Last weekend saw Rugby Swimming Club’s Synchro section travel north to Ponds Forge, Sheffield for the British Synchronised Swimming Championships. Under the astute guidance of head coach, Hannah Dudley, Rugby are now firmly established within the top echelon of British Synchro and were able to field competitors across the full range of events; solo, duet and team.
Day one of competition was dedicated to the technical elements of synchro - a sport where strength and control go such a long way to impressing the judges. Performing lung-bursting routines to music, the girls are scored on both their technical acumen and artistic impression.
Leading the way for Rugby, was Sophie Randle, the 16 year-old Rugby High School student and England junior team member now demonstrating she is a worthy addition to the senior ranks. Sophie’s technical routine placed her joint-seventh with day two of competition to follow. Joining Sophie in the solo event, Lucy Rouse performed with credit to finish 16th, marginally outside the top 12 places that qualified to swim on day two. Combining forces and demonstrating true quality, Sophie and Lucy produced a superbly synchronised duet swim to qualify in fifth position, beating a number of top-club pairings to lay encouragingly placed prior to Sunday competition. Completing the day one schedule was the technical team event, with each team having to produce a routine containing complex elements, to be performed with total synchronisation. Rugby again displayed strength and power to register a sixth place finish.
The second day of competition was all about the free routines - a chance to choreograph flair and originality on top of the core demands of the sport.
Performing a routine full of trademark power and flexibility, Sophie Randle moved up three places to end the solo event in a fabulous fifth place. Back in the water with duet partner, Lucy Rouse, the girls again entertained with a lively routine - maintaining their position from day one and securing a top five finish for Rugby once more.
Sophie and Lucy were joined in the team event by Emily Firth, Alice Old, Zoe Hart, Megan Walsh, Meredith Whiting, Gemma Broad, Charlotte Powers and Maja Nicholson. The Rugby girls did themselves proud with a fabulous four-minute routine full of creativity and energy. Their score hauled them past the Manchester Club of Trafford to secure Rugby’s third fifth-place finish of the week-end; a stunning set of results which left Hannah Dudley rightly elated.