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Warriors hit the heights at club gala
DISABILITY swimmers were included for the first time as West Dorset Warriors held another Steps Gala for youngsters.
Four disabled club members took up the challenge of racing against each other in 25m backstroke and freestyle races and were cheered all the way by the spectators at Dorchester Leisure Centre.
Sam Collins, Sam Gilmour, Logan Hansford and Ryan Reid all swam exceptionally well with Collins first in the backstroke and Gilmour winning the freestyle event.
Disability coach Chris Fry was proud of all the swimmers and the Warriors look forward to including them in all future Steps Galas.
In all, the gala witnessed 200 personal best times with Daniel Sheehy knocking 13 seconds off his previous record for the 25m backstroke and Gemma Wyatt improved her 50m breaststroke time by more than six seconds.
In the Minnows, Hannah Jeanes won both the 25m backstroke and freestyle while for the boys, Ry Gerety, in his first Steps Gala, won the 25m backstroke with Robert Locasio finishing on top of the podium in the freestyle.
The Steps One group saw close competition in both girls’ and boys’ races, with no one swimmer claiming first in more than one event.
Zaiya Hollander-Kettle won the girls’ 25m backstroke, Alice Bendell the freestyle and Millie Cullinane the breaststroke and in the boys’ races, Finn Sanderson had to improve his 25m backstroke best by 18 seconds to win that race with Matty Taylor claiming first in the breaststroke.
Oliver Gordon swam well against strong competition to win the freestyle.
Steps Two saw Lauren McRobbie dominate the girls’ events with a hat-trick of wins in backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle and a second in the butterfly.
Jessica Mead foiled Lauren’s bid for a fourth success by winning the butterfly. Bailey Cooper (backstroke) and Anna Lamperelli (breaststroke) claimed second places.
Finley Morrison dominated Steps Two Boys with a treble (25m backstroke and butterfly, 50m freestyle) while Aiden Gannon won the breaststroke with second in backstroke and third in freestyle.
In the Steps Three there was a close battle between Millie Hambledon-White and Isabel Heape.
Millie won the 50m backstroke and breaststroke with Isabel first in the freestyle and butterfly. Rebecca Warland was close behind with a hat-trick of third places and second in butterfly.
Ethan Carter swam well to earn three first places (backstroke, freestyle and breaststroke) in Step Three Boys, Daniel Horne came out on top in butterfly and Thomas Brock earned a brace of second places in backstroke and freestyle.
Steps Four Girls continued the tradition of very close competition with Chloe Hedges winning both 50m backstroke and freestyle.
Alice Cullinane took the breaststroke with Grace Sheehy winning the butterfly and Phoebe Kelman-Johns swam well against older competition to come second in the backstroke.
There was no stopping Harry Wheeler in the boys’ races as he triumphed in all four disciplines, leaving George Green, Cameron Robinson and George Maslen to contest the other podium places.