Nifty times for the open meet

The ninth Biggleswade Open meet was held in association with Mid Beds Swim Squad. It is a two-day meet offering almost all events from 50m sprints to 400m freestyle and individual medley. There were 28 clubs from as far afield as London and Nottingham, an

The ninth Biggleswade Open meet was held in association with Mid Beds Swim Squad.

It is a two-day meet offering almost all events from 50m sprints to 400m freestyle and individual medley.

There were 28 clubs from as far afield as London and Nottingham, and overall there were nearly 3000 swims over the weekend.

Biggleswade swimmers easily took the top club place with Hatfield taking the award for Top Visiting Club from Lincoln Vulcans.

Top boy was Caleb Hughes (Biggleswade and Mid Beds) and top girl was Yasmin Bithrey (Biggleswade and Mid Beds).

Last event was the exciting 50m freestyle skins where the eight fastest girls and boys swim repeated 50m freestyle races with the slowest eliminated from each round.

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Charlotte Blacksley beat Biggleswade clubmate Yasmin Bithrey after a tie for third place between Tamara Richards (Huntingdon and Mid Beds) and Faye Barnard (Hatfield), and Christopher Bradbury (Biggleswade) beat Paul Titley and Myles Gibson, both Biggleswade.

ASA East Region president Mike Raynor presented the prizes with Beds ASA president Chris Payne.

* Biggleswade sent a small team to the Luton Long Distance Meet where the Jordan's sponsored swimmers set about achieving qualifying times for the county championships.

All the events were 200m or 400m and the Biggleswade swimmers took a huge share of the top three places in all age groups.

In the 200m freestyle, Jessica Caughtry, Charlotte Blacksley, Stephen Thom and Huw Jones took first place in their age groups, while Daniel Pedder, Katie Barker, Amber Swales, Elizabeth Dowsett and Maisie-Jane Howman took second places, and Dean Gibson and Natasha Hirst took third places.

One of the most strenuous events in the schedule, the 200m butterfly, saw Dean Gibson set his first ever time and Aydin Berki claim first place.

The 200m backstroke brought third place for Stephen Horner and first place for Huw Jones in the boys' event.

In the girls' event, Natasha Hirst and Katie Barker claimed third places, Amber Swales and Sophie Jones claimed seconds and Jessica Caughtry and Charlotte Blacksley won.

In the 200m breaststroke events, Amber Swales claimed a third place, while Nicholas Wootten and Haydn Mallet took second places and first places went to Jessica Caughtry, Natasha Hirst, Stephen Thom, Stephen Horner and Myles Gibson.

The first of the longer events, the 400m free, saw Daniel Pedder claim third place, while Katie Barker and Amber Swales came second in their age groups and Huw Jones, Jessica Caughtry, Charlotte Blacksley and Aydin Berki took first places.

The other 400m event, the individual medley, saw Dean Gibson claim second place while Elizabeth Dowsett and Charlotte Blacksley claimed the top spot.

Overall, this small team generated 29 personal best times and many county qualifying times to take them into the county championships at Saxon Pool, Biggleswade, in late February and March.

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