It’s fourth place for swimmers in finals

Biggleswade s Saxon Pool hosted the Speedo League final for the East Midlands Division One. The six teams at the top of the East Midlands Speedo League converged on the excellent Saxon Pool on Saturday for the final of the 2006 regional competition. Not o

Biggleswade's Saxon Pool hosted the Speedo League final for the East Midlands Division One.

The six teams at the top of the East Midlands Speedo League converged on the excellent Saxon Pool on Saturday for the final of the 2006 regional competition.

Not only would the winners qualify for the national finals but the next fastest teams would also have the chance to qualify so the competition was going to be fierce.

At the start of the gala the league was topped by Nottingham Leander, followed by Lincoln Vulcans, Northampton, City of Peterborough, Biggleswade and City of Milton Keynes.

As always, the gala started with the open individual medleys and Hayley Davis came in fourth for the girls, gaining a point above Biggleswade's seeded fifth place and Paul Titley finished sixth for the boys.

Things soon brightened up as the 13/U girls and boys' medley relay teams took second places, while the 15/U freestyle teams took second for the girls, and third for the boys, then the ladies' open medley team also took third place.

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Biggleswade were scoring above their seeding and after 10 events were lying in fourth place overall.

In the 11/U 50m backstroke Emily McConnell set a personal best, then George Lavallin came in fourth; as did Charlotte McConnell in the girls' 13/U 100m breaststroke.

Harriet Brettle swam a superb race in the girls' 15/U 100m backstroke to take first place - the first win ever for Biggleswade in a final!

Louise King stole fourth place in the girls' open 100m butterfly, then Rachel Hollington set a new best in the 13/U 100m backstroke, while Adam Ingledew cruised home in first place in the boys' 100m backstroke.

This was a good stroke for Biggleswade as Hayley Davis came home third in the open event.

In the boys' 11/U 50m backstroke Kane Farrell brought the third win of the night, followed by Yasmin Bithrey taking fourth and Alex Raine second in the 13/U 100m butterfly.

Harriet Brettle had another storming swim to take second in the girls' 15/U 100m freestyle while Adam Ingledew swam up an age group to come in third in the boys' event.

Hannah Raine swam the open 100m breaststroke and claimed fourth place.

Biggleswade were still holding fourth place although the points differences were small.

Shauna Lee and Kane Farrell both improved their best times in the 11/U 50m freestyle with Kane taking fourth place.

Then Adam Ingledew claimed first place in the 13/U boys' 100m freestyle - his second victory of the night.

Carmen Mallet and Robert Baldrance both swam well to take third and fourth places in the 15/U 100m breaststroke and then Helen Baldrance took fourth in the open 100m freestyle.

At this stage the first three places overall were separated by only two points - but Biggleswade were holding fourth place.

The last eight events are relays and again the 13/U girls and boys' medley teams both claimed second places; while the girls' 15/U freestyle team took third place.

The last two relays have six swimmers rather than four but the open girls' team came home in second place.

Throughout the gala there were many close finishes and the atmosphere was electric all night.

All the visiting teams and Speedo League officers remarked on the splendid competition.

At the end of the gala, the points scores were: 1 - Lincoln Vulcans 217 points; 2 - Nottingham Leander 216 points; 3 - Northampton 214.5 points; 4 - Biggleswade 145 points; 5 - City of Peterborough 142.5 points; 6 - City of Milton Keynes 112 points;

Biggleswade were delighted to be fourth - a place above expectations.