BRAINTREE and Bocking Swimming Club youngsters shone as they took on the best in the region at the Eastern Age Group Championships.

Sophie Clerkin competed in six events, making four finals, with the 13-year-old’s best finish being a fourth place in the 50 metre Freestyle as she was agonisingly close to a medal.

She also made the finals of the 100m Freestyle, 100m Breaststroke and 50m Backstroke.

Thomas Underdown had a packed schedule, swimming in the 50m, 100m, and 200m Breaststroke and the 50m, 100m and 200m Backstroke.

In the 50m Breaststroke, there were strong swims from Hollie Heighes, Ella Greatbach and Marcie Aley, who also raced the 200m Breaststroke, while Finley Petts and Sophie Ball swam the 50m Butterfly and Collin Okusaga and Sophie O’Rorke competed in the 50m Freestyle.

Harry Rose, swimming as an 11 year old in the mixed 11/12 age group, competed in the 50m Backstroke.

Braintree head coach Erica Johnson said: “It was a busy weekend of racing and we were really pleased to have ten swimmers qualify for regionals this year.

“For swimmers to be close to their best times in a long course pool was amazing, especially as many of them had never competed at regional level before.”

Braintree & Bocking also sent six swimmers to the Regional Youth Championships in Luton, with two - Samuel Rennie and Morgan Foster - making multiple finals.

Rennie, who is 15, achieved fifth place in both his finals, in the 100m and 200m Breaststroke, while 16-year-old Foster finished fifth in the 200m Individual Medley and seventh in the 50m Freestyle.

He also finished eighth in the 200m Butterfly.

Foster also swam in the 50m Backstroke, 50m and 100m Butterfly, 100m Freestyle and 50m Breaststroke.

Charles Rennie and Lee Peterson competed in the 50m Breaststroke in the Open age group, with Charles also swimming the 100m and 200m Breaststroke and Peterson the 100m Breaststroke.

Charlie Boden competed in the 50m Backstroke and 100m Butterfly while the only female to qualify, Nancy Neave, competed in the 15-years age group in the 50m and 100m Butterfly and 50m Freestyle, placing in the top 20 in each of her events.