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Hucknell PoolHucknall Leisure Centre was the venue for the first Sports Centre gala of Autumn.

The journey there through roadworks and football traffic was not too bad; Lane draw for Portland – Lane 2 … not bad; Portland swims … not to be forgotten in a long while!

Evening specials:

  • Michael P with competitor-eating sprint finishes all night, achieving 2 PBs - 100m IM & 100m breaststroke (1st place);
  • Edward, sliced through the water with (nearly 3s) PBs and 2nd place finishes in both 100m backstroke and 100m freestyle;
  • Olivia with such a powerful pull in 100m backstroke, stormed to a 2nd place and valuable team points;
  • Dan and Dom, our coach-swimmer role models – Dan demonstrating his dynamic distance dives and Dom incredible and breath-taking (literally taking no breaths) last medley relay leg;
  • Not only did Esther pass up a night out to have a go at the universally dreaded 100m butterfly for the first time, competing in the Open age category as a 14 year old, but she won it by some distance and achieved what will be a County Time, if the qualifying times stay the same as last year’s! And she gained a second PB in 100m freestyle.
  • Gabriel’s impressive underwater work contributed to a PB in 50m backstroke and fast arms were put to great effect in the boys’ medley relay later;
  • Gaby, quite simply unbeaten - longest underwater, fastest over water - gained first place, maximum points and PBs in both 50m backstroke and 50m butterfly. First class!
  • Rebecca’s PB-breaking 100m breaststroke – no-one was more surprised than her when she led all the way to touch first;
  • Stan’s energy conserving underwater start in a hard fought 50m butterfly – his speciality in medley relays :)
  • Isabelle, star team-player of the gala, swimming up and down … not just the pool, but across several age groups; hurrying to the opposite pool end immediately after her 100m breaststroke to take part in ANOTHER relay;
  • Jaime’s wonderful dives and winning `left them standing(!)’ second length in 50m butterfly, plus super backstroke leg of 100m IM;
  • Ben’s butterfly swim gave him a fab new time for 50m fly and he swam a stomping breaststroke length in the boys’ medley;
  • Emma had `a cracking start’ (Portland dad quote) to the 100m breaststroke, great turn and exciting finish pipped into 2nd;
  • Beatrice’s 2 PBs – over 3 seconds in 50m breaststroke, then in 50m freestyle with the most impressive last length of the night to take 2nd place;
  • Dahlia’s wonder turn in 50m fly - 1st place & PB, followed by stalwart 100m IM and backstroke swims;
  • Sam, on a PB run, swimming almost 11s faster in 100m breaststroke (2nd) with glorious power-gliding, put to good use in his 100m IM alongside a strong freestyle length for another (2s) PB;
  • Connor motored to a PB in 100m freestyle;
  • Tarun’s terrific 12 second PB in a strong 100m backstroke;
  • Luke’s `let’s do it!’ determination in 50m freestyle;
  • Lucy’s quiet, calm manner and 100m freestyle PB;
  • Punchy, fast freestyle and medley 8/9 year relay swims by Oscar, Ava, Liam and Isabelle accomplishing excellent takeovers;
  • Exciting 11/13 year medley mix by Isabelle, Beatrice, Jaime and Olivia;
  • Fabulous first place medley wins for 15 years & Open age group BOYS: Tarun, Michael, Dan and Dom and GIRLS: Rebecca, Esther, Dahlia and Emma – `Stunning swim from all 4 girls. A proper team effort’ (Portland mum quote).

The team finished 3rd overall and half the individual races produced PBs and New Times. Well done swimmers – you all swam your socks off and gave us a fantastic night of swimming. Thanks to Dan, Dom, Jake and all parent helpers.

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