[pictured left to right: Oxford’s younger boys – Monty Salmon, Harry Jones, Brendan McGlynn, Tristan Dennis and Anton Lake]
Spring was in the air and skills and speed were on display at Leys pool for the COSC Development Meets 4 and 5 over the weekend of 4-5th March! Young swimmers came from Abingdon Vale, Banbury, Didcot Barramundi, Four Shires, Kidlington, Wantage and Witney as well as City of Oxford, for what was an intense couple of days of competition.
It was great to see some of Oxford’s youngest swimmers practicing their competition skills, some for the first time – and have fun too! For the more experienced academy and competitive squad swimmers the development meets offered a valuable chance to improve times and hone racing skills ahead of upcoming away meets.
8 year-old Monty Salmon (pictured), swimming in one of his first galas for Oxford, took first place in his age group for 50m breaststroke and said: “I like the Development Meets because I can try swimming different races”.
Oxford’s Thalia Robinson-Cortes (age 12) said: “I got feedback from the coaches that I can use in other galas to improve my times. It was a good way to get personal bests and I enjoyed it”.
Oxford’s swimmers made a strong show across all the events over the two days. Girls taking first place in their age groups included 8 year-old Sofia Conway in 100m breaststroke and 100m backstroke. Zara Porter was prominent across the 9 year-olds events, fastest in 200m freestyle, 50m and 100m backstroke and 200m IM, as was Eleni Ioannou in 200m breaststroke and Pearl Sophastienphong in 200m butterfly. In the 10 year-old age group, Juliet Anthony came top in 100m backstroke and Ella Joyce in 200m breaststroke. Ellen Bagley was fastest for the 11 year-olds in 200m freestyle and 200m butterfly, with Freya Little taking first in 50m backstroke and Megan Peake in 200m breaststroke. 12 year-olds Ellen Tranter and Libby Gotta came top in 200m breaststroke and 200m butterfly respectively. Anna Hens, age 13, powered to top place in 100m and 200m breaststroke, 100m backstroke and 50m freestyle and Jessica Steel, also age 13, in 200m IM. In the 14 year-old category Nisaratn Rojchuphan came first in 100m and 200m breaststroke and Hannah Austen in 200m freestyle.
Notching up the fastest times among the boys were, 8 year-olds Tristan Dennis in 50m and 100m freestyle 50 butterfly and 100m backstroke and Monty Salmon in 50m breaststroke. Brendan McGlynn came first in his age group as the only 9 year-old boy competing in 200m backstroke, while in the 10 year-old category Jeffrey Cheung was top in 200m backstroke, Ethan Bird in 200m IM and 100m backstroke and Kayden Sillah in 100m butterfly. 11 year-old Joseph Watkiss was fastest in 100m backstroke and for the 12 year-olds Benjamin Holmes came top in 50m butterfly and 200m IM and James Brooks in 200m backstroke. In the 13 year-old category Miki Petrovic triumphed to first place in all his events: 100m and 200m backstroke, 100m freestyle, 50m breaststroke, 100m and 50m butterfly and Tufayl Ahmed was first in 50m freestyle.
Congratulations to all the swimmers who took part and thanks to the coaching staff and the volunteers for a successful two days.