Cambridge Designated Meet Feb 2003

5th March 2003

By the SKIN of their teeth...

Competitors at Cambridge’s Parkside Pools faced a gruelling test to decide a winner at the weekend – the eight fastest swimmers in the 50m freestyle sprint qualified for SKINS, which puts each competitor through seven further races just three minutes apart each.

The system, put to the test at the City of Cambridge Swimming Club’s first ever designated meet, saw eight girls and eight boys take it in turns to compete for first place and a cash prize.

After a blistering seven rounds, 15 year old Miriam Crawford, swimming at her home pool, Parkside, took the prize – her winning time of 29.22 stayed consistent with all her times throughout the event, as others fell behind.

In the boys’ event, it was Alasdair Irving, 18, from Nuneaton who clinched the victory with a time of 26.46, faster in the last round than throughout the previous six swims.

The SKINS event, brought to the UK by British Swimming’s Bill Sweetenham from his native Australia, proved a high point in the weekend, which saw more than 1300 individual entries for the two day gala. Swimmers from around 20 clubs piled into Parkside to try to meet qualifying times for forthcoming district and national events.

Eleven-year-old Sophie McGowan was just a second away from achieving a national qualifying time on the 200 freestyle – she clocked up a massive eight wins, just behind Andy Thompson who claimed nine first places in the 10s age group. There were four wins for Lennard Lee in the 19s and over, while Miriam Crawford, Krissie Taylor, Helen Whitton, Nicola Charlesworth, Rachel Loudain, and Andrew Wells all took three firsts in their age groups. Laura McGowan, Harper Staples, Alice Ely, Nathan Miller and Cody Duncan managed two wins apiece, with Rebecca Chapman, Grant Gilmour, Steven Kirkup, Jo Jewell and Mark Taylor each winning an event.

Day one saw swimmers face a tough menu of races, beginning with the 200m Individual Medley first thing in the morning, taking in the 100m backstroke for the girls and same distance breastroke for the boys, while the girls closed the session with the 200m fly. They were back in the afternoon for the boys 200m backstroke, girls 100m breastroke and boys 100m fly, with the last event for both boys and girls, the 400m freestyle. But the day wasn’t quite over – in the evening, competitors faced the 200m freestyle, 100m fly for girls, the boys’ 100m back and 400IM for both sexes to finish.

Day two saw both boys and girls competing in the 200m breast and 100m free in the morning, then it was on to the 50m free, the 100m IM, with boys taking part in the 100m fly and girls in the 200 backstroke.

Cambridge will host another open meet in July – last year saw record entry levels, and this year the club is expected to repeat the feat.


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