If one word can be used to sum up the performance of the University of Nottingham male swimming squad, that word is unbeatable. With 12 events in total, and 12 victories, the Nottingham Trent boys must be wondering why they bothered to turn up, or rather, why they didn’t.
The first men’s race of the competition was a clear sign of things to come. The 4×50 metres Men’s Medley saw Nottingham University take first place, and Nottingham University B take second. Trent were left trailing in Nottingham’s wake, having to settle for an internal battle between themselves for 3rd place.
The University of Nottingham’s supremacy never faded, picking up first and second yet again in the next race, the 100 metre Individual Medley, meaning that UoN had secured a 100% record in their first two races. In the 100 metres Butterfly, the winner swam a storming race, securing a time of 56.98 seconds; and the 50 metres Freestyle champion was timed in at an impressive 24.20 seconds. However Trent, respectfully, managed both second and third place in the 50 metres Freestyle. Before half-time, UoN had further triumphed in the 50 metres Backstroke and 100 metres Breastroke.
The half-time break gave Trent some time to re-group and re-focus, but it made little difference. The men came out as they began, achieving a first and second place finish in the 50 metres Butterfly. A time of 53.32 seconds was enough in the 100 metres Freestyle to beat the Trent competitor’s extremely respectable time of 54.24. By the time the 4×50 metres Freestyle Relay came around, the competition was long gone for Trent, and the University of Nottingham team annihilated them, once again in both first and second place. The only real competition for the University of Nottingham men came from within their own ranks, as they fought for first place on the (imaginary) podium.
The final race was the most exciting. The ‘8×50 metres Individual Medley Skins’ involved 8 competitors, 4 from each side, racing 50 metres in a stroke that was to be randomly selected. The slowest competitor would be eliminated, leaving 7 competitors to race again, and so on. This was to be repeated until the final showdown, where the last two men standing would race for the title. After 4 eliminations, the rivals were stalemate, each with two men remaining. Unfortunately for Trent, those two University of Nottingham swimmers proved too strong, and both found themselves up against each other in a final that was to be irrelevant for the swimmers as a squad – though I’m sure the two teammates had a different perspective on the matter.