The last gala of 2012 was going to be a tough one with teams vying to take the end of season Dobb trophy. The evening to be spent at Hucknall Leisure Centre would comprise a total of 48 events: 16 relays and 32 individual races – 10 & unders swimming 25m, 12 & overs 50m.
The 10 & under girls, then boys, got us off to a flying start in freestyle relays. Next up, the 50m backstroke resulting in a second place for Lizzie Mulligan (despite just getting over a flu-type virus) and a great new time for Luke Farnsworth, gala first-timer under the Portland banner. This was followed by a win for Rebecca Horne and strong swim by Edward Roberts in the 50m breaststroke.
Lizzie, Hannah Simmons, Andrew De Boer and Mark Lowes powered through to 3rd place in the Open Medley. This was matched by a 3rd from Madeline Knowles, recording a new time in the 25m backstroke. Andrew Tsolakis swam a personal best in the same event.
There’s so much to mention!
The 50m breaststroke brought a win for Esther Simmons and new time for Michael Tones. Extending breaststroke successes and triggering a time-beating bonanza, Hannah Simmons and Andrew De Boer both took first place with PBs. Charlotte Taylor set a new fastest time in 25m freestyle, as did Stan Toplass touching first in the process. More PBs from Jaime Misiuda and Anthony Tsolakis (2.59 second reduction!) in 50m butterfly, Mark Lowes in 50m freestyle, Archie Symes in 50m backstroke (knocking over 2 seconds off to reach a 12 year old’s County Time – well done Archie!). Orla Beaven took a massive 4 seconds off her previous best time for 25m breaststroke, fuelling a fest of fastest ‘fly times for Hannah (just 0.28 seconds off a County Time!) and Andrew De Boer, both achieving first place in their 50m events, and Erin Birney and Guy Farnsworth (25m) – his first time representing Portland at an inter-club gala, marking it with a win. The last Personal Best of the night was attained by Dahlia Brinklow in 50m backstroke, now only 0.28 seconds outside a County Time.
Other wins during the gala and so more valuable maximum points were gained by Olivia Misiuda in 50m backstroke and Esther in 50m freestyle. There were also exciting team swims, including relay stars Ethan Pywell, Freya McGarva, Emma Horne, Amelia Tsolakis and coach Dom. In fact, our swimmers lived up to the Portland Marlin logo, swimming so fast that they exceeded the cut-off time and were given speeding tickets in four relays!
2012 was the year of dream teams and Portland, with its team spirit and solid performances, can lay claim to that – finishing first in a third of the night’s races, in the top three in almost two thirds, with PBs in nearly half was pretty good going. We ended the JC Dobb season third in the league. Well done to all the swimmers – you were fabulous. Thank you to our supportive coaches, Dom and Jo, and to all poolside helpers.
2013, here we come! 🙂