KNUTSFORD Vikings swimmers won more than a dozen races at the first Crusader League gala of the year last week.

Their points haul, boosted by victory in six relay races, put them top of the standings ahead of rivals Halton, Buxton and Market Drayton, leaving head coach Steve Parry impressed.

“Our swimmers are gaining more personal best times than ever,” he said.

“We’re seeing a bigger pool of our swimmers gaining enough confidence in their ability to test themselves at hugely competitive galas.

“As a result, the team is winning more medals than before and securing excellent results.”

Knutsford sent a 36-strong team to the regional event, some of those making their first competitive appearance in the club’s colours.

In 51 races, Vikings members were winners in 13 individual categories and half a dozen collective ones.

Of the latter, Knutsford’s win in the eight-length freestyle cannon relay was key to their success as it earned double points.

The victorious under 10s girls’ quartet, consisting of Grace Hargreaves, Olivia Granger, Lexie McIntosh and Isabelle Hulme, included three gala first-timers.

Adam Frost led the way with three individual wins – in the open boys 100m breaststroke, freestyle and IM – while there were race victories too for Olivia Granger (under 10s girls’ 50m breaststroke), George Frost (under 14s boys’ 50m freestyle and fly), Lexie McIntosh (under 10s girls’ 50m fly) and Beth Simms (under 14s girls’ 50m backstroke).

The winners’ list is completed by Sam Jones (under 14s boys’ 50m backstroke and breaststroke), Ellen Thomas (under 12s girls’ 50m breaststroke), Flo Thwaites-Miles (open girls 100m freestyle) and Megan Thomas (under 14s girls’ 50m breaststroke).

Parry added: “Every swimmer gives a lot of commitment to their swimming training throughout the year, so they deserve the reward of competitive success.”

Result, Crusader League, Round One: 1. Knutsford 267pts; 2. Halton 249; 3. Buxton 204; 4. Market Drayton 179.