An unprecedented technicality meant it was almost a win for the opposition, but with two controversial points reclaimed Oxford secured a draw in the 126th Varsity Swimming match.
The Rosenblatt pool hosted possibly the closest swimming Varsity to date with the Oxford women soaking up a 10 point lead only for the Cambridge men’s team to do the same, resulting in an even score overall for both teams.
The girls excelled in all disciplines, with wins for Juliet Flamank in the 200m Individual Medley, Charlotte Newman in the 100m backstroke and Zara Ryan in the 100m breaststroke. They also took the 7 points for first place in the 4x50m medley relay, led by Charlotte Newman in a Blues time and followed by Tori Lackey, Zara Ryan and Luiza Farache-Trajano respectively, with Luiza splashing out a new personal best in her first competition for three years! Courtney Sanders similarly thrived in her first ever Varsity, splitting a 28.53 in the 4x50m freestyle relay.
Tori Lackey swam another personal best in her 100m breaststroke individual, and the PB squad was joined by Lauren in the 100m freestyle, where she finished comfortably below the one minute barrier to join team mate Ellie Winter with a Blues time. Zara Ryan also dipped under the Blues time in the 100m butterfly, with Juliet Flamank just missing it by 0.1 seconds, still wet from having swum the 200m Individual Medley straight before. Suzanne Norman ensured a 1-2 finish in the 100m backstroke after
The Men’s 200m Individual Medley was also won by Oxford swimmer, Toby Mackay-Champion, who followed with a 100m breaststroke Oxford win later on and earned himself the Nick Thomas Swimmer of the Meet trophy for his impressive performances. Toby’s official recorded best time for the medley was 2.29.95, so Cambridge’s swimmer was shocked into second place when Toby pulled off an incredible Oxford record-breaking 2.03.92!
Despite Cambridge’s dominance in the freestyle events, the Oxford boys fought hard, with a series of Blues times being achieved by past and present Captains Dominic McLoughlin and James Towner in the 100m freestyle, Dominic Walker and Cameron Manley in the 100m backstroke, Tommy Lees in the 200m freestyle, Adam Bagley in the 200m Individual Medley, Toby Mackay-Champion and Matthew Williams in the 100m breaststroke and Toby again in the 200m Individual Medley. That’s an outstanding collection of swims from the boys and testament to the exceptionally high standard of swimming from both teams on the day.
Special mention ought to also go to Adam Bagley and Lara Reed, who both endured the grueling 400m freestyle after completing a 200m Individual Medley, with Lara putting up a great fight to beat a Cambridge swimmer to the wall in the 400m, whilst team mate Lucy battled it out alongside her but ultimately was touched out in the last stroke. Rodrigo Orselli also faced this race, touching in a solid 4.15.90, again just missing a Blues time.
The boys’ results also entailed a number of wins – well done to Dominic Walker, Toby Mackay-Champion, and the 4×100 Medley relayteam, Dominic McLoughlin, Toby Mackay-Champion, Ben Eastman and Cameron Manley, on gaining maximum points for OUSC.
We couldn’t have hosted such a successful event without the meticulous organisation of OUSC’s President, Tilly Ansell, and all the Officials who volunteered to help on the day.
Thank you to all those involved, including the supporters there watching, and well done to all the swimmers for such a successful season!
Written by Zara Ryan and Juliet Flamank