Young swim stars make storming start to MK league

Bicester's junior squad with coach Cheryl Davis (right) and Claire Cavill (left) at Barnet Copthall pool
Bicester's junior squad with coach Cheryl Davis (right) and Claire Cavill (left) at Barnet Copthall pool

A young squad of 28 Bicester Blue Fins took part in Saturday’s opening Division One gala of the 2014 Milton Keynes & District Junior League.

Up against teams from Harrow, Hillingdon, Windsor, Wellingborough and Chalfont, the squad, aged from 9-12, took part in 49 races at the Barnet Copthall pool in London.

Blue Fins got off to the perfect start with victory for the 12-year-old 4x25m medley team of Melissa White, Tabitha Watkins, Lottie Wynne-Jones and Tansy Hammond.

They were followed by the outstanding U11 girls team of Alex Pluckrose, Maddy Powell, Lottie Wynne-Jones and Georgina Zilvetti, who won both the medley and freestyle events.

In the 50m individual races, Bicester’s eight victories came from Freddie Ashley-Sparks in the age 11 butterfly, freestyle and age 12 butterfly, Tabitha Watkins in the breaststroke and backstroke, Lottie Wynne-Jones in the butterfly and backstroke and Maddy Powell in the breaststroke.

There were also notable individual second place finishes for Sean Lock, Edward Davis and Maddy Powell.

The final event was the 8x25m canon freestyle relay comprising the fastest boy and girl swimmers from the four age categories.

After a thrilling race, the Blue Fins team of Charlotte Kemp, Freddy Bunce, Maddy Powell, Tom Whitley, Lottie Wynne-Jones, Freddie Ashley-Sparks, Tabitha Watkins and Ethan Cavill stormed to victory, securing enough points for the squad to finish in second place overall behind a strong team from Windsor.

Coach Cheryl Davis said after: “These young swimmers swam their hearts out tonight.

“The atmosphere poolside was electric and they were all cheering each other on to some amazing performances.

“Some of them are still only eight or nine and for the team to deliver our best ever result in the first gala of the top league is a brilliant achievement. Sean, Lottie and Maddy in particular were outstanding in their freestyle relays.

“They’re my swimmers of the gala for some gutsy efforts to deliver results for their team-mates.”

The second round of the league takes place on July 5.