Burnley Bobcats impress in elite company in British Gas Championships

Thomas Hamer, William Murray and Katie Rennolds
Thomas Hamer, William Murray and Katie Rennolds

Three Burnley Bobcats swimmers recently qualified for the British Gas Championships at Tollcross, Glasgow.

There they competed against top swimmers, including Lauren Quigley, Jazz Carlin, Lizzie Simmonds, Fran Halsall, Ross Murdoch, Roberto Pavoni, Michael Jamieson and Liam Tancock to name but a few, and watched British records fall.

Bobcat swimmer, 15-year-old Katie Rennolds, a Year 11 student at St Christopher’s CESchool, Accrington, swam on the opening day of the competition in the 200m freestyle event, recording a time of 2.08.19 to finish 15th.

On day three, Thomas Hamer, also 15, and a Year 11 student atAlder Grange Community Technology School, Rawtenstall, competed as an S14 swimmer in the 200m freestyle event and produced a personal best time of 2.02.60 to take him into the final.

He swam an excellent final and another personal best of 2.01.91 to win a gold medal and earn himself a qualifying time for this year’s Commonwealth Games in his S14 category.

After an astonishing race, Thomas said: “I feel fantastic. It would be a brilliant opportunity to represent England this summer. Swimming against guys that have been to the World champs was great. The aim is now to go under two minutes and swim a 1.59.00.”

Thomas remained in Glasgow to swim at the British Para Swimming International Meet, earning himself medals in his S14 category events and a place on the GB Team at the European Championships in August in Eindhoven, Netherlands.

William Murray, 16. and a Year 11 student at Bowland High School, Clitheroe also took to the blocks on the third day of the competition in the Open Mens 100m freestyle, and produced an excellent time of 53.54.

Katie Rennolds swam for the second time on the fourth day of the competition in the 800m freestyle. where she swam a fantastic race in a time of 9.14.84, narrowly missing out on a place in the final by hundredths of a second and was placed in ninth in her age group.

The following day Katie swam in the 200m butterfly event in a personal best time of 2.20.00 and for the second time in two days she narrowly missed out on the final, being placed in ninth.

On the last day of the competition Katie swam in the 400m freestyle event, brushing shoulders with the 400m freestyle Open winner Jazmin Carlin, and was placed in 12th.

Head coach Mike Robinson said: “This was a fantastic experience for all three swimmers.”