A YOUNG Huntingdon Piranhas team beat off strong competition from Deepings and First Strokes (Godmanchester) to win the 2011 Home Challenge Gala.

A YOUNG Huntingdon Piranhas team beat off strong competition from Deepings and First Strokes (Godmanchester) to win the 2011 Home Challenge Gala.

This was a Novice Gala which allowed less experienced swimmers get a taste of competitive swimming, with many making their debut for the club.

After a very competitive evening Piranhas swimmers, who ranged in age from nine to 12, emerged clear victors notching up 22 new personal best times on the night.

Achieving new PBs were: Iona Naisby, Sean Naisby, Chloe Phillips, James Osborne, Amy Leslie (2), Joe Shaw, Connor Thacker (2), Joel Jordan, Libby Furmedge, Sam Foulkes (2), Mia Leech, Jasmine Kelly, Sophie White, Reece Johnstone, Emma Leslie, Emily Gibson, Rhys Sandford, Poppy Leech and Aine Harbour.

In a tough qualifying year, four Huntingdon Piranhas swimmers qualified for the ASA East Region 2011 Youth Championships.

The East Regions are held in Norwich each year and the swimmers that qualify are the best across the six counties of Herts, Beds, Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Cambs.

Seventeen-year-old Ryan Skeels, swimming in three 50-metre events, recorded new personal best times in the butterfly and breaststroke, with his best result in the freestyle. Tamara Richards, currently Cambridgeshire County Open Champion in five events, swam in the 50-metre freestyle and 50-metre butterfly.

Tom Russell, the current 14 and under 200m Cambridgeshire county breaststroke champion, recorded a new personal best time in the 50-metre breaststroke and Katie Rogers swam a new personal best time in the 50-metre freestyle.

Piranhas head coach John Richards said: "Our approach is to provide swimmers with the best competitive environment to suit their ability and these two events in May have done just that.

"The enthusiasm from the swimmers at whatever level they are competing is the key to our current success."