Early on the morning of Friday 15th November we set off on the long coach journey up Ponds Forge. Arriving in Sheffield in the early afternoon, bags were dropped at the hotel before we made our way to the first session. In both the men’s and women’s pools, Exeter’s A and B freestyle relay teams shook off the travel tiredness to post super quick times.
Session 2 started early on Saturday morning with the 200m freestyle. In the women’s event Liz McCulloch not only bagged an impressive 40th place but also broke the club record. The morning continued with speedy swims and personal bests in fly, backstroke and breastroke. Session 3 began after a lunch of carbo-loading. Amongst many great swims Amelia Peddle flew through her 200m backstroke into a huge 22nd place and German Silvestre produced a blistering 24.20 in the 50 freestyle. Later on in the session we saw another club record from Esme Pearce in the gruelling 400 IM. In the medley relays our teams rose to the occasion overcoming tiredness and fatigue to finish amongst the countries fastest universities. After a long day at the pool our swimmers were eager to refuel at the traditional Saturday night team meal.
The last session of heats were held on Sunday morning. Exeter’s Ryan Mogford produced an inspirational swim in the 200 fly setting up a day of terrific performances. In the 200 IM both Carolina Daws and I both broke yet more club records, George Ragg Griffith also shone in the 50 fly posting a time of 26.60. In the final event of the day Joe Golding, Holly Cameron and Beth Elliott all braved the 400 freestyle with a season’s best and two personal bests respectively.
It was an enormous pleasure to captain this team, everyone put their all into their swims and deservedly came away with brilliant times. The team spirit shown by the whole squad made for an incredibly enjoyable weekend.