York swimmers gain early Varsity points

Photo: Justyn Hardcastle

Photo: Justyn Hardcastle


York’s dominance in Saturday’s Varsity match-ups continued in the Archbishop Holgate pool this afternoon, as both the men’s and women’s swimming teams proved too strong for their local rivals.

The opening race set the tone for the rest of the contest, as Roz Price and Vanessa Donhowe-Mason recorded a ruthless York one-two in the women’s 50m backstroke. The men’s side’s supremacy also shone through immediately in the corresponding race; Elliot Thurland and Lewis Cherry taking first and second respectively, St. John’s two swimmers clearly outclassed.

Early wins for the male swimmers gave York an unassailable led. Photograph by Justyn Hardcastle.

In truth it was York’s men who sealed overall victory early on, with the exceptional Raymond Wade winning both the 50m freestyle and 50m butterfly in style. Michael Tansini and Thurland then battled it out for first in the 100m backstroke, Tansini eventually taking victory by just one stroke. Another win soon followed for the formidable fresher, this time in the 100m freestyle. The 50m breaststroke would result in yet another one-two for York’s men, this time Gordon Lai pipping team-mate Chris Unsworth to the post. Unsworth, however, would not be beaten in the 100m individual medley, clinching victory ahead of Sam Geeson. A fantastic afternoon’s swimming for York’s men was capped by success in both the 4x50m freestyle and 4x50m individual medley relays – the latter won by almost a full length over a despondent St. John team.

Wins for Whiley and Price in the women’s races helped keep York’s overall lead intact. Photograph by Justyn Hardcastle.

St. John’s female contingent would prove to be a more even match for York as the contest progressed, taking first place in the 50m freestyle, 100m breaststroke, 50m butterfly, and 100m freestyle. However, victory for Alice Whiley in the 100m backstroke and second place finishes for Price in the 100m backstroke, Emily Rimmer in the 50m butterfly, Whiley again in the 50m breaststroke, captain Fliss Hannon in the 100m freestyle and Donhowe-Mason in both the 100m breaststroke and 100m individual medley would prove enough to keep York’s sizeable overall lead intact. Two close-fought women’s relays both resulted in narrow wins for the visiting side, but it was too little too late for a disappointing St. John team.

Men’s captain Andrew Nash reflected on the 24-point victory after the ‘meet’: “The final score says it all really – there were so many outstanding performances today, especially from Ray [Wade] and Elliot [Thurland].” His counterpart Fliss Hannon was equally pleased with the team’s performance: “We showed good team spirit throughout – top effort all round! The relays were really exciting; it would be great to race these guys more often.”

York line-up (Men): Andrew Nash (c), Charlie Morton, Michael Tansini, Elliot Thurland, Raymond Wade, Chris Unsworth, Sam Geeson, Gordon Lai, Lewis Cherry, Jon Beardsley.
(Women): Fliss Hannon (c), Vanessa Donhowe-Mason, Roz Price, Francesca Baguley, Michelle Schulz, Alice Whiley, Emily Rimmer.


  1. 27 Feb ’10 at 10:12 pm

    Rebecca Adlington

    I didn’t know that this Arran guy could write as well as being a great photographer, excellent water polo player and all-round campus playboy. Is there any limit to his talents? I think not.

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  2. 27 Feb ’10 at 10:43 pm

    Michael Phelps

    Cannot believe that you are such a good journalist. You should be proud of this stunning piece of work. Quick tip, it is Thurland not Thurman but only a perfectionist would have noticed it. Maybe you’d like to do a report on me sometime.

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