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County Upper School swimmers reach English Schools Swimming Association finals

PUBLISHED: 13:59 24 October 2017 | UPDATED: 13:59 24 October 2017

The County Upper School girls swimming team which will compete at the Olympic Park. Picture: BRENDON PYLE

The County Upper School girls swimming team which will compete at the Olympic Park. Picture: BRENDON PYLE

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Two squads from County Upper School in Bury St Edmunds have qualified for the English Schools Swimming Association finals at the London Aquatic Centre in the Olympic Park next month.

The County Upper School boys swimming team which will compete at the Olympic Park. Picture: BRENDON PYLE The County Upper School boys swimming team which will compete at the Olympic Park. Picture: BRENDON PYLE

This was the first time that the school has entered the competition and there were several notable achievements – the girls team won the regional round in Watford, while both the boys and girls relay teams qualified for the national final.

Perhaps most impressively, the girls team – consisting of Ella Hale, Hannah O’Connor, Charlotte Hudson and Lucy Hudson – won the regional qualifier in the 200m freestyle relay and qualified sixth fastest in the country.

They also came second in the 200m individual medley relay, while the boys team – Ollie Pyle, Sam Wortley, Alex Harrison and Taylor Bowen – qualified third in the 200m individual medley relay.

With the help of Ben Wilkinson, they also qualified for the national finals in the 200m freestyle relay.

All nine swimmers now get the chance to compete against some of the top swimming schools in the country such as Millfield, Mount Kelly and Plymouth College, who boast their own swimming pools on site and scholarship programmes in the sport.

Over 100 schools entered the competition nationally. It’s a sign of the remarkable success that the school have had that their four relay teams will go into the Olympic pool ranked no lower than 12th in England.

The opportunity for the pupils – all members of West Suffolk Swimming Club – was made possible by the inspiration of proud parent Elaine Bowen, who entered the teams in the regional rounds of the competition at Watford.

She said: “The kids don’t often get to represent their school in swimming so this is a fantastic achievement - I’m thrilled for them all, and the parents of course who now get to see their kids swim in the Olympic Pool!”

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