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Friday evening saw York and Lancaster go head to head in both men’s and women’s swimming events. A healthy crowd gathered as Lancaster began as they meant to go on by taking 1st place in the male and female 200m freestyle events whilst both the men’s and women’s 100m medley events gave similar results.
Next up was the 50m butterfly where Lancaster eased to 1st and 2nd place comfortably. However, drama ensued when a York swimmer ended the race suffering from an asthmatic attack. The event was delayed much to the competitor’s frustration. Despite this a buoyant Becky Turner, placed 2nd in her particular heat, stated how “things couldn’t have gone any better so far for Lancaster”.
After a 20 minute break, swimmers were allowed to access the pool area and began re-warming up. Despite being a competitor down, York replied to the early Lancaster charge by coming out on top of a tightly fought men’s 50m butterfly. Determined not to let this set them back, Lancaster continued where they left off before the delay by taking honours in a female 50m backstroke event that concluded with a nail-biting finish. This seemed to galvanize Lancaster whose male, not wanting to be outdone by his female counterpart, ran away with the 50m backstroke with a quick start and a powerful race.
Next up was the 50m breaststroke where both the male and female heats ended with Lancaster finishing 1st and 3rd in both races. The men’s race was a thrilling contest with the lead changing hands endless numbers of times before the Lancaster competitor found the stamina to take the 1st place.
Arguably the fastest race of the evening was the female and male 50m freestyle where Lancaster cruised to victory in the female event with an assured performance leaving the Lancaster competitor a fair distance ahead of the chasing pack. The men’s event was tightly contested with Simon Rigby coming out on top after a quality turn provided a good platform to power home to victory.
With this being the end of the singles events and York only having one 1st placed a break was called allowing both camps to discuss the team relay events. Lancaster seemed in good spirits with many swimmers staying in the pool waiting for their next event.
The first relay events were the men’s and women’s 4x50m freestyle. The women set the tone and after 100m of the race were well ahead which eventually led to the whole team ending with a 25m victory. Not to be outdone the male competitors powered home to victory with the 2nd of the 4 swimmers opening up a healthy lead for his team mates to capitalise on.
After this, a 100m female butterfly heat ensued with Lancaster dominating the event from beginning to end and taking both 1st and 2nd place. The male 100m butterfly ended in Lancaster victory despite being closely fought with a York competitor who, despite not ending in 1st place in any of his heats, can be proud of his performance.
With the longer distances taking place, it was time for the 100m backstroke and the result seemed inevitable when a female from York delayed her entry to the pool by failing to react to starter’s orders. Despite this, the battle for 2nd place was close between Lancaster and York but Lancaster pipped York to the post and took 1st and 2nd places. In the men’s 100m backstroke, York seemed to have the stronger competitors in this event as they ran away with 1st and 2nd places with a respectable margin from the 3rd and 4th place Lancaster competitors.
Both the men’s and women’s 100m breaststroke followed and were tightly fought affairs. However, rallied by their team mates from the side of the pool, Lancaster swimmers edged their York rivals in order to take 1st place.
Next up was the 100m freestyle events which were highly anticipated to be a speedy affair. Lancaster took 1st and 2nd place in both the men’s and women’s races with the men’s race being interesting as both Lancaster males battled it out for 1st place in an intense affair.
The final two races saw both female and male swimming teams form into teams of 4 for the 4x50m medley. The races were fiercely contested despite both teams sharing banter at the starter’s blocks before the race. However, both events saw Lancaster lead at the half way point and this margin was too much for York to overcome with Lancaster finishing the race with a comfortable distance from their rivals.
Overall, Lancaster men’s swimming team claimed a 64-48 victory whilst the females emphatically won 76-34 leading to Lancaster claiming all eigth points available at the pool. Lancaster put in some high quality performances but it must also be mentioned that a bit of extra quality from York may have turned a large number of 2nd and 3rd places into 1st places.
Post-race a delighted Andrew Barratclough said: “it was a fantastic swim from everyone. We stuck together as a team over the course of the year and this is what you get. The training paid off”.