City of Cambridge swimmers had a long journey to start their assault on the National Arena swimming league (division one). Cambridge, who gained promotion last season from division 2, faced tough competition in the 6-team draw, held at Yarborough in Lincolnshire.
The open men were well represented with John Sargent, swimming for Cambridge for the first time, who won the men’s open individual medley and the 100m backstroke. Senior boys captain Luke Westwood added to the points tally with a 1.07.89 in the 100m breaststroke, and joined by Adam Oakman, Tim Riviere, Richard Jefferies and Andrew Wilkinson the boys took further firsts in the freestyle and individual medley relay.
The youngest boys swimming in the 9-11 age group fared well, with Harry Robinson taking a personal best in 32.04 on his way to victory in the 50m freestyle, and second places going to Sam Pedder in the 50m backstroke, and Robbie Brunton in the 50m butterfly. Sam also tackled the breaststroke finishing third. In the freestyle relay the boys came in three seconds ahead of the pack and managed a fourth in the medley relay. Ellie Winter took the final win of the evening with a time of 1.00.81 in the girls 15 and under freestyle, then doubling up to swim it again in the open category where she was just touched out to finish in second place.
Another swimmer competing for Cambridge in the league for the first time was Liam Doonan, who took second place in the 100m butterfly. Further third place finishes were achieved by Alex Holt in the 13 and under 100m backstroke, Charlotte Begg in the 15 and under 100m butterfly, and Bartu Atamert in the 13 and under 100m breaststroke in a new personal best 1.25.35. Boris Ledovskih was also third in the 13 and under 100m freestyle, knocking two seconds of his own personal best in 1.05.48, as well as setting another personal best in the 100m backstroke.
Further personal bests were achieved by Bryony Rowsel in the 200m individual medley, Jason Gambie in the 100m butterfly, Annie Little and Peter Rees in the 100m breaststroke. With disqualifications in the girls 11 and under relay, the boys 15 and under medley relay, and the girls 11 and under freestyle relay, Cambridge were frustrated to finish in fourth place one point behind Worksop Dolphins in third. Coach James Freezer summed up the night “It was disappointing to miss third place by one point, especially as Cambridge were close at the finish of many races. The team will have to push harder in the next round to gain vital league points.”
Final Gala points: L.U.S.C.A 254 City of Milton Keynes 210 Worksop Dolphins 172 City of Cambridge 171 Modernians 128 Melton Mowbray 109.