Arena League Success

Having experienced the best result in the clubs history in last years Arena League, this years 3rd round galas brought a close to this years league galas with the club continuing to build on the success.

Our A team  qualifying for the Southern Final in the Premier division for the 2nd consecutive year, were up against the best clubs in the region (Guildford, Oxford, Sevenoaks, Wycombe & Beckenham).

Our B team in its 1st year of the competition, qualified for the Final of the Division 2 East league, battling for promotion with Beacon, Herne Bay, Bromley B, Beckenham B and Dartford & District.

Setting off from Hartsdown at the same time, emotions were bursting on both coaches.

Our B team started the evening off first and quickly began to show their dominance in the league, leading by 5 points from Beacon after 10 events. Very strong performances followed pulling us away from the competition, so that after 18 events we were 15 points ahead of the 2nd place Bromley B. Despite a couple of DQ’s the team pulled off some great finished to grab valuable points, resulting in the team finishing in 1st place and gaining promotion to Division 1 East. Overall the team gained 15 x 1st places,15 x 2nd places, 10 x 3rd places and 8 x fourths.

B team presentation

The A team started the gala as ranked 2nd, however we knew anything could happen as Oxford and Wycombe came in with some very strong swimmers. The team was boosted by the return of Katie Latham, who was home for Christmas.

The team were achieving huge amount of personal best swims, however against the best swimmers in the South of the country, it was hard to regularly get in the top 3. After event 10, we were equal 2nd with Oxford and 15 points behind Guildford.

There were phenomenal swims across the team, as the atmosphere reached boiling point and we started to pull away from Oxford. After 26 events we found ourselves 23 points behind Guildford and 16 points in front of Oxford.

Tensions were growing, so much that twitter was getting out of control. We were continuing to stay in contention on races and it came down to the final set of relays and the nail biting result to see if we were going back to Cardiff. To ecstatic cheering, it was announced that we finished 2nd behind Guildford and qualify for at least the B Final again.

Well done to all the swimmers, coaches, parents, officials and especially our guest twitters Lee Evans and Carol Cook for keeping everyone up-to-date with the results.

A team prsentationThe A team finished with 10 x 1st places, 10 x 2nd places, 13 x 3rd places, 8 x 4ths, 2 x 5ths, 6 x 6ths.

Final results and league tables can be found here

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