Meanwhile personal bests were falling faster than needles off a Christmas tree at the last development meet of the year at the Leys Pool and Leisure Centre on 13 December. Young swimmers came from Abingdon Vale, Bicester, Didcot Barramundi, Four Shires and Witney as well as City of Oxford, spurring each other on in an evening of intense competition.
Oxford’s 9-year-old Lily Brabbin had a storming afternoon, proving herself the fastest in her age category in every one of the five girls’ events: the 200m freestyle, 100m butterfly, 50m backstroke, 50m breaststroke and 100m individual medley (IM). Eight-year-olds Pearl Sophastienphong and Zara Porter divided the spoils between them in their age group: Pearl took the first two events, and Zara the following three. Ayanna Fulga was another youngster who caught the eye, swimming the fastest times among the 10-year-olds in the 200m freestyle, 100m butterfly and 50m breaststroke events.
Among the boys, 9-year-old David Feng was also having a good day, notching up the fastest times in the 50m breaststroke, 200m freestyle and 100m IM events. Oliver Conway enjoyed the same number of triumphs among the 10-year-olds, swimming fastest in the 50m breaststroke, 200m freestyle and 100m butterfly races. Nine-year-old Ethan Bird was quickest in the 50m backstroke; 10-year-old Zane Khan in the 100m IM; and 12-year-olds Diego Bravo and Logan Bryan were fastest in the 200m freestyle and 100m butterfly events respectively.