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Diss Otters swimmers make a big impression at two recent UEA Sports Park events

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Diss Otters continued a busy period of action in the pool by hosting the ‘Santa’s Splash and Dash Open’ at the UEA Sports Park on Sunday.

In what was a busy event that included 18 events, the Otters welcomed swimmers from West Norfolk, Thetford, Dereham, City of Norwich, Great Yarmouth, Norwich Swan, City of Ely, Norfolk Vikings, Team Ipswich and Wisbech.

And with swimmers ranging from ages nine to 20, the home squad made a big impression.

Diss Otters at the Santa Dash event
Diss Otters at the Santa Dash event

In total the 25-strong team achieved a combined 64 top eight finishes and set 61 new personal bests from their 111 swims.

Noah Blair and Jon Barber brought home five medals apiece, while Grace Cook was in front from the start in the 200m freestyle, taking 13 seconds off her personal best and winning the overall gold for her age group.

Olivia Brewer shaved a massive 22 seconds off her personal best in the 50m backstroke while Pascal van Enckevort beat his previous best time in the 100m backstroke by 21 seconds.

Diss Otters squad: Damian Lemke, Matthew Tatum, Finlay Neve, Olivia Brewer, Tayla Goodswen, Ella Goodswen, Freya Reed, Eleanor Goldbold, Mya Sidwell, Olly Shadbolt, Abigail Fletcher, Elizabeth Ferrier, Jessica Freeman, Grace Cook, Kyla Dalliston, Jodi Brown, Portia Bloomfield, Pascal Van Enckevort, James Gurin, Benjamin Eastwood, Donald Perrin, Noah Blair, Jon Barber, Seren Jones and Sasha Spink.

Diss Otters medal winners: Finlay Neve 200m Free (G), 50m Free (G), 100m Free (G), 50m Fly (G). Matthew Tatum 200m Free (G), 50m Free (G). Damian Lemke 100m Fly (B), 100m Breast (S). Benjamin Eastwood 50m Back (G), 50m Free (B), 50m Breast (S). Noah Blair 50m Back (S), 50m Free (G), 100m Back (S), 100m Free (S), 50m Fly (B). Jon Barber 50m Back (G), 50m Free (G), 100m Back (G), 50m Breast (S), 100m Free (G). Jessica Freeman 100m Free (B). Donald Perrin 100m Back (S), 50m Free (B), 50m Breast (B). Freya Reed 20m Fly (B), 50m Back (S). Grace Cook 50m Fly (S), 200m Free (G), 50m Free (S). Taylor Goodswen 50m Back (B). Ella Goodswen 100m Breast (B).

Meanwhile, late last month the club took a team to the same venue for the City of Norwich’s L3 Short Course Open Gala.

The squad, which consisted of Jon Barber, Grace Cook, Ella Goodswen, James Guerin, Forbes Irvine, Thea Irvine, Seren Jones, Finley Neve, Donald Perrin, Freya Reed, Mya Sidwell, Sasha Spinks and Matthew Tatum, recorded 25 top eight finishes from 62 individual swims.

Neve was in particularly impressive form throughout the competition, coming away from the event with seven medals. Two of those were gold in the 100m individual medley and 200m breaststroke, with silvers in the 200m freestyle and 50m freestyle alongside a trio of bronzes in the 50m breaststroke, 100m freestyle and 100m breaststroke.

Matthew Tatum won gold and silver in the 200m and 100m backstroke respectively, while Seren Jones scooped bronze in the 200m breaststroke, as did Freya Reed in the 100m backstroke.

Sasha Spinks (200m breaststroke, 28 seconds), Mya Sidwell (100m individual medley, 22 seconds) and Donald Perrin (200m freestyle) all took big chunks of time off their previous personal bests.

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