Despite trailing The University of Sheffield in the overall scoreboard, Team Hallam this morning claimed a double victory in the Varsity swimming competition.
After Uni of secured a seventh consecutive tournament victory yesterday at Abbeydale, this morning’s fixture had the potential to be something of an anti-climax.
But with two points up for grabs and sizeable crowds gathering to chant their support for both teams, the atmosphere at Ponds Forge was highly charged and unmistakably competitive.
In the women’s races, things were tight at the outset with the Black and Golds claiming comfortable wins in the 4×50 medley relay and 100m individual medley before Hallam fought back with an impressive performance in the 100m backstroke and 100m butterfly, placing a 123 finish in the latter.
The tension could be felt at the halfway point, with the University of Sheffield Women’s captain Abbi Proctor commenting, “I’m really pleased with all of our swims so far… we might clinch it but it’s just so close”. Ultimately, a storming victory for the Uni of girls in the 50m breaststroke proved insufficient in denting Hallam’s dominance of the freestyle events.
Tom Wiggins’ victories in both the 50m and 100m breaststroke meant there was some consolation for the Black and Golds Men’s team in what was otherwise a Hallam masterclass. Triumphs were secured in all three of the relay events, alongside the 100m butterfly, 100m backstroke, 100m medley and 50m freestyle.
Speaking after the results were announced, Team Hallam captain Chris Elcock told Forge Press: “I’m absolutely ecstatic … we were getting a lot of chat from the other side [Uni of] that they might take a point and it’s been good to prove them wrong.”
Looking understandably deflated, the University of Sheffield’s Leo Marchiori said, “I’m disappointed we were edged but there were plenty of strong swims and I’m extremely proud of the team today.”.
Whilst today’s results won’t alter the overall Varsity result, they should give Team Hallam a healthy confidence boost in time for the ice hockey this evening.
Image: Sheffield Varsity Comms