Despite an electric crowd and phenomenal amounts of talent, Trent’s swimmers could not quite keep their heads above water in this year’s varsity swimming series as they were defeated 148 – 71 by the University of Nottingham making the series 4-1 to our bitter rivals as Joe Locker found out.
After Trent tested the waters at UoN Park Campus, the battle to determine who would be crowned champions of the pool was underway.
The day began with the men’s 4x50m medley at 2:00pm and despite valiant efforts, Trent’s A-team finished in third place.
UoN took the lead early on, with the A-team finishing first and the B-team trailing in second place.
The women’s 4x50m medley finished with the same result, Trent’s A-team finishing third behind UoN’s A-team and B-team respectively.
Callum McLean and Charlotte Milligan, swimming for UoN, took first place in the men’s and women’s 100m individual medley races.
Swimming against the stream
By the half way point, Trent seemed a little out of their depth, unable to find a win.
The score stood at at 73 – 36, UoN winning all 12 races in a very tense first half, although NTU were very close in some of the heats. Chants of “T.R.E.N.T. We are the Trent Army!” from the Trent crowd, who were stationed on the left side of the pool which rippled the water during the half-time break.
To boost spirits and prevent morale from sinking, Trent’s swimming team requested Vanessa Carlton’s ‘A Thousand Miles’ to be sung by the commentator.
Beginning the second half with the men’s and women’s 50m Fly races, Trent were left behind once again in third place.
After another three losses, Trent’s Rebecca Barsby broke through and secured first place in the women’s 50m breaststroke. She won the race with a lightning fast time of 34.91 seconds, which marked Trent’s very first win in the battle of the pool.
Trent pulled one back on UoN but still swam behind, the lead now 18-1.
As the day neared its end, UoN continued to dominate proceedings, but Trent’s crowd remained loud and proud with deafening chants and support for all the swimmers.
The men’s and women’s skins races were all that remained, and gave way for some incredible sporting action.
Trent’s Erin Stanley was eliminated in the women’s butterfly skins race, with Trent’s Jack Holt following shortly after in the men’s leg.
Katie Richards and Alex Hammond were also eliminated in the successive race, both swimmers for NTU.
Women’s backstroke saw another NTU swimmer eliminated, this time Ellen Oxbrow, and Trent’s Matt Birks followed in the men’s front crawl stint.
Yussuf Farouk for Trent almost pulled the win out of the water after a stumble at the starting line, making for a magnificent race despite a series of losses.
After a huge blow on Trent’s end, Lucy Smith for UoN was eliminated which marked the first UoN swimmer elimination.
Unfortunately, Yussuf Farouk and the rapid Rebecca Barsby were both knocked out in the men’s breaststroke and women’s butterfly respectively, leaving Trent’s roster blank.
The final fling
Trent were no longer in the competition, leaving UoN to fight it out amongst their own.
Michelle Mitchell took the crown with the frontcrawl in the women’s skins final, powering to the finish in 38.83 seconds. James Bull banished his rival to the depths with the backstroke, winning the men’s skins race in 30.18 seconds.
The final scores were announced once the water had settled, with UoN beating Trent 148 to 71 points.
Sophie Taylor, Trent’s captain remained proud of her team despite a disappointing day in the pool.
She said: “I’m incredibly proud of the team despite losing. I’m proud of all the hard work and the training put in by everyone.”
An astonishing display of talent by all involved and booming crowds made for a great year for both University swimming teams.
Here’s to next year, Trent.