On Saturday 26th September, the Stockport Metro synchro team competed at the combined North West and North East Regional Finals, held at Ponds Forge, Sheffield. In a dominant display, Metro came away with a clutch of medals across all disciplines.
As with all synchro competitions, the day started quietly with the all-important figures contest, where swimmers are tested on specific skills, and scores make up half the overall score in the subsequent routines. Metro started strongly in the 13 to 15 years category, bagging the top six places in the North West, courtesy of Sophie Freeman, Ashley Pearson, Rachael Mellor, Lucy Elliott, Victoria Hartley and Kate Urwin respectively. The senior swimmers followed, with convincing performances from Roisin Mooney (5th), Clidna Bailey Doyle (7th) and Niamh Hanly (8th).
After lunch, the solos contest marked the beginning of a swathe of Metro routines filled with drama and energy. The 13 to 15 year olds achieved another clean sweep, with Sophie Freeman taking gold (scoring 123.5), Ashley Pearson, silver (120.0) and Rachael Mellor, bronze (113.2).
Remarkably, this age group repeated this feat in the duet competition. With a strong technical interpretation of their ‘Spanish Guitar Medley’, Sophie and Ashley struck gold with a score of 120.8. A cheeky performance of ‘Bills’ earned Lucy Elliott and Victoria Hartley silver with 113.2 points, while Rachael Mellor and Kate Urwin added continental flavour with a stylish French number to secure bronze scoring 112.3.
When the time came for the team routines, the noisy Metro supporters were ready for a big finish. The under 12’s (Chiara Pozzoni, Clara Harrison, Elise Almond, Emily McCormack, Evie Walker, Jasmine Jones & Lia Harding) led the way with bronze in the free routine behind Salford and Preston. Then came the 13 to 15 years (Ashley Pearson, Hannah Bates, Kate Urwin, Lucy Elliott, Rachael Mellor, Sophie Freeman & Victoria Hartley) with another gold. The 12 and under combination team, swimming to Kung Fu Panda performed an excellent routine (Olivia Proctor, Eleanor Blackledge, Emily Jackson,Millie Hall, Grace Lu, Ruby Parry, Laura George) earning them silver medals. To enter as a combination team brilliant solo, trio and duet parts were performed by Olivia, Grace and Millie. The under 19’s team (Clidna Bailey Doyle, Megan Crewe Meaney, Niamh Hanly, Charlotte McDowell, Roisin Mooney, Robyn Neale, Emily Hirst, Melika Rahimishad, Alex Taylor & Holly Thompson) ended a long, but rewarding day with a silver medal in the free combination.
Congratulations go to all the swimmers, some whom were competing for the first time, and thanks go to all the Stockport Metro coaches, officials, helpers and supporters.