Swimming gala in memory of former March Marlins champion

An autumn challenge gala in memory of a former March Marlins swimmer Richard O'Leary took place last

An autumn challenge gala in memory of a former March Marlins swimmer Richard O'Leary took place last weekend. Pictured left to right; Martyn Fresher, Jacob Lowe, Graham Shaw, Joy O'Leary, Tom Hanley, Molly McGowen. Picture: EMMA HANLEY - Credit: Archant

An autumn challenge gala in memory of a former March Marlins swimmer took place last weekend.

Richard O'Leary, who was past chairman and master swimmer, hosted the event with support from his wife Joy and employers GMB.

It poignantly began with a minute's round of applause in Richard's honour.

A phenomenal 81 personal best times were gained by Marlins swimmers with some spectacular performances.

In particular, Jacob Lowe who brought home the top boy trophy for his age group with five gold's, four silver, one bronze and a fantastic six personal best times.

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Also, Tom Hanley gained five personal best times, four gold medals, three silver, one bronze and collected the top boy trophy for his age group.

Tom swam powerfully in his races especially the 100m freestyle, which saw him finish in a fast 57.73 seconds.

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In addition, Molly McGowen also proved herself with five personal best times, two gold, two silver, two bronze and top girl for her age group.

Graham Shaw followed suit also receiving the top boy accolade plus eight medals, and finally, Martyn Fresher received the top award for his age group and four medals including gold for the 100m breaststroke.

Younger swimmers, Izzy Dolbear-Zaleska and Jude Staton both came away with four personal best times each with Staton receiving two gold and two silver medals and Izzy, one gold and one bronze.

Other gold winners were Luke Ruggles, Georgia Ambrose, Andrew Fresher, Chloe Cook, Theo Liversedge, Sam Smith, Ciara Mason and Layla Bullman.

Harry Smith also came away with three gold medals plus a personal best time for his 100 backstroke race.

The event ended with the presentation of top trophies by Richard's wife Joy, who also received a frame of commemorative medals from the gala.

Also to the other clubs taking part, Chatteris, Bottisham, Ely, Huntingdon, St Neots, St Ives, Godmanchester, Wisbech and Team Anglia.

And finally, a huge thank you to Richard's friend and Marlins committee member, Mark McGowen for his dedication to the event which enabled its smooth running and created a fitting tribute to a much loved man.

Also swimming were, Rosetta Schauenburg-Kent, Thea Hanley, Hannah Jordan, Kiera Simpson, Luis Souto-Hill, Luke Cumbridge, Jonas Meckauskas, Jack Stapleton, Henry Gooch, Harry Rayner, Jacob Cowin, Joel Jordan, Abigail Watsham, Maisie Betts, Lucy Mclure, Devon O'Neil, Gracie Moule, Meadow Cullum, Chloe Urbanowicz, Ruby Saunders, Katrina Dale, Connor Rickard, Dan Riches, James Cowin, Hannah Storey, George Milton, Kait Crosby, Millie Walker, Yasmine Waite and Lily Purell.

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