THE opening round of this year’s Lincs Junior League saw Gainsborough Dolphins travel to the Castle Sports Complex in Spalding.
Competing against host club South Lincs with swimmers representing Grantham, City of Lincoln Pentaqua and Scunthorpe Anchor, Dolphins arrived with some very nervous youngsters who were competing for the Gainsborough club for the first time.
But the 49-event gala resulted in Dolphins claiming 22 top three finishes including nine victories.
At the senior end of the junior league, for 12 and under swimmers only, both Ewan McKay and Will Walmsley finished first as the latter won the 12/u 50m backstroke with Ewan recording a double as he swam superbly to touch first in the 12/u 50m butterfly and freestyle.
In the nine years age group both Ryley Johnson and Reuben Gidlow beat the nerves as they both gave outstanding performances to win the girls 25m breaststroke and boys 25m backstroke, respectively.
Joining Reuben to win the boys nine years freestyle relay were Morgan Stamp, Nathan Woodhead and Hayden King with Morgan finishing third in his individual 25m breaststroke event.
Following good swims from Emily Neal, Sian Saunders and Freya Janney a storming last leg was produced by Lilly Talbot to snatch victory on the touch in the girls 11/u medley relay.
Boasting rights for Dolphins on the night were claimed by the girls 10/u squad as the quartet of Lydia Smith, Chloe Huddart, Lucie Blades and Harriet Webster claimed victories in both the freestyle and medley relays.
The individual events for this age group saw the girls record four second places in very tight races with Freya Janney the unluckiest as she was denied victory by two one-hundredths of a second in the 25m butterfly.
Excellent swims from Lydia (50m breaststroke), Lucie (50m backstroke) and Harriet (50m freestyle) capped a fine night for the girls, while Chloe swam up in the 11/u girls 50m butterfly to finish third in a new personal best time.
In the 11/u age group both Sian Saunders and Ben Ambrose finished second in the 50m breaststroke.
The girls nine years relay team of Marianne Berry, Ryley Johnson, Nicole Bindon and Erin Green were magnificent to claim second place in the medley relay and third in the freestyle event.
In the 11/u age group Katie Bindon and in the 10/u Ethan Burton both finished third in the 50m backstroke with the final event of the evening securing the Gainsborough club’s final top three finish.
With a selected boy/girl swimmer from each age group they compete in a cannon relay of eight legs of 25m each. Battling throughout in a thrilling finale, Ryley Johnson, Reuben Gidlow, Sophie Marzano, Ethan Burton, Chloe Huddart, Lydia Waring and Ewan McKay had all swam tremendous legs as they were just touched into third by the final Pentaqua swimmer.
Excellent swims were also produced by Grace Tooke, Hollie Watkins, Reagan Johnson, Cammron Bower, Billy Thorpe, Declan Woodhead, Ethan Roslee, Hayden Goble, Alex Berry and Toby Sutherland who all contributed to the final result.
The club wish to thank all the supporters for travelling to cheer on the swimmers and to all coaches and volunteers for their assistance on the night.
Final result: 1, Scunthorpe Anchor 167 points; 2, City of Lincoln Pentaqua 164; 3, Gainsborough Dolphins 132; 4, South Lincs 112; 5, Grantham 104.