Swimming: Doncaster Dartes duo win national titles

Doncaster Dartes Swimmers who have achieved national qualifying times. L/r Joe Litchfield, 14, Jessica Gillatt, 15, Elliot Trofimowicz, 17, Shannon Dodson, 15, Max Litchfield, 17, Jamie Clarkr, 15, Caitlan Dixon, 15 and Heidi Smith, 15.  Picture: Malcolm Billingham D0855MB
Doncaster Dartes Swimmers who have achieved national qualifying times. L/r Joe Litchfield, 14, Jessica Gillatt, 15, Elliot Trofimowicz, 17, Shannon Dodson, 15, Max Litchfield, 17, Jamie Clarkr, 15, Caitlan Dixon, 15 and Heidi Smith, 15. Picture: Malcolm Billingham D0855MB

YOU wait 15 years for a national champion and two come along at once!

Doncaster Dartes duo Max Litchfield and Jarvis Parkinson made history by winning long-awaited gold medals at the recent National Championships.

Litchfield won his favourite 200m individual medley at National Youth level (15-18 years).

While Parkinson went one better at National Age Group level (14 years and below) by winning gold in both the 200m and 400m individual medleys.

It was back in 1997 when the Dartes last had a national champion but Litchfield and Parkinson rewrote the record books in style.

The pair appeared in a total of 15 finals over the course of a fortnight at Sheffield’s Ponds Forge.

Litchfield collected silvers in 1500m freestyle and the 400m medley, while Parkinson topped up his two golds with a pair of silver medals and a bronze for good measure.

Dartes fielded swimmers in a staggering 62 events across both championships and sent their biggest ever squad to the season finale.

Their medal haul of three golds, five silvers, a bronze and 11 top ten finishes is the second biggest in the club’s history.

Dartes finished seventh in the national medal table at Youth level, while the younger age group finished fifth nationally.

Fifteen-year-olds Jessica Gillatt, Shannon Dodson, and Caitlin Dixon all had birthdays in the run-up to the championships and found the going tough in the older age group; Dixon impressing to reach two semi-finals.

Alex Pollard swam exceptionally well over 200m backstroke to snatch a silver medal in the the younger age, while Joe Litchfield swam superbly to reach three finals despite being among the youngest in his field.

For more information about Doncaster Dartes visit www.dartes.co.uk.