Sevenoaks swimmers were back out in force for Round 2 of the National Arena League last weekend with the A team journeying to Horsham to take on the big hitters of Guildford City A & B teams, Beckenham A, Winchester City and Atlantis. The B team headed off to the coast with hosts, Brighton, Croydon Amphibians, Chelmsford and Shepway as their fellow competitors.
The A team had a fantastic night and were in great form with 14 wins and 13 second places from 50 events showing their strength.
An outstanding race from Seb Stewart (17) in the Men’s Open 200IM kicked off the proceedings and set the night up with first win. This was shortly followed by a commanding performance from our 11/U girls in the Freestyle relay which they, once again, replicated later in the Medley relay. Not to be outdone the girls U13 won both their Freestyle and Medley relays too. With the Boys 13/U & 15/U girls in extremely fine form winning their medley and freestyle relays as well.
Izabella Okaro (11/U) produced a comprehensive win in the 50m Butterfly. Once again Millie Childs (13U) put in solid a win in the 100m Back and then Eva Okaro (11U) won convincingly in 50m Breast. They were joined in their wins by Louis Hayes (13/U) Butterfly immediately followed by Nathan Rodrigues (15/U) who fought hard for the win in the 100m Free. Next up Seb Stewart was back in the pool for the Men’s Open 100m Breaststroke, where the result was the tightest of the night but the touch just going to Seb!
In the youngest age group Eva Okaro was back in the pool smashing the 50m the Free by a good margin. These wins were strongly supported with some close fought place for 2nd with young Isla Murphy just being pipped in the 10/11yrs 50m Backstroke, Louis Hayes in the boys (13/U) 100m freestyle and in the 15/U age group, Ellis Stanhope, Frankie Whiting and Maddie Glen all swam brilliantly along with our Olympic Pentathlete, Joe Choong to gain strong 2nd places and the all-important points.
With strength in all areas Sevenoaks proved formidable in the relays gaining 2nd places, in addition to the 1st places, in girls and boys 13/U Freestyle, along with the 15/U boys Medley & Freestyle relays. The Ladies Open freestyle relay and Men’s Open Medley relay also gained great points with strong racing for 2nd place and Sevenoaks gained on their previous performance to finish the evening with a flourish and an exciting 2nd place in the 6-man Open relay.
The final results were: Guildford City A252, Sevenoaks 210, Beckenham A 182, Guildford City B 148 Winchester 138 and Atlantis 121
The B Team had yet another nail biting arena round with the final positions being decided in the last few races! Despite having an average age of the competitors of just 13yrs, the team stepped up to the challenge and grasped every point at every opportunity. They faced stiff opposition and at times it truly was men against boys but with solid wins in the younger age groups, Millie Armstrong (50m Back), Samriddhi Das (50m Fly), Daisy McMillan and Thomas Hunt (both 50m Freestyle) we were sticking to the tailcoats of Brighton all the way. Further wins from Imogen Stoddart, Kara Dimond and Ollie Coote all 100m Breaststroke and all swimming up an age group, allowed us to edge ahead of Brighton.
The young team also managed some superb 2nd places with the Boys 15/U freestyle team (Dom, Oscar, Robert & Ollie) smashing PB’s to be just touched out of 1st place, along with the Boys 9/11yrs Medley team (Max, Zach, William & Thomas) and 13/u Freestyle relay team (Elspeth, Ruby, Charlotte and Imogen) all producing fabulous swims. The Individual swimmers who helped tot up our points gaining 2nd places were Aoife Lauerman swimming up an age in (15/U) 100m Butterfly, Zach Howard (10/11yrs) 50 Breaststroke, Elspeth Watson (13/U) 100m Butterfly and Imogen Stoddart (13/U) 100m Freestyle.
The all-important 3rd places were gained by Dillon Bentley (13/u) 100m Breaststroke, Jasmine Wallace (15/U) 100m backstroke, Charlotte Prideaux and Tom Creasey (13/u) 100m Backstroke, Oscar Wilson (15/U) 100m Breaststroke and Rosie Deacon (10/11yrs) 50m Breaststroke.
Despite the young ages of the team they still managed a total of 27 top 3 placings – an astonishing performance.
Final positions were:
Chelmsford 215, Maidstone 209, Sevenoaks B 185, Brighton 180, Croydon Amphibians 150 and Shepway A 107.
Well done to all the swimmers for their exceptional swimming! Final Round is 9th December with the A Team heading to Wycombe and the B Team taking their battle to Hastings.