UEA Swim Team set to surpass last year’s record performance

The President of UEA swimming has expressed his delight over the team’s recent performance at BUCs short-course.

Over the weekend of the 16 November, a team of 38 swimmers, including 15 new freshers, went off to compete at Ponds Forge in Sheffield. The event was a marked improvement on last year, with UEA scoring 12 points, landing them in 29th place overall, up from 32nd place last year.

Swimming is a very intense sport, but the UEA team shows no signs of slowing down, with 9 new personal best times secured by team members over the course of three days, and the mixed medley relay team finishing within the top 15.

Olivia Neale swam the backstroke, Rikke Nagell-Kleven the breaststroke, Harry Jones the butterfly and Simon Newton the freestyle, with the team making an overall time of 1.53.10.

The women’s open 200m medley relay B-team went on to make it into the finals for their event. Together Olivia Neale (backstroke), Megan Pirrie (breaststroke), Rikke Nagell-Kleven (butterfly) and Hannah Binning (freestyle) cracked out a time of 2.02.59 to take 9th place.

Both Neale and Nagell-Kleven also made it through to individual finals events. Neale made the 50m backstroke B final, coming in 6th with a time of 29.46, and Nagell-Kleven was up for both the 200m individual medley final and the 50m butterfly B final, taking 10th place for both events, with times of 2.22.72 and 29.33 respectively.

The male swimmer of the weekend was Sean Watson, who swam the 100m, 200m and 400m freestyle events, as well as making an appearance on the men’s 200m freestyle relay B team.

Ben Friar, the president of UEA swimming, said: “Sean Watson had impressive swims all round, particularly in his 100m Freestyle where Sean broke his PB for the first time in 8 years. Sean also swam a great split for the Men’s Freestyle B team relay.”

The female swimmer of the weekend was Rikke Nagell-Kleven, who competed in the 50m and 100m butterfly, and the 200m individual medley, and was a part of both the women’s 200m medley and freestyle teams, and the 200m medley mixed relay team.

Nagell-Kleven, a postgraduate studying MSC business management at UEA, said: “As always, competing with the team in Sheffield for BUCS short course last weekend was a great pleasure.

“Everyone did really well, and it was especially nice to see some swimmers doing their first competitive race in years, performing personal best times.

“As well as an astonishing team effort, where we managed to qualify for the B final in the women’s 4 x 50 Medley Relay.

“I am extremely happy with my own swims, making an A final in the 200m Individual Medley and the B Final in the 50m Butterfly.”

Friar, a 3rd year law student, also expressed his delight at the team’s performance.

“As President I could not be more proud of how the team performed over the weekend. We made 3 individual finals thanks to some exceptional swims from Olivia Neale and Rikke Nagell-Kleven.

“Last year was our most successful year on record, making the finals at BUCS Teams for the first time ever along with all of our relay teams making finals at BUCS long-course so this year we are determined to build upon these achievements. Our accomplishments this weekend are certainly a step in that direction.”

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Jamie Hose

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June 2022
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