Retford Open – 21st Oct ’12


Retford Open imageAM SESSION

With girls’ warm-up at 8am, some Portland families were on the road just after 6.30am – 6.30am ON A SUNDAY! That’s dedication for you.

Jaime Misiuda and Jade Kennerell proved they are morning people, when they set the bar in the 100m butterfly,the first heat of the first race.

Achieving an 8 second PB in her first Open Meet as a Portland swimmer was a pretty good start to the day for Jade! More good swims followed with Holly McGarva and Olivia Misiuda in the 200m backstroke, then Anthony Tsolakis and Connor Cruickshank in the 100m backstroke.


The girls’ 200m freestyle was eventful. Alice Mulligan and Rebecca Horne set PBs, then an incident took place during Lizzie Mulligan’s heat, which called for brooms, nets and disinfectant, say no more … other than no Portland swimmer was involved. Following a bit of a wait, races resumed and Amelia Tsolakis bravely swam on despite feeling unwell herself.

Maybe knowing what had just happened in Lane 5 made everyone just want to get out of the pool as quickly as possible, because previous best times tumbled for Connor in 50m free, then for Hannah Williams, Holly and Jade in the 100m IM.

Jaime, Olivia, Hannah, Jade and Emma Horne all took around 2 seconds off their 100m breaststroke times. Anthony set a new PB in 100m free, then brother Andrew broke his 200m IM record.


Due to morning hold-ups, the afternoon session was put back by half an hour. For Grant and his Nova swimmers, time was now of the essence. However, the afternoon held more drama in store ….

With 9 of our girls taking part in the 100m backstroke, it became apparent there was a problem with the scoreboard. Much to the confusion of swimmers and parents, the wrong names were displayed against lane numbers, so the 4 and 5 second PB times by Jaime, Olivia, Holly and Jade were next to names of swimmers we’d never heard of!

Amelia was back! Not fighting fit, but soldiering on. She joined Lizzie’s heat …. Was it a new multi-swimmer relay event, was it a disco? The scoreboard started flashing different names, changing by the second. There was an announcement: `Ignore the names, but you can rely on the lane times.’ Not so bad – we could see which lanes our swimmers were in, so could decipher their times … Unfortunately, the clock didn’t stop at the end of the race, so there were no times. A few anxious looks, then the times appeared. Quick, write them down. Then everything went blank.

Luckily the equipment was working in time to record the rest of the afternoon’s new PBs for Hannah, Alice, Jade and Emma in 50m free; Andrew and Anthony in 200m free; Holly, Alice and Olivia in 200m breast; Andrew in 100m IM; Jaime and Jade in the 100m freestyle. At the end of a very long day, Alice and Lizzie showed their metal and took on the 200IM. What stamina!

What a day of gremlins – goggle troubles for Alice, Lizzie and Connor (more than once, to his mum’s dismay), injuries for Rebecca, illness for Amelia; nightmare scoreboard problems, delays, subsequent overrun and mad dash back to Nottingham for Grant and Dom to reach training at the Uni.

Nevertheless, Portland swimmers were fantastic! Over half their races resulted in PBs. Holly, Olivia, Jamie, Andrew and Hannah got PBs in all but one of their races, Alice in three out of five and, amazingly, Jade in all six of hers! Andrew’s 200m freestyle is now 18 seconds faster than the qualifying time for the 2013 County Championships!!! Wow.

Looking at individual age groups, medal positions were achieved as follows:

  • BRONZE – Anthony 200 back, 100 free & 200 free; Andrew 200 breast; Holly 200 back; Emma 100 breast.
  • SILVER – Holly 100 breast & 100 back; Andrew 200 IM & 200 free; Jade 50 free.
  • GOLD – Jade 100 IM & 100 breast; Holly 200 breast; Emma 200 breast.

Thank you to Grant and Dom for doing a marvellous job poolside. A huge thanks to all our great swimmers for supporting each other and keeping Portland parents entertained with and proud of your 58 swims!


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