Early Anglian League success for Wisbech swimmers

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After a busy and profitable County Championships, Wisbech Swimming Club began the new season of league swimming with Round 1 of the Anglian League at King’s Lynn, followed by the first round in the Junior Fenland League at Newmarket.

Adding to its fifth place in the County Relay Championships, Wisbech finished the five days of county competition with three silver medals, two for Joe Whittaker and one for Ben Knowles, and six bronze – Beth Dennis (two), Knowles (two), Whittaker and Alex Gallagher.

Between them, 11 swimmers (Beth Dennis, Sam Smith, Knowles, Jacob Rhodes, Mary O’Neill, Gallagher, Whittaker, Esme Gilbert, Harry Smith, Alice Dennis and Molly Hewitt) made 18 finals, Beth Dennis placing highest, with a third.

A good performance in the Anglian League gala saw Wisbech finish second on 130 points, trailing Boston ‘A’ on 144 and ahead of West Norfolk on 126. Thirteen swimmers managed new personal best times in 30 races, and Louisa Rowell (13/U 100m individual medley), Charlie Bourne (15/U 100m freestyle), Jacob Rhodes (Open 50m freestyle), Ellen Williams (Open 50m free), Knowles (15/U 100m backstroke) and Joe Tierney (13/U 100m breaststroke) were all victorious.

Wisbech made a strong start to its JFL campaign when Connor Loughlin swam to a convincing win in the 12/U 100m IM. His was the first of 16 wins in 45 events, including a scintillating performance by the 8×25m Squadron relay team.

Thirteen swimmers won individual events, Loughlin (adding the 12/U 50m breaststroke) and George Milton (9yrs 25m butterfly and 50m breast) each taking two victories.

Wisbech finished on 166 points, with City of Peterborough ‘A’ on 141 and City of Ely third on 135. The town’s swimmers are back in action for Round 2 of the JFL at Peterborough on April 22.

The club’s Lucy Ryan is fourth in the world rankings after her 200m breaststroke performance in the 40-44 years category at last year’s European Championships. Her 100m swim in the same stroke was good enough for 10th. A modest Lucy has pronounced herself: “Pretty chuffed!”