SWIMMING: Promoted at first attempt

Rugby Swimming Club's team
Rugby Swimming Club's team

Rugby Swimming Club

Rugby Swimming Club hosted the top eight final of the second division of the Leicester Winter League at the QDJC on Saturday, knowing that a top three finish would see them promoted in their first season in the league.

There were double points awarded for the final round, added onto the points for the previous rounds.

Going into the final Burton and Melton Mowbray both had 32 points, Rugby and Kettering 31, Long Eaton 30, Hinckley 29, with Coalville and Wellingborough 28.

So with 16 points for first, literally anyone could finish in the top three. With this being the first Saturday of the school holidays, there were several changes to the previous team selection in the earlier rounds, but Rugby had high hopes at their home pool, with the ‘Rugby Roar’ cheering them on.

Rugby were one of several team not fielding their top swimmers, whilst some teams were at full strength, as the whole ethos of competing at this various Leicester leagues, was one of making sure everyone gets a swim, and the younger swimmers gain valuable experience of team race galas.

Rugby’s younger swimmers found the going a little tough, but the girls’ 11 and under team of Grace Darcy, Phoebe Faupel, Yanna Villassis, Isobelle Hobbs, giving away a couple of years to most, competed well with a 4th and two 5ths in the individuals.

It was much the same story for the boys’ equivalent, with Nathaniel Kayada, Jake Smith, Kieran Jarvis, Charlie Aldridge again picking up valuable points with a 3rd and 4th in their relays, and 3rd, 4th and 5th in the individuals.

The 13s teams of Elizabeth Reader, Mairead Williams, Sadie Pick, Harriet Troup, came 4th in the medley relay, and clocked up a 3rd and 5th in the individuals.

The boys’ team, of Toby Rigg, Daniel Carey, Barney Dudkowsky, Tom Tyler, were 3rd in both relays, and gained valuable points with a second and two 3rds and a 4th in the individual races.

The 15s girls’ team of Lucy House, Lauren Phillips, Cerys Allen, Regan Walker, and Jasmine Rigg started to rack up the points, with 2nd in both relays, and a first and three 3rds in the individuals.

This was matched by the boys’ 15s team of Jack Carey, Ethan Fletcher, Ben Jones, and James Phillips, who manfully came into the team at the very last minute. They won both relays with ease and had individual results of 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th.

The senior teams also contributed well to the points total, with the ladies’ team of Karen Bates and Megan Williams, who with Jasmine and Lucy swimming up, again won both their relays comfortably, as well as two 1sts and two 3rds in the individuals.

Special mention to Karen, who again won the backstroke at a canter to remain undefeated in all rounds, despite being, shall we say a little older than some of her competitors.

Lastly the senior men’s team surprised a few with a win and a very close second in the relays, and solid, 3rds and 4ths in the individuals. Devesh Chohan, William Dunderdale, and Simon Rigg along with Jack swimming up, showing that the art-form of relay swimming is live and well.

To be fair Burton won by a margin, with 307 points (18 wins, ten 2nds and eight 3rds), Melton Mowbray just pipped Rugby by 255 to 253, as all three secured promotion, with Kettering, who beat Rugby in round 2, close in fourth with 240, with the others a little way further back, as whilst the lead never changed, 2nd 3rd 4th 5th and even 6th regularly swapped between the chasing pack.

I have already had several messages from the visiting teams about how well run the gala was, how accommodating the QDJC is, and how great the atmosphere was all evening, led by Andy Fletcher as announcer whipping the crowd up all evening.

Chairman Simon Rigg