A TALENTED eight-strong team from New Earswick Swimming Club bridged an eight-year gap in the three-day 2009 Scottish Short Course National Championships.

The York club sent the members of their senior performance squad to Glasgow to represent the club in a national championship for the first time since 2001.

James Richards, New Earswick’s director of coaching, said: “Thanks to the strong partnership between New Earswick Swimming Club and the Ebor School Sports Partnership, the club were able to provide its swimmers with the opportunity to compete in a national championship.

“The kids’ efforts in training have been rewarded with the great results obtained in Glasgow.”

The first event of the competition was the men’s 50 metres freestyle event, in which New Earswick’s Jonathon Woodford, 16, (26.98 seconds), 17-year-old Bob Hunt (26.57), Ian Smithson, 23, (26.18) and 16-year-old Thomas Eaton (25.71) set the standard.

Woodford made a rapid return to the water as he lowered his short course personal best time in the 100m butterfly event. Woodford finished 72nd in a time of one minute 06.42 seconds.

Amy-Louise Taylor, the only female representative from the club, recorded her first personal best time of the competition in the women’s 50m backstroke. She finished 32nd in a time of 33.97.

Kristian Newby, 15, also recorded a personal best time in his first event – the men’s 50m breaststroke, finishing 31st in 33.07.

In the men’s 100m individual medley event, Smithson established himself as the club’s best all-round swimmer as he finished two seconds ahead of his team-mates in a time of 1-06.16.

Liam Killen, 17, recorded a personal best of 1-08.66 and Hunt finished 57th in 1-11.12. Newby recorded another personal best as he touched home in 1-11.67.

The club’s medley relay teams performed exceptionally well against some of Scotland’s best teams.

The ‘B’ team of 17-year-old Patrick Good (backstroke), Newby (breaststroke), Smithson (fly) and James Richards (freestyle) finished 23rd in 2-00.35, while the ‘A’ team of Tom Eaton (backstroke), Killen (breaststroke), Woodford (fly) and Hunt (freestyle) were 20th in 1-57.22.

Taylor kicked off day two by clocking 29.99 in the women’s 50m freestyle event – only the second time she has broken the 30-second barrier.

The men’s 100m breaststroke saw a tough battle between Newby and Killen. Killen finished 49th in 1-15.93, while Newby was 51st in 1-16.99.

Eaton then reached the final of the men’s 50m backstroke, clocking 30.02 in his heat. In the final he recorded a personal best of 29.40.

In the same event, Woodford (32.32) finished 52nd and Good (32.43) was 53rd.

Smithson, Woodford and Eaton were up against 2008 Olympic swimmer Robbie Renwick in the 100m freestyle. Smithson (57.58) finished 81st, Woodford (58.57) was 89th in a personal best time and Eaton (58.76) came home 91st.

Good completed the men’s 1,500m freestyle event in style to record a new personal best of 20-03.56 to finish 15th.

Taylor, 14, rounded off her performances by equalling her personal best for the 100m individual medley, touching home in 1-17.76 to finish 77th.

Meanwhile, the senior performance squad are now preparing for next month’s Yorkshire County Championships.

The majority of swimmers from this squad will be chasing British Championship and English National qualifying times.