Rugby Swimming Club competed in two different senior leagues on the same evening – the National Arena League and the Leicester Autumn League.
Following the success at junior level over the summer in the Junior and Diddy leagues, a similar format was followed here.
An A team competed in the Arena League at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Centre and a B team went to Hinckley for the Leicester League.
It caused some selection dilemmas which were not helped when, halfway through the process, it was discovered that despite play-off heartache back in January the club had actually been promoted to Division Two after all following a withdrawal.
There were some swimmers disappointed by the selections, but most importantly twice as many swimmers could compete and thus improve.
At the QDJC, Rugby hosted Coventry B, Blythe Barracudas, Hinckley and Kingsbury Aquarius.
The higher quality of swimmers was immediately obvious as Rugby struggled to match the opposition in the first few races.
It was event 10 when the senior men’s team of Gleb Popov, Ross Turner, Lucas Gregory and Simon Rigg were the first to win their event.
Rugby only won six races, these being Ellen Armeson and Matt Seaton both in the under-13s 100m backstroke; Lucas Gregory in the men’s 100m fly; Ross Turner in the men’s 100m breaststroke and Tom Parker in the under-15s equivalent.
One of the things most noticeably lacking from the Rugby swimmers, were the technical aspects of starts, turns and finishes.
It is disappointing this is still a weak area, but a positive in that we know there are easy seconds to be gained in almost all races.
Second places were achieved by the boys 11s freestyle relay team of Dan Carey, Luie Gilroy, Lewis Cresswell and Toby Rigg, Carey in his 50m backstroke and 50m fly, Tom Parker in the 100m backstroke and new recruit Abbie Dolly in the 15s fly with a big personal best of 1.14.73.
Cresswell kept up the good work of the younger boys to take second in the 50m breaststroke while Jack Carey matched his brother Dan in the 13s 100m fly and free.
Rugby finished fourth just four points behind Coventry and less than 30 behind Blythe.
Over in Hinckley, it was a tough one for the B team as last year’s league winners Daventry A won 30 races over the course of the evening.
As is the form with these leagues the following rounds will be based on the league positions, so swimming against other B and C teams, will be more likely.
Event wins were hard to come by but Adam Wanless in the 12s 50m fly, Max Green in the 10s 25m fly and the girls 12u medley relay team of Eva Juanola, Lauren Phillips, Kirsten Harrington, and Izzy Dunderdale all succeeded.
Several relay teams recorded seconds, including the men’s team with Rory Grealy swimming for the first time in a year.
Matt Laity was second in his 100m freestyle with a time of 1.00.45 and the magic minute mark is firmly in his sights.
Others were Olivia Gyatt, Aaron Kirkaldy, Juanola, Emily Goodwin and Max Green twice.
Thirds went to Eve Benison, Lana Wilson Shrub, James and Lauren Phillips, Laity and Jasmine Rigg as well as more relay teams across the ages.
Daventry romped away with 214 points followed by Hinckley B 147, Melon B 136 and Rugby B on 131.