SWIMNEWS ONLINE: April 1997 Magazine Articles

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Anita Lonsbrough

The City of Leeds recaptured the men's team award at the British Club Team Championships held at the 25 m pool in Stockport. The event is held over the full Olympic program, and points are awarded on performance based on the FINA points table.

The Yorkshire side also retained their overall title, but lost the women's championship race to Portsmouth Northsea. The Hampshire side produced the unexpected swimmer of the meet when Kathy Sexton twice broke the British junior record for the 100 backstroke.

The fourteen year old swam the opening leg of her club's medley relay in 1:03.16 to shave 7/100ths off the previous best. Following Kathy were Karen Fisher, Margaretha Pedder, and Melanie Marshall. Their overall time of 4:16.45 a British club record.

Kathy then went on to win her individual 100 backstroke in 1:02.93 to help Portsmouth clinch the women's title for the first time.

The newly formed Bath University team gave Leeds a good run for their victory in the men's section. Paul Palmer, the Olympic silver medallist in the 400 freestyle, looked as if he was returning to form. He out paced Ian Wilson of Leeds in the 1500 freestyle.

Missing from this, the longest event, was the Olympic bronze medal winner Graeme Smith. Graeme, of Stockport, was unable to get away from his studies at university. However he made his presence felt by racing the 400 freestyle pressing PaulPalmer all the way. In the end, it was Paul's faster finish that gave him first place.

Leeds were kept in the race by their team camptain, Andrew Clayton, who showed his versatility by winning the 200 butterfly and 200 I.M. in 1:59.55 and 2:02.44 respectively.

The men's title race went down to the final 4x200 freestyle relay. Although Leeds were victors by less than two seconds, it was good enough to give them the title by 22 points.

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