Nuneaton & District Junior League and Leicester Diddy league
Such is the continued growth of Rugby Swimming Club that for the second year running they fielded a team in both of the local junior competitions. The “A” team competing in the prestigious Nuneaton and District Junior league, and the less experienced, younger team in the Leicester Diddy league. The first rounds of both have an open gala selection, having several galas of 6 teams competing at different venues, and then the results from the first round dictate the make-up of the next gala’s. The Junior team can expect stronger opposition, whereas the Diddy team, may hope for slightly less strong opposition, as they faced 3 “A” teams this weekend, and unsurprisingly struggled a little. The other difference in the regulations is the cut-off date for ages, in the Diddy league the age is from July 31st, whereas the Junior league is from September. Meaning swimmers born late in the school year where swimming a year younger in the Diddy league.
Kimberley in the Diddy gala won 35 of the 48 races, leaving everyone else in their wake, not surprising as they won the whole league last year.
Rugby hosted the Junior League at the QDJLC, and won by a clear margin, and whilst they won several races it was the consistency of performance that made the difference. With Rugby having only 2, 5th place finishes, no 6ths, and only one DQ in a relay. Backed up by never finishing outside the top 3 in any of the relays, winning 4 and coming second 7 times.
Dan Carey had 2 individual wins, in the 11u boys 50m Back and Fly, his fly in 39.02 took him sub 40 for the first time. Matt Seaton romped home over 5 seconds in the 12u 50m back, in 34.02, and was second in his 50m Fly. Luke Anspoks won 3 events, the 12s, 50m Breaststroke, and also the 11s 50m Br and free, the later in a very rapid 33.12. Max Green also joined the party, by winning the boys 9s Fly by 2 secs in 22.05. For the girls, Lauren Phillips proving she is a great addition to the team by winning the 12s 50m Br, was the only individual winner.
There were plenty of second places for, Lewis Cresswell, Cerys Allen, James Phillips, Aofie Williams x 2, Luie Gilroy, Charlotte O’Brien, Harriet Troupe, Ceri House, and Max Green. Thirds were Elle- Mae Fereday x 2, Tamzin Kyte, Jessica McKenzie, and Izzy Dunnerdale.
The pick of the relay teams was the boys 11s who won both their relays, as Toby Rigg and Paul Scerbakovs, joined Dan and Luke. They also contributed to the 8x1 relay coming a close second.
The Diddy league team that travelled to Braunstone was weakened by late withdrawals and injuries, but strengthened by recent recruits and a full team could be selected. The team was led from the front by captain Jasmine Rigg, who swam 5 pbs in 5 events, and helped all the new young swimmers feel at home and confident in what they are doing. The club will be organising a meeting for all parents of the newer swimmers, to help with equipment, race information, terminology, and race etiquette. Whilst it is the clubs job to ensure technique etc, it is always difficult when a swimmer doesn’t have the basic equipment for a competition.
Rugby were unlucky to come 6th out of 6, as they were 5th pretty much the whole way, until the last round of relays, were more DQs and swimmers starting to tire, meant they faded badly. On the positive side everyone was enthusiastic, keen to learn, highlighted by Jessica Crawford and Rhys Jones, whose diving improved throughout the evening, as one or two Rugby swimmers were finding their feet in their first gala. I won’t go through the results, as this would be unfair, but several swimmers stood out in the circumstances. Aaron Kirkaldy, Emily Goodwin, Ben Shurrock, Holly Farndon, Kirsten Harrington, Sadie Pick, as well as those already mentioned, to name but a few.
Clearly there is work to be done for all the coaches, but this year we have a full complement of swimmers in every age group, and every discipline. Considering Rugby competed in one round last year, with no more that 60% of a team, this bodes well, once the league starts to shake down into places, and Rugby can swim against more similar teams in the next few rounds.