Bicester Blue Fins’ youngest swimmers were put to the test when the 2015 Milton Keynes & District Junior League got underway.
Competing in the first division, the 27 swimmers aged between eight and 12 travelled to Uxbridge in North West London to face Hillingdon, one of the best junior swimming clubs in the country. They were also up against Barnes, Brompton, Leander and local Oxfordshire rivals Wantage White Horses across 49 individual and relay races.
The quality of opposition was such that top places were hard to come by, although Lottie Wynne-Jones continued her fine season with Bicester’s only two wins. She won the age 12 50m butterfly by a second and a half in 29.71 secs and the 50m backstroke by over three seconds in a club age group record time of 31.28 secs.
Her brother Harry Wynne-Jones was also in good form. In his three individual races, he was second in both the age 10 50m butterfly in 41.03 and age 11 50m backstroke in 39.67, and then third in the age 10 50m backstroke (40.38).
The standout performance in the relays were from the age 12 girls. Tia Falkner, Alexandra Pluckrose, Maddy Powell and Lottie Wynne-Jones powered to two impressive second places in both the 4x25m freestyle and medley events.
There were also two hard-fought third place swims from Maddy Powell in the age 12 50m freestyle, just seven hundredths of a second off second place in 31.65, and the 50m breaststroke in 41.13.
Christopher Littleton earned valuable points for the club with third in the age 12 50m backstroke in 36.68 and then fourth in the 50m butterfly. Bicester’s other third place was earned by Georgia Usher with a good 48.38 in a very tight age 10 50m breaststroke.
Isla Bohannon, Tia Falkner, Tom Whitley and Olivia Jordan also worked hard for solid fourth places, while the girls 10 4x25 medley team of Millie Houston, Georgia Usher, Harriet Gower and Charlotte Kemp were tested in achieving another solid fourth.
Also in action for Bicester were: Freddy Bunce, Matthew Cooper, Amelia Cox, Imogen Cox, Cameron Digman, William Jones, Caitlin Laverick, Lauren McKenzie, Frankie Oliver, William Pluckrose, Zac Powell, Tim Walker, Anna Whitley and Sam Williams.
Final results: 1) Hillingdon, 247pts; 2) Barnes, 205; 3) Leander, 159; 4) Wantage, 159; 5) Brompton, 132; 6) Bicester, 113.
Blue Fins head coach Struan McNeil said: “We had a very inexperienced squad tonight and going up against some large London clubs was always going to be a test.
“We saw the progress of the swimmers through some good personal bests and they did themselves proud in terms of effort and team spirit, but we now have a job to do in the next round if we’re to maintain our position in the top division.”