LAWRENCE Elliott struck gold four times to lead a 49-medal haul for Seagulls at the United Bristol New Year Open Meet.

The 12-year-old was in top form throughout the weekend, lowering personal best times in 13 of his 15 events and winning nine medals.

The meet featured level one and level three competitions and Elliott won all his medals in the higher grade – gold in the 50m and 100m breaststroke and 100m and 200m butterfly, silver in the 200m breaststroke and bronze in the 50m fly, 200m freestyle and backstroke and 400m individual medley.

The Christchurch club’s tally was 14 gold, 23 silver and 12 bronze medals and 92 PBs from 116 swims.

Ed Bell won silver in the level one 10yrs 50m, 100m and 200m backstroke as well as gold, silver and bronze, respectively, in the level three 200m IM, 100m butterfly and 50m butterfly.

Level one swimmers Sam Small and Miles Ward, both 14, each made the podium four times, Small taking silver in the 50m and 100m butterfly and freestyle, Ward winning silver in the 200m fly, 400m IM and 800m freestyle and bronze in the 400m freestyle.

In the same age group, Sonny Chamberlain-Hyde won silver in the level one 50m backstroke and gold in the level three 100m breaststroke.

Isaac Ellis, 13, won silver in the level one 50m breaststroke and gold in the level three 200m fly.

Level one swimmer Emily McWilliam, 12, was a 1500m freestyle silver medallist.

Harry Kemp, 14, celebrated his promotion to the youth squad with six level three medals – gold in the 100m backstroke and 400m freestyle, silver in the 100m and 200m freestyle and 200m IM and bronze in the 200m backstroke.

Emily Latimore, 13, won two level three golds – in the 50m fly and 100m freestyle – while Kate Robinson, 14, won gold in the 50m fly and 200m backstroke and silver in the 100m fly.

Harry Davies, 14, won five level three medals at his first long course meet – silver in the 50m breaststroke and 100m backstroke, bronze in the 50m freestyle and 100m and 200m breaststroke.

Finn Hollowbread won at least one level three medal of each colour – gold in the 14yrs 50m freestyle, silver in the 50m backstroke and 200m breaststroke and bronze in the 100m freestyle.

Poole took their winning habit into the inaugural Dorset County Relay Gala at Dorchester, winning 19 of the 24 races to claim trophies for top boys, top girls, top mixed teams and top club.

West Dorset won four events and Weymouth one.

Dorset ASA secretary Di Gibbs said: “It was a good start to a new competition and, hopefully, more Dorset clubs will be represented next year.

“Some of our smaller clubs entered novice second teams to give swimmers race experience in a relaxed environment, which is very much in the spirit of the event.

“It’s an opportunity to give those swimmers who aren’t regularly selected to represent their clubs a chance to do so.”

Result: 1 Poole 138, 2 West Dorset 88, 3 Wareham 78, 4 Blandford 55, 5 Sherborne Storm 46, 6 Weymouth 34, 7 North Dorset Turbos 33.