Challenging Finale to the Year for Sx3
Event: National Arena League Western Division Finals Venue: Millfield (A Team), Weston-super-Mare (B Team) Date: 12th December 2009
Sx3 concluded their 2009 Arena League campaigns with a seventh place finish for the ‘A’ team in the South West Premier League final and a sixth place finish for the ‘B’ team in Division 2.
Swindon’s first team went into their final at Millfield with firsthand experience of the strength of the opposition having competed against two of the favourites, Plymouth Leander and Bournemouth Dolphins, in the earlier rounds. With the added spice of world record holder and world champion Liam Tancock competing for Exeter this was always going to be a difficult gala in which to make a major impact, and so it proved as Plymouth stormed to a 68 point victory over second placed Millfield with Bournemouth completing the top three. Sx3 made a promising start with a victory in only the third event of the gala as the Girls’ 11 & Under freestyle relay team of Victoria Tainty, Abbie Hawkins, Georgia Pearce and Georgina Pitts stormed to victory, but that was to prove only one of two first place finishes with Pitts the only other Sx3 swimmer to touch first, this time in the 50M freestyle. There were second place finishes for Joe Kerslake in the Boys’ 15 & Under backstroke and Noah Kirby in the Boys’ 11 & Under breaststroke and third place finishes for Alex Jones, Alex Eburne, Victoria Tainty and Jon Audis in what was a tough meet.
The ‘B’ team also found the going tough at Weston-Super-Mare against well disciplined opposition and where Christchurch Seagulls emerged as winners by a 36 point margin with Bath Dolphin and Bodmin separated by one point in second and third. Liam Herbert was a comfortable winner in the Open backstroke and there were also wins in the Girls’ 11 & Under and 13 & Under fly for Abigail Davidson and Charlotte Gardo retrospectively, added to top three finishes for Jacob Roberts, Sam Clayton, Victoria Jennings (twice), the Girls’ 11 & Under and 13 & Under relay teams (both twice) and the Boys’ Open medley relay team.
Attention will now shift to the 2010 Southern Junior League in which the promising batch of younger swimmers will be aiming to build on their successes in the Arena League, and onto the third season of competing as Sx3, where the overall squad aims to move beyond initial consolidation and into success in team, regional and national events.