Four young swimmers from Waverley Abbey School, Tilford have been crowned Surrey county champions in the 2018 English Schools Swimming Association (ESSA) open schools boys freestyle relay.

On Saturday, March 17 at the Guildford Spectrum, a Waverley Abbey team of Jamie Pickering (of the City Of Guildford Swimming Club), Oliver Sneath (Rushmoor Royals SC), Julius Uprichard (Rushmoor Royals SC ) and Ethan Binding (Farnham SC) powered their way to victory in a time of 1.03.69.

The team, all year six pupils at the Tilford junior school, now progress to the southern region qualifiers taking place at the Spectrum in mid-May, with the ultimate aim of making the ESSA national finals in Sheffield in June.

The high of the night was unfortunately tempered by the result in the open boys medley team race, however. Having thought they had secured silver and a second qualifying place for the May regionals, the team of Julius Uprichard, Rory Shayler (of Alton SC), Jamie Pickering and Ethan Binding were then to find out that they had been disqualified on a changeover technicality.

A school spokesman said: "These are the highs and lows of sport but the way the boys took the referee’s decision was a credit to themselves and the school.

"A great effort on the night and a wonderful memory for the boys, school coach Mr Cassim, parents, Waverley Abbey School and their associated swimming clubs."