Rugby Swimming Club hosted the hugely successful and ultimately friendly Peri Sprints at the QDJC on Sunday.
I must reiterate that these are the Peri Sprints, and not the Piri Piri Sprints, as they were called by one of the visiting swimmers, not by a 9 year old, as you might expect, but by a 17-year-old, as her boyfriend gleefully informed me!
The whole event can be summed up by a trio of small chaps from Leicester Sharks, all swimming in their first gala. They formed the first heat of each of the boys events, and were coaxed through the experience by the stewards, the officials and other swimmers alike. Suffice to say they had mixed fortunes, but the experienced referees carefully explained to them and their coaches exactly what any DQ was for, and they all happily accepted the decisions. So much so, they came en block at the end to thank everyone, and the coaches stated this must be the best mix of competition and friendly rivalry on the local circuit. A list of PBs will be available, once Head Coach Hemesh Chohen has bought enough ink to write them all down.
The event kicked off with the girls 100IM, which saw Clara Haywood, start the family rivalry going, with a bronze in the 9s, Jessica Mackenzie, then won gold in the 10s, Maddie matched Clara with bronze in the 13/14s, and Karen Maher in the 15 and overs, much to her surprise and delight, as she was giving away a year or two. (Sorry Karen)
Next up was the 50m backstroke for boys, James Armeson, and Jake Smith took second and third in the 9s, Louie Gilroy, second in the 10s, Matt Seaton first in the 11/12 followed by Pauels Scerkaboks in third, and Lucas Gregory showed there is more than one way to swim a 50, as he used his fly skills to only swim 20m on the surface to take the over 15s with ease. In the girls equivalent, Jess again triumphed, this time followed by Lana-Reese Wilson-Shrub in second, Maddie improved to second in the 13/14s, in what ultimately wasn’t Rugby’s best event.
Probably Rugby’s best event was the boys 50m Breaststroke, as Charlie Aldridge and James Armeson, took 1-2 in the 9s, Louie Gilroy the 10s, Luke Anspokes, and Ben jones, 1-3 in the 12s, and Luke Harris, third in the 13/14s, but they were all surpassed by the over 15s, as Junior Head Coach, Devesh Chohen, took third, Tom Parker, second, and Club Chairman, Simon Rigg, showed the younger chaps that there is life in the old dog yet, won, regaining the title he lost last year. He turned down Tom’s kind invitation to extend the race by another length for some reason. The girls’ version had more limited success for Rugby, with Erin Moran third in the 10s, Lauren Phillips in the 11/12s, and Aaina Muralidhar took her first medal for the club in the 15/o, a fine silver.
The afternoon session started with the Boys IM, Luie Gilroy again took gold in the 10s , as did Luke Anspokes in the 11/12s, followed by Adam Wanless in the 11/12s, Rhys James, straight from county cross country, was second in the 13/14s, Club President Ross Turner, won the 15s, with Lucas Gregory in third. Clara Haywood, took another bronze in the 9s 50m fly, as did Lana Reese in the 10s, and Megan Williams in the 13/14s, and Aaina making a mitching set of bronzes for the Rugby Girls, in the 15s. The boys 50m fly, saw Rugby claim a clean sweep of golds, Luie Gilroy, Matt Seaton, Jack Carey, and Lucas Gregory all winning, backed up by Luke Anspokes, Rhys James, who were all in the medals,
The girls’ 50m fly was again a little less successful, with Jess Mackenzie second in the 10s, and Aaina picking up another medal in a very successful day for her. The day was completed by the boys’ 50m free, which is not known as the splash and dash for nothing, as the swimmers get bigger and bigger, as does the splashing, summed up by 6’10” Valentins Saragins from Blythe, who makes as much splash as he is tall. James Armeson picked up another medal, Luie Gilroy triumphed again, with Ben Aitcheson, picking up a bronze. Jack Carey and Rhys James, continued their friendly rivalry, with first and third in the 13/14s, and Simon chased home the first two, in the 15 overs to pick a bronze.
There were also many great swims from Rugby swimmers who didn’t win a medal, Ethan Fletcher smashed his entry times, in just about every event, along with Charlotte O’Brien, Lauren Phillips, Rithika Muralidhar, Aofie Williams, and Jasmine Rigg to name but a few.
The club will go into the rearranged Coventry and District relays with renewed confidence on Sunday, with high hopes of medals for the A and B teams.
As Club Chairman, I would like to thank all those involved in assisting Jon Seaton, in making this such a success.