Imps Gala - Exmouth Leisure Centre
The club hosted its annual Imps Gala at Exmouth Leisure Centre with five visiting teams from Dawlish, Exeter City, Newton Abbot, Torquay and Paignton. The gala was for swimmers age 13 years and below, so there were a number of swimmers competing in their first ever gala. The atmosphere as usual was electric, with spectators cramming in around poolside to get a view of the potential stars of the future. The Exmouth swimmers could be proud of their performance with a total of 21 PBs and 2 new times recorded. A number of swimmers had to swim up in age groups to make up relay numbers, so thankfully the half term holidays allowed a lie in the following day.
In the boys 10U age group there were PBs for Miles Doble (50m backstroke), Matthew King (25m fly) and Joe Fordham (50m breaststroke). The boys were joined by Ryan Fitzhenry for the relays, and in the 4 x 50m freestyle, Matthew King set another PB on the lead leg. For the girls in the same age group, Jasmine Pashley and Jessie Cooper swam two events each. Jessie, competing in her first ever team gala, set two new personal best times in the 25m fly and 50m breaststroke. Jasmine swam really well in the 50m backstroke and 50m freestyle. She also stepped up to swim in the relays for the 11U girls. In the 11U girls 4 x 50m freestyle, Lucy Humphreys recorded a PB of 37.08s on the lead leg. With Jasmine Pashley on 2nd leg and Sophie Raven on the third, it was down to Esme Amor to see the girls home with a good time of 2:37.19. Lucy and Sophie both set PBs in the 50m fly and 50m breaststroke respectively. In the boys section, Luke Crompton set PBs in both the 50m fly and 50m freestyle, whilst Finlay Cotton set a PB on the lead leg of the 4 x 50m freestyle relay, with a split of 39.70s.
The two older groups both had 100m IM races. In the 12U both Grace Gillingham (1:21.37) and James Griffin (1:20.38) set PBs, whilst in the 13U, there were also PBs for Lily Allen (1:25.06) and Jules Roberts (1:25.38). In the boys 12U relays, James was joined by Bertie Fordham, Carrick Howard and Aiden Beacon. Aiden set a new PB in the 50m breaststroke individual race, whilst James set PBs in both the 50m back and 50m freestyle. In the boys 13U, there were PBs for Ryan Voysey in the 50m fly, and for Ethan King in the 50m breaststroke. Josh Te Moananui also set a new PB in the lead leg of the 4 x 50m freestyle relay. The team of Josh, Ryan, Ethan and Jules recorded an overall time of 2:23.50. Both Abbie Freeman and Grace Gillingham were kept busy with two individual 50m races, followed by relays where they were joined by Sophie Raven and Amy Jenions. Lily Allen and Lauren Sprigmore competed in the events for the Under 13 girls, and were joined by some of the 12 and under swimmers for the medley and freestyle relays.
At the end of the meet there was the 8 x 25m cannon, and it sounded like the spectators were saving their loudest roar of the night for this event. Finlay Cotton swam the first leg setting a new 25m freestyle PB.
Overall, Exmouth finished in 6th place, however gala referee and Chair of the C & D section at Exmouth, Jane Easton, commented that a number of clubs had come up to her at the end to thank Exmouth for hosting such a great event. Thanks to all the officials, helpers and the team at LED for their support in ensuring that the event ran smoothly.