There were dazzling displays a-plenty at Hucknall Leisure Centre this Saturday night 7 November to match any fireworks spectacle in the area and there was certainly no question of getting cold!
Our Peter Pink squad was little in number – we were unable to participate in any of the 6 relays for 8/9 year olds and, for a while, it was looking like we would have to leave lanes empty in all the Open boys’ events too – however, the squad was large in character and determination. Plus, tonight we had a secret weapon … a rocket, a superfast firework of the swimming world …..
The Peter Pink events line-up comprised 32 individual events (all 50m), mixed freestyle and medley relays (triple the usual number of 8/9 year old relays that we are used to) and 2 Cannon relays (10 x 1 freestyle), one at the very start and one at the end.
Shiny trophies glistened on a table at the side, the first cannon fired and we were off!
The three 9 year olds who were available for this gala – Kate Watson, Matthew Lowey and Liesje Knights – swam up in the 10/u relays and did themselves proud. Matthew and Kate did some great dives – your diving coach, Mick, will be impressed Matthew! Liesje competed in her very first individual race at an inter-club gala, gaining a 3 second PB and finishing 4th in 10/u 50m breaststroke, then she swam 50m butterfly for the first time ever – well done Liesje!
The 10/u team was small (just two of them!) but mighty! Lucy Waller demonstrated beautifully smooth strokes in 50m backstroke and 50m freestyle. Finlay Cunnison embarked on a marathon of 7 swims – one more than asked to do: he volunteered for the 50m breaststroke rather than leave the lane empty and very deservedly PB’d! Fantastic swimming throughout Finlay!
For the 12 & under girls, Emma Watson kicked hard in fast-paced freestyle and backstroke races; Beatrice Munro showed a double is no trouble with wins in 12/u butterfly and in 14/u backstroke, in which she swam up and gained a PB; Gaby Marriott competed as our fastest 12/u breaststroker and also swam up, winning the 14/u butterfly.
The 12/u boys’ trio swam with gusto in individuals – Archie Poole in 12/u freestyle, Raj Malhi in breaststroke and Gabriel DiFolco-Brooks in butterfly. Gabriel notched up a 1st place in the backstroke in an edge-of-the-seat `will he, won’t he touch first?’ final few metres … yes, he did! Archie and Raj joined Gaby and Beatrice in exciting medley and freestyle relays, finishing 2nd and 3rd respectively – great swimming!
Two’s company, four’s a relay team! In the 14 & unders, Angelina DiFolco-Brooks and Chloe Matthews joined Edward Roberts and William Cranton to take 2nd in a thrilling freestyle relay and 3rd in the medley. Chloe swam a really good 3rd place breaststroke, Angelina motored to an excellent 1st place and PB in freestyle, William got a butterfly PB and Edward had 2 first places in backstroke and in breaststroke – a 2.5 second PB and Speeding Ticket – we’ll let you off, Edward, since it was the equivalent of a County Time!
Finally, onto the Open age group – for the girls, Rebecca Horne, Esther Simmons and Dahlia Brinklow equalled each other’s successes, all winning their backstroke, breaststroke and fly events in turn; Rebecca also came out with a 3rd in a very close freestyle race. For the relays, Esther and Dahlia teamed up with Edward (swimming up) and sole boys Open swimmer for the night, Jonny Higham. Together they raced to 2nd in the freestyle relay and 1st in the medley. Jonny, who swims at Portland masters sessions, competed in all four individual boys Open events. He rocketed to 1st in breaststroke, took it easy in the backstroke for 2nd and in the freestyle and butterfly proved uncatchable by all except the stopwatch; he was promptly given Speeding Tickets for both!
All our swimmers shone, but a few notably sparkling performances from:
- Finlay, who added an extra event to his already large number of swims and must have slept well that night!
- Jonny, a first-time Portland competitor, who came to the Club’s rescue, amassed team points by swimming absolutely everything possible for us (8 races!) and exhibited a standard of swimming for our swimmers to aspire to.
- Beatrice, who not only achieved individually with 2 firsts, but encouraged team-mates the whole evening and congratulated all with her Portland pat.
- Edward, who impressed even his unassuming self by smashing his 50m breaststroke time to reach County qualifying level in one of his 2 wins.
The team won 5th place trophy at this friendly Peter Pink trophy gala, but, as in many of our competitions, this was not a true reflection of our wonderful swimmers’ efforts. The team accumulated eleven 1st place finishes, not including the firsts cancelled out by Speeding Tickets, which would have taken the tally to fourteen. If we had been able to compete in all the events, i.e. with no empty lanes, even if we had come last in them all, with no speeding tickets or DQs, we would have come 3rd in this gala!
Please keep Club gala dates free on your calendar! Your Club needs you, but more importantly, the other swimmers who attend need you. The Club calendar is updated regularly on the website’s Fixture list (top right tab of the Club website: https://nottingham-portland.org.uk/)
Thank you to the parent helpers on the night. You did a great job.
Thank you to the swimmers who missed a Bonfire Night event and those families who changed arrangements in order to support the Club – we really do appreciate it.
Most of all, THANK YOU to all the Portland swimmers. You were fantastic!
Log in and go to Swimmers’ Corner Gala News for full results.