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Trophy gala at Market Harborough

Rugby took an enthusiastic team of youngsters to Market Harborough for a trophy Gala on Saturday evening, and only a storming finish from the hosts could deny Rugby the win.

MH won all of the last 4 races, and 9 out of the last 13, to pip Rugby by 4 points, 234, to 230. The team was a mix of more experienced 11 and 12 year olds, coupled with the raw naivety of the 8 and 9s. The dreaded relay DQ didn’t help Rugby’s cause, but to be fair, all teams fell foul, as some of the newer swimmers may have been doing a relay for the first time. Rugby have spent a lot of time and effort on the relay take over, and whilst it is very rewarding to see a team perform the technique as coached, it is a little disappointing for others to have still struggled to pick up the basics. Recent weeks have shown a point or two here and there can, and indeed does, make all the difference.

Rugby’s wins were pleasingly spread over all ages, both boys and girls, probably the only disappointment being the limited numbers in certain age groups, which meant some of the younger swimmers doing 6/7/8 races. This shows up especially in the relays, where Rugby fell away towards the end, as swimmers were getting slower with each event as they tired.

Star performer goes to Jessica McKenzie, who won three events, as well as leading home the 9s relays to a win and a second. Other winners were Harriet Troup, girls’ 9s back, Ceri House, girls’ 12s 50m free, and Lana-Reese Wilson-Shrub, in the girls’ 10s 25m back. For the boys Lewis Cresswell, 10s 25m free, and Louie Gilroy, in the 10s 25m back, and Matt Seaton in the boys’ 12s 50m back, were the only winners in the individuals. Rugby also won 3 relays, girls’ 9s medley, girls’ 10s medley, boys’ 11s free,

There were many second places, for Lewis and Louie, Meraid Williams, Dan Carey, Toby Rigg, Matt Seaton, Anna Rath, Max Green, Luke Anspoks, Regan Walker and Ceri, some with more than 1. Relay seconds were boys’ 11s medley, boys’ 12 medley, girls’ 12 medley, and the free teams of the boys’ and girls’ 9s, girls’ 10s, boys’ 12s, and the 16 x 1 mixed cannon.

These were backed up by thirds, for many of the above as well as Ella-Mae Fereday, the boys 9s medley, girls 11s medley, boys 10s free, girls 12s free.

So a pretty consistent night, only one DQ, regular wins, and PBs too many to count, though Hemesh and Devesh, will do so, to update everyone’s records.

As always Rugby’s success was hampered by certain age groups being short on swimmers, resulting in the dreaded swimming up, which leaves to fatigue and lower results and points, so if selected for one of these events please try to support the team where possible. But, the support from swimmers and supporters alike was fantastic, as everyone stayed to the end, to cheer on the cannon.

Over the next couple of weeks, Rugby has the challenges of the Coventry and District relay gala, over 50m long course, and then hosts the Peri sprints, at the QDJLC, which will allow swimmers of all ages to race all four strokes and IMs.