Second round success in gala for Blue Fins
BICESTER Blue Fins once again excelled in the 2012-13 National Arena League as they won the second round at Tiddenfoot Leisure Centre in Leighton Buzzard.
Expectations were high after Bicester blew away their competition in the first round but competing against other round one gala winners and runners-up was a tougher task.
The Blue Fins swim team took on hosts Leighton Buzzard, Orion, Camphill Edwardians A, Aylesbury & District and Blythe Barracudas.
Ellie Bunce got the action under way with a third place in the individual medley event and she was matched by the U11 4x50m freestyle relay team of Tabitha Watkins, Ella Littlewood, Maddy Powell and Sophie Phillips.
William Whitley, Freddie Ashley-Sparks, Oliver Inness and Ethan Cavill went one better than the girls with a second-place finish, as did the U13 girls 4x50m medley relay team made up of Chloe Wanless, Eloise Tagg, Emmy Whybrow and Ellie Falkner.
The first win of the day came from Callum Laird, William Whitley, Kieran Bird and Ben Ellis in the U13 4x50m medley while the girls club captain Georgia Tagg led the U15 girls team of Courtney Best, Joelly Alexander and Ellie Falkner to a first in the 4x50m freestyle relay.
The U15 boys team of Joe Walker, Adam Khan, Lee Hickman and Harry Smith matched the girls performance to secure another first.
The open ladies 4x50m medley race saw Georgia Tagg lead Cerys King, Bunce and Alexander finish first, which gave Bicester a lead after 10 events.
Maddy Powell then picked up a third-place finish in the 50m backstroke while Oliver Inness went one better in his race.
There was more success for the Blues Fins thanks to Eloise Tagg (third), Kieran Bird (first), Georgia Tagg (first), Ellie Bunce (second), Tabitha Watkins (third), Freddie Ashley-Sparks (first), Chloe Wanless (second), Callum Laird (first) and Emmy Whybrow (first).
Bird and Tagg then had to settle for second place finishes while Whitley produced a fine swim in the U11 50m breaststroke and there was more wins for Alexander, Bird, Falkner and King.
The individual races continued to come thick and fast with very little time for rest and there were yet more impressive Bicester performances, the most notable coming from Oliver Inness, Joe Walker and Cerys King.
At the end of the individual races, Bicester led Blythe by nine points ahead of more relay races.
For a final time, the Blue Fins stood out as there were victories for the U11 4x50m medley team of Inness, Whitley, Ashley-Sparks and Cavill and the U13 team of Bird, Ellis, Laird and Inness.
The last wins of the night came from the U15 girls medley team (G Tagg, E Tagg, Alexander, Best) and the ladies open 6x50m freestyle event (G Tagg, Bunce, King, Falkner, Alexander, Best).
The positions at the end of the gala were as followed: 1. Bicester, 234pts; 2. Blythe, 223pts; 3. Leighton Buzzard, 183pts; 4. Orion, 183pts; 5. Aylesbury, 118pts; 6. Camphill, 102pts.
Out of a total of 50 races, Bicester managed 21 firsts, 11 seconds and seven thirds.
Coach Bernie Gravett said after the gala: “This was a hard fought gala with no easy swims for anyone.
“The swimmer of the night award goes to Cerys King for her performance in the 100M freestyle event which saw her give her all and go shoulder to shoulder with her rival to win by a fingertip.”