Brilliant Blue Fins win 19 golds at county championships

The Bicester Blue Fins squad that won 19 golds in the Oxfordshire and North Bucks Swimming Championships
The Bicester Blue Fins squad that won 19 golds in the Oxfordshire and North Bucks Swimming Championships

Bicester Blue Fins achieved their most successful ever Oxfordshire & North Bucks County Swimming Championships as the event came to a close after four weekends of intense competition.

The 46-swimmer squad, sponsored for the first time by Bicester Village, racked up the highest number of golds in their 64-year history to finish fifth in the club standards.

Blue Fins took home 19 gold, 20 silver and 24 bronze medals with 62 club records broken, while four swimmers delivered Best Meet Times, setting the benchmark for next year’s championships.

Bicester boasts the two best 14-year-old boys in the country as Kieran Bird rounded off an outstanding competition by winning gold in the 200m individual medley, plus a silver and two bronzes, taking his tally to six first places. He was also second in the junior championship for both the 200m individual medley and 100m breaststroke.

Fellow national swimmer Tom Thornley stormed to second place overall in the 14-year-old championship and picked up two further gold medals in the 50m and 200m backstroke.

Elsewhere, Freddie Ashley-Sparks won his fourth gold in the 50m butterfly and finished fourth overall in the 11-year-old standings, Lottie Wynne-Jones was confirmed runner-up in the 10-year-old girls category after an impressive total of 13 top three finishes in 13 events, and 12-year-old Oliver Iness took home an additional three silvers and a bronze, putting him third.

Other medal winners were: William Whitley (gold), Maddy Powell (two silvers and a bronze), Tabitha Watkins (silver), Ellie Bunce (silver), Liam O’Brien (silver), Tom Nolte (two bronzes) and Ellie Falkner (two bronzes).

Blue Fins head coach, Struan McNeil, said: “The future is very bright for Bicester Blue Fins. Three swimmers qualifying for nationals is a testament to our swimmers hard work and we look forward to more of them achieving this level in the future.

“The improved performance at these county championships is something all the swimmers can feel rightly proud of.”