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Venue: Hucknall Leisure Centre

Date - Saturday 26th May 2012


If the ‘big guns’ thought they would gain a psychological advantage with all that arm swinging and thigh slapping then it was time to think again.  Un-phased the hats went on and, in their usual style; Portland swimmers gave it their very best.  This was night of many very close touches, some going for us, some against and some really hard-fought points.
Special mentions:

  • Jacob Goodliffe, swimming his first gala for Portland.
  • Stan Toplass and Dan Hardy, the 9/10 boys team!
  • Tim Simmons for his ‘post-retirement’ appearance and some fine swims.
  • Rebecca Horne who, after a very (!) last minute goggle adjustment, still lost them but swam to a fantastic 3rd place in the 50m backstroke.
  • Bethan Simmons for an amazing final 10 metres to clinch 2nd place in the 50m breaststroke.
  • Olivia Wright who just keeps on going from strength to strength in competition.
  • Esther Simmons for battling brilliantly in her leg of the 50m freestyle relay.
  • Matt Price for another awesome 50m freestyle 1st place.

PBs for Andrew de Boer (200 IM), Stan Toplass (50m free, 50m back), Gen Poon (50m free), Esther Simmons (50m breaststroke), Matt Price (50m back), Olivia Wright (50m fly), Maddie MacKay (50m free), Jaime Misiuda (50m fly), Michael O’Shaugnessy (50m free), Hannah MacKay (50m free).
Well done, as ever, to ALL the swimmers.  Another overall 4th place with much to be proud of - keep it up!
Thanks as usual to the poolside helpers on the night and to the pre-gala organisation team.

After what seemed like copious pre-meet warnings about the logistic challenges ahead, it was with some trepidation that a crew from Portland headed off to this meet.  Would we be able to park?  Would we get a seat?  Would we even see our swimmer from the beginning to end of the day?  Not only were none of the above a problem but this was a highly organised day where the ‘holding room’ sports hall - complete with live video and results feed – far from detracting from the atmosphere, contributed to the excitement and relieved the boredom and heatstroke for swimmers as well as supporters.

So, in this very civilised environment Jack, Mikey, Lizzie, Alice, Olivia (M), Jaime, Holly and Olivia (W) started their campaigns.  Swims of the event came from Olivia Wright for both freestyle events, swum in times already close to next year’s county qualifying standard; Holly for a 13 second PB in the 200m freestyle;  and Jack for a 100m backstroke time only 2 seconds away from a national qualifying time. Well done also swimmers for the following PBs: Jack (200m IM, 100m back,100 fly, 200 free, 200 fly); Holly (200m free, 200 back,); Alice (200m free; 100m breast, 50m free, 200m IM, 200m breast, 100m free); Olivia Wright (200m free, 100m free); Olivia Misiuda (100m breast, 100m free); Jaime (50m free, 100m free).  It really says something about the levels of achievement our swimmers are reaching when the PB average is approximately 3.7 seconds!

This should definitely be one for the diary and, in the humble general opinion of those attending, the way forward for swimming events.  Oh, do they already do this at the Olympics?

Thanks as ever to Grant for his usual vigil on poolside for the whole event, offering guidance and support.

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