SWIMMING: Synchro success

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Rugby proving one of the best clubs in the country

Rugby Swimming Club’s Synchro section ended their 2013 season by competing at the UK National Age Group Championships, held in Gloucester last week-end. With swimmers having to qualify to perform at the prestigious event, Rugby was represented by 24 swimmers - a staggering reminder that Rugby now operates in the top echelons of Synchronised Swimming within the Country. Credit to Head Coach, Hannah Secher and her dedicated staff as Rugby were listed as one of only five Clubs that were able to qualify a team within each of the age group disciplines.

With the first day of competition focused on the individual figures events, Rugby recorded three top 20 placings. Having to perform precise and detailed movements under the scrutiny of the national judges, Cassie Reed held her nerve to secure a fifteenth place finish in the under 12 years category. Following suit, Emily Durkin recorded a twentieth place finish in the 13 / 14 years age group and Maja Nicholson showed great skill to place eighteenth within the junior girls section. Great credit and wonderful placings for each of the three girls competing against the best swimmers within the UK.

With the highly-pressurised figures competition complete, the week-end moved swiftly on to the routines performed to music. More success was soon to come Rugby’s way as the emerging strength of the Club was demonstrated within the solo event at the under 12 age category. Cassie Reed again impressed to secure a seventh place finish and was closely followed by both Nayana Walker (8th) and Amelia Quinn (10th). With all three girls able to compete at the same age level again next year the future looks extremely promising. In the under 12 duet event, Cassie and Amelia joined forces to record a fabulous fifth place finish. Emily Durkin ended the 13 / 14 solo event in a highly credible twelfth position and the new pairing of Maja Nicholson and Gemma Broad produced a superb performance to complete the under 17 duets in fifth place.

With Rugby desperate to record a least one podium finish, the week-end concluded with the team events. For the under 17 team (Alice Old, Charlotte Powers, Gemma Broad, Maja Nicholson and Sasha Humphreys) a super routine was met with an agonising result as the routine was scored in fourth place. A similar fate awaited the 13 / 14 team (Beth Green, Ellie Frost, Emilia Walker, Emily Durkin, Grace Huett and Rhia Perks) as their lively routine earned an encouraging fifth place finish on the national stage. With the pressure mounting it was left to the under 12 team to produce the result that Rugby was waiting for. Swimming with high intensity and total concentration the team (Abby Huett, Amelia Quinn, Annabelle Boulton, Cassie Reed, Charlotte Twist, Hannah Linden, Holly Tonks, Katie Green, Nayana Walker and Niamh Walden) held their nerve to thrill the packed crowd and claim a strongly warranted bronze medal - a great result and highly deserved to demonstrate the quality of swimming which the whole Club now produces.

Further great news for Rugby as, both Cassie Reed and Amelia Quinn, have been invited to trial for next year’s England squads as a result of their performances at Gloucester.

As a fitting conclusion to a great week-end, the Rugby support and indeed the full-house in attendance were treated to an exhibition performance by Team GB. A special occasion for Rugby Synchro as their very own Sophie Randle lined-up in public for the first time as part of a Great Britain team in full training for a busy 2014. Let’s hope an exhilarating performance by GB left all the Rugby swimmers even more enthused to deliver on their ever-growing potential.

If you want to be part of the next generation of Rugby Synchro please arrange to attend one of the taster sessions by contacting Hannah Secher at: dudz23@hotmail.com.