Julia's feeling gr-eight
Young Julia Knox shot across the Ulster swimming landscape when scooping eight gold medals at the Bangor Aurora.
Competing at the Ulster Age Group long course championships, the Banbridge girl was in sparkling form over the three days at the weekend.
The 12-year-old Banbridge Academy student lifted gold in the 100m freestyle, 800m, 400m and 200m free, 100m and 200m butterfly as well as the 200m and 400m individual medley.
Dad Graham is a coach at the Banbridge club but it is fellow coach David Wilson who works with Julia.
"I worked with Julia at the start but the last couple of years David has been coaching her and that works very well," said Graham. "We were delighted with her performances at the weekend. She's qualified for seven events at the British Age Groups this summer in Sheffield."
Ards Swimming Club were once again to the fore, striking gold right across the various age groups.
The quartet of Joshua Creaney, Jake Stafford, Dominic Allen and Joshua Bradshaw won the 9-12 years 200m freestyle relay, while the girls' title went to the Ards team of Scarlett Armstrong, Mia Davison, Ellie McKibben and Hope McBride. Armstrong also won the 12 years 100m backstroke title, while Davison took the 12 years 200m breaststroke gold.
There was further relay success when Rebecca Reid, Emma Reid, Zoe Thompson and Victoria Catterson won the 9-16 years 200m medley relay. Catterson took the 15-16 years 100m back gold and Thompson the 14 years 200m breast. Emma Reid and sister Rebecca picked up gold in the 200m butterfly 15-16 and 14 years categories, respectively.
Clubmate Paddy Johnston won the boys' 14 years 200m 'fly, and 100m back ahead of Bangor's Jack Angus, who took gold in the 200m individual medley.