A silver and five bronze in Coventry & District Relay Gala
Rugby Swimming Club travelled the short distance to Coventry to compete in the Coventry and District Relay Gala. Whilst this gala is limited to only a 20 or so mile radius from Coventry, it includes clubs from higher levels of the National League structure, including division 1.
Only two years ago, RSC managed to come away with only one bronze medal. This year a silver and five bronze medals were the reward for an evening of endeavour, at a fun but seriously contested meet. Most age groups have an ‘A’ and a ‘B’ race, and you can only enter a B team if you have entered an A team.
The only two age groups where Rugby couldn’t raise a team were the Senior Ladies, who tactically withdrew and the 9 year old boys. So if you are a 7, 8 or 9 year old boy who can swim 25m of front-crawl, back-crawl and breaststroke, then contact the head coach on www.rugbyswimmingclub.co.uk, to arrange for a free trial session. Though the club would be happy to welcome swimmers of any age who could help strengthen the team.
The only silver of the evening was won by the 9 year old girls B medley team of Lara Williams, Erin Moran, Jessica McKenzie and Elena Ridges, who overcame the shock of a 50m long course pool to run Coventry close. These four young girls also competed with older and bigger teams in the freestyle to just edge the 3rd place.
The five bronze medals were also all won by the B teams, with the 10/11 boys team claiming third in both the 4x50m freestyle, and 4x50 medley relay. The team of Aaron Kilkaldy, Jake Louie and Toby Rigg, were joined by Lucas Marshall in the free and Dan Carey in the Medley. This double success was matched by the unfancied but ultimately successful 11-14 year old boys team, of Dan Ridges, Luke Harris, Ethan Fletcher, and Joshua Whittington. Josh must take great credit, as at 14 years of age this was his first ever gala, and he took instruction and did exactly what he was asked, to bring the team home in both races, and clock the fastest split despite his inexperience.
Rugby just missed out on the medals in several other races, and 4th is often the hardest position to finish. The 10/11 boys team of Matt Seaton, Adam Wanless, Luke Anspokes, and Dan Carey / Lucas Marshall finished 4th in both of their races, despite appearing much smaller than most of the other teams. The 12-14 year old boys’ A team finished 4th in the Medley relay, with Tom Parker leading from the front taking yards out of the opposition on the breaststroke leg. (Will Dunnerdale, Rhys James and Jack Carey making up the team). The 9 year old girls’ A team of Ella-Mae Fereday, Lana-Reese Shrubb, Mairead Williams and Charlotte O’Brien, finished 4th in free and 3rd in the medley, only to be harshly Dq’d. The 12-14 Year old girls team lf Ellen Armeson, Lucy House, Olivia Gyatt and Aoife Williams fought all the way to finish fourth by less than second in their medley.
The senior men’s team, missing Ross Turner, had a similar average age to most teams, but Rugby’s is made up with an age range of perhaps slightly more than most, Gleb Popov, Noah Slinn are 15, Dan Hartup 19, Veteran Simon Rigg is somewhat older to say the least, though this didn’t stop him clocking the fastest freestyle split of the evening. This team managed a 4th in the medley, and 5th in the freestyle, not bad considering Coventry fielded four full Internationals in their team.
An evening of mixed fortunes, a couple of teams lost medals due to DQs, and couple won their medals because of DQs, some great racing and again, many PBs. Definitely a case of not as good as Rugby would have liked, but much better than it might have been. Late changes due to drops out always affect these teams races, and lets down the rest of your individual team and the club as a whole, so please make every effort to support your team if selected.