Arena League round 2 is the big one; finish in the top 2 and you are into the promotion battle. We didn’t quite have our strongest team out with a few injuries and people missing, but we were hopeful…
Coaching Team: Amy Thompson, Annie Thompson, Abby Smith
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First things first, they forgot the face paint. It was all a bit sad, but everyone managed to come to terms with this and bob into the pool for their warm up. Having arrived in what we thought was plenty of time to Westminster Lodge it transpired that everyone else was more excited and we ended up perched at the end of the pool. Not the best seating environment, but as it turns out the lack of space to plonk yourself meant that everyone stood and cheered for each other instead – result!
As with the first round, our standard of wall skills – starts, turns and finishes – was generally high, and we were picking up places throughout the night in these areas regardless of our actual swim speed. We do a lot of work on these skills as swimmers move through the club, so it’s good to see them being used to good effect in a race environment.
We had top 3 finishes on the night from: Emma C (200m IM, 100m backstroke), Freddie A (200m IM), Sara C, Amelia C, Kiran B and Layla J in the Girls U12 freestyle relay, Parker B, Nathan T, Alban G and Tom D in the Boys U12 freestyle relay and medley relay, Enya B, Luci S, Emma C and Izzy C in the Girls U16 freestyle relay and medley relay, Emma C, Izzy C, Larissa D and Aggie B in the Girls Open medley relay, Ed C, Ruel S, Angus H and Freddie A in the Boys Open medley relay, Amelia C (50m backstroke), Tom D (50m backstroke, 50m butterfly), James A (100m backstroke, 100m butterfly), Larissa D (100m butterfly), Ed C (100m butterfly, 100m backstroke), Toby M (100m backstroke, 100m butterfly) Luci S (100m butterfly, 100m freestyle), Alban G (50m breaststroke), Frankie I (100m butterfly), Lewis Dormer (100m freestyle), Izzy C (100m breaststroke, 100m breaststroke), Parker B (50m freestyle), Ben C (100m freestyle), Aggie B (100m freestyle), Angus H (100m freestyle), Ben C, Parker B, Jacob V and Toby M in the Boys U14 medley relay and Izzy C, Enya B, Luci S, Emma C, Larissa D and Aggie B in the Girls Open freestyle relay.
Standout moments of the night both fell to Luci S – firstly cracking out a big 100m butterfly PB after a long and enjoyable half term break, and then nailing underwaters on her relay swims to ruin the girls next to her and haul the team forwards in the race! Another shout should go to Izzy C as well who swam two 100m breaststrokes six swims apart and won them both.
The team placed an agonising third on the night by just two points to Watford! Whilst we’re not where we wanted to be in the final round we know we can do it, and we’ll enjoy the final round as a team.
There were five records set at the event; Ed C set a new 18 & Over and Club record with his lead off 50m backstroke in the Open Medley Relay and also broke his own Club and 18 & Over record in the 100m backstroke whilst Izzy C set a new 15 year old 100m breaststroke record. Congratulations!
Thank you to Bryan and Sarah for officiating so we didn’t get a non-compliance fine and a big thanks to all the swimmers for their hard racing. See you for round 3 – we’re going for the win right?!