SWIMMING: Great end to the year with victory for Leicester League team

Rugby Swimming Club

Monday, 25th December 2017, 5:15 am

With Rugby Swimming Club placed fourth from bottom entering the final round of the Arena league, the need for some extraordinary performances and a little luck were required to maintain our Premier Division status, writes chairman Simon Rigg.

Thankfully the team raised their game and the weather provided some good fortune for Rugby at the expense of a very competent Northgate team as they were unable to travel to the gala.

Rugby still were targeting a fourth place on the night and really did make every effort to secure top three places in as many events as possible.

Erin Lloyd and Matthew Seaton safely secured first place and maximum points for the team with Jack Dolly, Jessica Mackenzie and Erin Lloyd again securing individual send place points.

The girls 13/U relay team were very strong on the night and grabbed second place in both the freestyle and medley relay events backed up by the boys 15/U freestyle relay team.

The 15/U boys also then went on to take third place in the medley relay showing their breadth in a very competitive field.

Matthew Seaton, Maddie Haywood, Jessica Mackenzie, Morgan Brand, Holly Cochrane and Charlotte O’Brien all fought for their well-deserved third place points and are good indicators for the season ahead.

Two other relay teams at opposing ends of the age bracket also secured third place with the men’s open medley relay team demonstrating their strength and experience and the girls 9/11 freestyle team showing some promise for the future. All in all Rugby gave the best performance possible and were placed fifth against some very strong opponents. Sometimes you need a little luck and Rugby have had their fair share of disappointment in the past and celebrate the moment regardless of the circumstances. Well done to the whole team!

At the QDJC under slightly less pressure the Leicester League team were in the third tier of five galas in the final round. Blessed with a home gala, and going in as second seeds, hopes were high for a rousing finish to the League season.

The home crowd, boosted by the parents, and grandparents of some of the newer swimmers roared Rugby home to a resounding victory.

The victory was celebrated by a finely orchestrated synchronised jumping in, as all the swimmers lined up, in age/height order, and one after the other marked the success in a chain reaction swallow dive.

Our Synchro section would have been proud, if not overly threatened by the spectacle.

The gala didn’t start well, as the first relay team were DQ’d for a faulty change-over, but this was in fact the only time Rugby did not lead the event.

Winning 20 races, coming second in 13 and third in six, Rugby only finished outside the top three in ten events all evening.

Rugby eventually ran out winners by 69 points, with 234, ahead of Braunstone 165, and Wellingborough 156.

The atmosphere was superb all evening, as race after race saw Rugby finish in the top three, special mention to the 14 and under boys, of Toby Rigg, Barnie Dudkowsky, Adam Kenworthy, Eddie Haynes, and the senior ladies’ team of Lucy House, Ellen Armeson, Aoife Williams and Jasmine Rigg, both teams winning every race they swam.

The party vibe was epitomised by the 8 x 1 cannon, where after a slow start, Rugby were victorious, with the slightly unusual sight of three members of the same family swimming the final three legs.

At half way Rugby trailed Wellingborough by over half a length, but came through to snatch it at the finish, much to the enjoyment of the home crowd, well most of it.

As is my tradition on these occasions, as this was a team victory, the Rugby team was:

Noah Unwin, Jamie Copelett, Jamie Bexon-Walsh, Gareon Gabatan.

Baileigh Kirkup, Lucy Matthews , Amelia Kerr, Rebecca Eaton.

12/U Years Boys: Jake Smith, Thomas Dalziel, Alex Bowler Smith.

12/U Years Girls: Harriet Troup, Ella Marlow, Phoebe Faupel, Briony Dew.

14/U Years Boys: Barney Dudkowsky, Eddie Haynes, Adam Kenworthy, Toby Rigg.

14/U Years Girls: Mairead Williams, Tamzin Kyte, Kirsten Harrington.

Open Boys: Devesh Chohan, Max Taylor, Ethan Fletcher, Simon Rigg, Adam Henderson.

Open Girls: Aoife Williams, Ellen Armeson, Jasmine Rigg, Lucy House.