The City of Cambridge celebrated the arrival of its new development coach with style in the latest round of the Junior Fenland League at the weekend - Vix Metcalf witnessed some stunning performances from the squad as she oversaw her first competitive event for the club.
The Deepings-hosted gala kicked off with two outstanding swims from Alexi Solomou and Catherine Mumford, who both shattered their own PBs and the cut-off times in the 12 years 100m individual medley (IM) event. Alexi led from start to finish, touching first on 1.23.81, a four second PB, while Catherine echoed his performance, taking top place with 1.24.69, taking three seconds off her previous best.
And the pair triumphed again later in the competition, with Catherine beating the cut-off time of the 50m free to finish on 32.6, while Alexi broke the cut off for the 50m fly with 37.42.
Cody Duncan in the 10 year old boys 50m freestyle also claimed an amazing win, taking almost four seconds off his previous best to finish on 35.52.
Tilly Beeken was next up for a smashing performance in the girls 11s and under 50m fly, racing through the cut off time to take first place on 40.75, taking almost three seconds off her previous best.
And Chris Budd kept the momentum going as he shattered his PB along with the cut-off time, to finish first on the boys 12s and under free, with 32.05.
Yet more Cambridge swimmers also zipped through the cut-off times to claim first places – Zoe Othieno came in first on 41.57 in the 10 years backstroke, with Sophie Lanham beating off stiff competition to finish top with 37.81 in the 10s freestyle. James Pugh claimed the 13/under freestyle win for Cambridge on 32.92., while in the girls event, Olivia Tenberg managed to keep herself in the running for the next round, staying inside the cut-off time by just 0.01 of a second, finishing on a personal best of 33.11.
And Anna Tenberg and Amy Dive claimed two breastroke wins for the club, Anna in the 10s and Amy the 11/u.
Despite beating the cut-off times Victoria Way and Douglas Gordon found themselves in second place in two very fast events – Victoria touched on 36.64 in the 11/u freestyle, while Douglas finished the 13 and under 50m breastroke with a PB of 42.88, massively improving on his previous best.
And there were yet more PBs to come for the Cambridge squad: Karina Page took two seconds off her previous best to finish second in the 13/u backstroke on 39.46, while Michelle Page-Croft also claimed second in the same age group breastroke on 43.75. Adam Scott took another second place in the 12/u 50m backstroke on 41.30, with Andriana Korniotis finishing just behind the leader with 40.13 in the 13/u fly.
Rebecca Lanham also added to the points with a PB, just out-touched for first place, with 1.30.27 in the 13/under 100m IM. And in the same age boys event, Matthew Wilkinson also finished second on 1.30.73.
More top three places helped boost the points for the Cambridge squad: second places for 12 year old Storm Macauley Leak in the 50 back and David Middleton in the 11s/u 50 free, with thirds for Tarryn Hodgkiss (12/u 50 fly) , Andrew Thompson (11/u 50 back), Luke Westwood (13/u 50 fly).
And the squad rounded off the gala with a stunning performance in the eight-strong squadron relay – Cambridge finished nearly a length ahead of its nearest rival. Helen Struthers and Alex Nixon answered the call-up to join their teammates for the final event.
There were also strong performances from the most junior members of the squad with swimmers including Craig Collier, Charlotte Last, Emma Struthers, Sean Collier, Henry Beresford, Andrew Wilkinson and Michael Whyatt.
Vix Metcalf said: “There were some really good performances from our young squad. This was a great way to start my career with Cambridge and it was lovely to see such a tremendous team spirit - and not just among those picked to swim! It was great to see other club members turning up to help out and cheer on their squad.”
The final scores were: Deepings 149 points, Cambridge 129, Wisbech 116, Huntingdon 104, March 64