Chichester Cormorants swimmers performed beyond all expectations in the latest round of the National Arena Swimming League at Basingstoke.
Taking on a tough group of swimming clubs from around the south, Chichester achieved a creditable third place out of six, beating local rivals Worthing as well as Wey Valley and Andover.
The evening started strongly with Cormorants’ Italian star Sara Pezzutto claiming first place in the ladies’ open individual medley. The theme continued as she claimed another first in the backstoke after being unluckily ruled out of another first in the butterfly.
Another impressive first came from Adam Long, powering home to claim first place in the boys’ under-14 breastroke. Long’s victory was the high point of a strong team performance from the boys’ under-14 squad, which also included Oliver Wise, Jo Barnett, Oscar Warrington and Sam Hadnett’
Sam’s brother Seb notched up an impressive victory in the under-12 butterfly.
Coach Darren Sims led from the front to take first place in the men’s open 100m freestyle.
Molly Whatmore added several valuable points to the Cormorants total and stepped up to swim in the ladies’ open relay.
Once again, the girls’ under-12 team of Jess Rayner, Laura Docherty, Alexia Everley and Olivia Davies showed their strength in depth, capping their display to come from behind and claim a clear win in the medley relay, to add to Olivia and Jemima’s individual firsts in breastroke and freestyle.
Ultimately, Cormorants’ third place was hard won, by just two points, with the men’s open squadron bringing home the victory amid a cacophony of support.
Phil Rayner, team manager, ended the gala satisfied with the improvements the club’s swimmers have made over the year and looking forward to further progress in 2014.