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Wisbech swimmers win league after waiting 31 years

League winners Wisbech Swimming Club at Peterborough on Saturday, with the team captains holding the gala winner's and league winner's trophies. (credit: Nick Seaton)'MFCP
League winners Wisbech Swimming Club at Peterborough on Saturday, with the team captains holding the gala winner's and league winner's trophies. (credit: Nick Seaton)'MFCP

Wisbech Swimming Club won the Junior Fenland League final − for the first time in three decades − on Saturday night.

The young swimmers convincingly beat hosts City of Peterborough ‘A’ and ‘B’ into second and fourth places respectively, thanks to a series of consistently excellent performances. March Marlins finished joint fourth, with Boston third.

March Marlins
March Marlins

Wisbech dominated much of the gala, winning 15 individual events, sufficient not only for victory on the night but also a historic league win – the club’s first in 31 years. The JFL format of five galas, plus the final, usually sees Wisbech running short of swimmers towards its conclusion, as its faster athletes break cut-offs on the way to the final, becoming ineligible to swim in subsequent rounds.

This year head coach Greg Marsters found strength in depth in even his youngest swimmers, some stepping up to competitive swimming for the first time in Saturday’s final, performing beyond reasonable expectations.

“It’s a fantastic achievement for the club,” he enthused. “The team worked very hard in all the rounds, culminating in a terrific performance on the night.”

Between them, the Wisbech JFL team competed in 44 individual events and the 8×25m squadron relay. Along with their 15 first places, they also managed nine seconds and 11 thirds.

Many other swimmers had competed in the previous five rounds, but were not at the final, and Marsters was keen to pass his thanks and congratulations to them. In reality, the JFL win is the result of a carefully managed eight-month campaign that began with round one back in March.

Many of Saturday’s winning team were back on Sunday, training hard at their Hudson Centre home in readiness for their next competition – round one of the prestigious National Arena League, at the Hudson next Saturday.

JFL team: Henry Leach, Nicole Guarino, Molly Hewitt, Ridas Rabasauskas, Katie Leach, Harry Smith, Esme Gilbert, Erin Doherty, Joe Whittaker, Lucy O’Neill, Grace Seaton, George Milton, Millie Harris, Zach Peggs, Zoe Wilson, Alex Wilson, Amelia Mitchell, Mateusz Smialek, Kian Cooper, Aiste Virzintaite, Olivia Rowell, Harrison Smith, Kevin Huang, Sophie Fenner, Lily Jones, and team captains Louisa Rowell and Ben Eden

l March Marlins (pictured above, right) are on fire! A fabulous weekend of swimming at Corby Long Course Open Meet and the A final of the Junior Fenland League at Peterborough.

At Corby’s 50m International Pool, gold medals were taken by Jess Rayner and Daniel Riches. Silver to Luke Ruggles and bronze to Reece Simpson, Riches and Rayner.

Reece, aged 11, also gained his first Regional time for his 50m Freestyle.

Also swimming were: Rebecca Jordan, Hannah Jordan, Thea Hanley, Tom Hanley, Weronika Mikolajewska, Joel Jordan, Kiera Simpson and Harry Rayner.

For the first time in over a decade, March made the A final for the Junior Fenland League this year, resulting in a fourth place.

First places went to Jacob Cowin, Molly McGowen, Gracie Webb and Olivia Tunley.

Second positions gained by Molly McGowen, Hayden Courten, Hattie Carter-Kitchingman and Ciara Mason. Coming third were Olivia Tunley, Rosetta Schaneuburg Kent, Luke Cumbridge, Louis Beningfield and Henry Gooch.

Also swimming were Freddie Yates, Rickard Connor, Jonas Meckauskas, Ashleigh Mason, Una Ansome, Saule Majauski and Jeremy Courten.

Final results: Wisbech 158 points, Peterborough A team 138, Boston 128, March 109 and Peterborough B team 109.

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