On 20th October 2018, Cambridge University Swimming Club welcomed UCL, KCL, Imperial and Leicester to Parkside Pools for the annual season-opening Relays Gala. Cambridge entered two teams, named Team Alpha and Team Aleph in honour of random alphabets worldwide. With neither team selected to be stronger than the other, the stage (pool) was set for some tight races. Several Cambridge newbies made their debuts in light blue – on the male side Joe Anderson, Jacques Bonsell, Theo Cannon and Segev Gonen Cohen all appeared for the first time whilst Eve Hull, Anna Kirk, Meghan Mulhern, Ellie O’Keeffe, and Elizabeth Perry all made their debuts on the women’s team.
The first half of the event consisted of the individual events – 100m of each of the four strokes and 100m individual medley were contested. Some impressive victories, particularly by Bonsell, Cannon and Kirk in the Men’s 100m freestyle, 100m butterfly, and Ladies’ 100m backstroke respectively, saw both Cambridge teams at the top of the leaderboard at halfway. However, having won the Ladies’ 100m individual medley and the Men’s 100m backstroke, UCL were close behind just 5 points down.
The events in the second half were the relays. 4 x 50m relays of each stroke for each gender were raced, and then mixed gender 8 x 50m medley and 8 x 50m freestyle relays concluded the competition. Following on from the strong individual events, Cambridge’s swimmers continued to ooze speed and class as they extended their leads at the top of the points table, winning every relay and getting a 1-2 finish in six out of the ten relays. The highlight of the second half was no doubt the Cambridge breaststrokers squaring off against each other, as Daniel Toy pipped a tiring Finn Harman in the first leg of the breaststroke relay.
The final standings were:
|University College London||77|
|University of Leicester||58|
|King's College London||46|
Thank you to everyone who came to make this memorable event happen, and well done to our winners Team Cambridge!