bagged bronze in the 100m freestyle with 1.01.08 and secured the same medal in the 400m freestyle, climbing to seventh in the UK.

She is now looking forward to the national championships.

Bamforth, 13, set pbs with 2.28.04 in the 200m backstroke, 1.01.86 in the 100m freestyle and 4.34.39 in the 400m freestyle.

Feeling under the weather during the second weekend, Bamforth was close to pbs in the 400m individual medley, 100m backstroke and 200m freestyle.

His main hope of making the national qualifying time in the 1,500m freestyle drifted away but he managed a pb in the 200m individual medley of 2.35.42.

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