SWIMMING: Rugby in Arena Premier Division for first time in many years

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Tough draw sees Rugby Swimming Club up against league’s big guns

Having gained promotion to the Premier Division of the Arena League for the first time in many many years, the draw was not kind to Rugby Swimming Club, as they drew the big guns of City of Coventry, Bilston and Wolverhampton, and Abingdon Vale.

It was no easier for the Leicester League team, taking on Corby at their own pool, who were in the top three last year, along with other A teams, Neptune, Nene Valley, and Kettering, and Kettering B and Rushden.

Arena League

Rugby had a tough draw for their first year in the Premier division after being promoted last year in the National Arena Swimming League. Although finishing 6th in their home pool, the scoreline didn’t affect Rugby’s team spirit, with no disqualifications all night as well as many personal bests achieved.

Rugby secured top three placings in a number of events with Erin Lloyd finishing 1st in the 50 Free, a whole second clear of 2nd place and she also secured 2nd in the 50 Fly.

The 3rd places were: Matthew Seaton in the 100 Back and only 0.2 off 2nd, Jack Dolly was even closer in the 100 Fly being pushed down to 3rd by only one hundredth of a second!

Other individuals placing 3rd were: Maddie Haywood in the 100 Back and Luke Anspoks, Charlotte O’Brien and Jack Carey in the 100 Free.

The boys 15/under 4x50 free relay team consisting of Luke Anspoks, Barney Dudkowsky, Jack Dolly and Matthew Seaton completed the top three finishers list for Rugby.

The whole team gave their all despite finishing in 6th place on the night and are looking forward to Round 2 and converting this performance into more points against different opposition.

Leicester League

With many new recruits swimming in a league match for the first time, along with one or two others who have done more than a few, the task was a tough one.

New recruits included the Coplett brothers, Jamie and Ethan, Rachel Dalziel, Jamie Bexon Walsh, Marco Rodriguez, Lucy Matthews, and Amelia Kerr, apologies if I missed anyone. Ellen Armeson was the only winner of the evening, in the Open Ladies’ 100m backstroke, which she won with ease in a 1.10.

She teamed up with Jasmine Rigg, Aoife Williams and Lucy House to finish second in both the open Ladies’ relays.

Jasmine also came second in the ladies’ open free in 1.05, to put it into context both the open freestyle races were won in less than a second slower than over at the Arena.

Marco also came second, in his butterfly, and then we are onto the third places, the boys 14 and under relay, of Pauels Scerbakovs, Eddie Hayne, Adam Kenworthy and George Ward, in the 4x50 freestyle.

George was also third in his 100m breaststroke, Adam in his 50m fly, matched by Phoebe Faupel, in hers.

Lucy Matthews in the under 10s breaststroke, Devesh Chohan in the open 100m br, Baileigh Kirkup in the 25m free, and Pauels in the 100m back, with Aoife completed the third places in the open 100m fly.

Special mention goes to Pauels, who was only drafted in at lunchtime on the Saturday and sacrificed a party in the process to swim for the team.

Various delays were incurred with starting block issues, false start ropes falling in and a small swimmer having ‘a moment’ all made for a very slow and late finishing Gala, but spirits were always high. Ethan Fletcher roused the troops with chanting and singing.

Other than the open ladies, Rugby rarely broke the strangle hold of the A teams in the relays, with only the diverse teams of the girls’ 10 and under team, and the open men, one with a combined age of 37, the other with 116 years between them, making the top four.

Well done to Bailey, Amelia, Rachel and Lucy, Devesh, Max Taylor, Adam Henderson and club Chairman Simon Rigg.

Points wise Corby romped home with 291 points, well clear of the other A teams, with Rugby a secure 5th well clear of 6th and 7th.