SYNCHRO: Best team result ever for Rugby in National Age Group event

Rugby's silver-medal winning Under 12s
Rugby's silver-medal winning Under 12s

Silver for Under 12s

Rugby Swimming Club’s Synchro section ended their 2014 season by competing at the UK National Age Group Championships, held in Gloucester last weekend.

With swimmers having to qualify to perform within the ‘competitive’ strands at the prestigious event, Rugby was represented by 22 swimmers - a reminder that Rugby now operates in the top echelons of synchronised swimming within the country.

In addition, Rugby fielded a team in two of the ‘recreational’ events to ensure Rugby’s ‘green’ team colours were predominate throughout the three days of competition. Credit to head coach, Hannah Secher and her dedicated staff as Rugby clearly cemented its place as the leading Midlands club at the competition.

The first day of competition gave some of Rugby’s less-experienced swimmers a chance to perform in a large arena as part of the ‘recreational’ team events and, the large contingent of following support, were to leave happy.

Against a record entry of clubs, Rugby returned home with two medals; the under 12s (Sarah Twist, Ariane Sargent, Sophie Chaloner, Stella Hughes, Eloise Bowler-Smith, Georgia Lindsay, Maisie Grinter, Olivia Broomhead, Molly Saunders and Emily Dakin) claiming a great silver with the 13 & 14 years (Emily Durkin, Rhia Perks, Holly Tonks, Grace Huett, Erin Dunn-Morgan, Eleanor Garrard, Freya Thomas and Rebecca Wilkinson) winning a superb bronze.

With the second day of competition focused on the individual figures events, Rugby recorded five top 16 placings.

Having to perform precise and detailed movements under the scrutiny of the national judges, Amelia Quinn held her nerve to secure a fabulous fifth place finish in the under 12 years category with team-mates Cassie Reed (12th) and Hannah Linden (16th) finishing close behind. Following suit, Emily Durkin recorded an eigth place finish in the 13 / 14 years age group with Grace Huett claiming fifteenth place. Great credit and wonderful placings for each of the five girls competing against the best swimmers within the UK.

With the highly-pressurised figures competition complete, the weekend moved swiftly on to the routines performed to music. More success was soon to come Rugby’s way as the continuing strength of the Club was demonstrated within the solo event at the under 12 age category. Cassie Reed again impressed to secure a eighth place finish and was closely followed by Abby Huett (11th). In the Duet event, Cassie Reed and Amelia Quinn joined forces to record a great fourth place finish with Hannah Linden and Nayana Walker just behind in fifth place. Emily Durkin ended the 13 / 14 solo event in a highly credible sixth position with Rhia Perks (10th) and Grace Huett (12th) also performing well. Emily and Rhia also combined to take eighth position in the Duet. In the 15 to 17 years solo event, Maja Nicholson claimed 6th place with Gemma Broad right behind in seventh - again great placings in a strong category.

With Rugby desperate to record a least one more podium finish, the weekend concluded with the team events. For the under 17 team (Alice Old, Gemma Broad, Maja Nicholson, Zoe Hart, Emilia Walker and Ellie Frost) a super routine was met with an agonising result as the routine was scored in fourth place. 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, Cassie Reed, Charlotte Twist, Hannah Linden, Holly Tonks, Nayana Walker, Danielle Medgett, Elise Richardson and Isobel Ogg) held their nerve to thrill the packed crowd and claim a strongly warranted silver medal - the best team result ever produced by Rugby in the National Age Group Event. A great result and highly deserved to demonstrate the quality of swimming which the whole Club now produces.

Further great news for Rugby as, Cassie Reed, Amelia Quinn, Hannah Linden, Abby Huett, Emily Durkin and Grace Huett have all been invited to trial for next year’s England squads as a result of their performances at Gloucester.

As usual, a big thanks to Rugby’s travelling support for all their commitment and encouragement over the weekend. 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.