SX3 Book Final Places
Event: National Arena Swimming League, Round 2 Venue: Newport (Sx3 A Team, Premier Division), Trowbridge (Sx3 B Team, Division 2) Date: 14th November 2009
The second round of meets in the 2009 National Arena Swimming League saw both Sx3 A and B teams secure places in their respective finals. The A team will travel to Millfield on 12th December to contest the Premier Division Final whilst later in the day the B team will be at Weston-super-Mare hoping to secure promotion for the second time in consecutive years.
Sx3 A travelled to Newport International Pool where their strongest competition came from two other final qualifiers, Taunton Deane, and a very strong Bournemouth Dolphins, the eventual winners. Sx3 had only to wait until the second race to claim their first win as Alex Jones captured the men’s open individual medley and a second victory for Jones, along with Nigel Masters, Jon Audis and Dean Williamson in the men’s open medley relay team, put Sx3 in second place after 10 events, fractionally ahead of Taunton. Most of the remainder of the meet saw the two teams vying for second place until a string of top three finishes by the Somerset club in the latter stages saw them pull away to leave Sx3 14 points adrift in third at the end.
The men’s open swimmers secured four of Sx3’s victories on the night, the early wins being added to by individual victories by Williamson in the breaststroke and Audis in the backstroke. Other first place finishes came from Noah Kirby in both the Boys 10-11 age group freestyle and breaststroke, Georgina Pitts in the Girls 10-11 freestyle, and Joe Kerslake in the Boys 15 & under breaststroke.
Over at Trowbridge Sx3 B made an even earlier impact with Kath Baker winning the opening event of the night, the ladies open individual medley, the first of two individual first places for Baker, who was also a member of the triumphant ladies open freestyle relay team. It was however another 17 races before Sx3 picked up maximum points, by which time Christchurch / New Milton, the eventual winners, had taken a grip of the gala. In total Sx3 accumulated a total of 10 victories on the night with other first place finishes being achieved by Victoria Jennings (2), Abigail Davidson, Daniel Jones, Liam Herbert, Charlotte Gardo, and the girls 10-11 medley relay team.
Both Sx3 A and B teams can realistically aim to improve their rankings in the final. Sx3 A qualified in sixth place in the Premier League final and should be strengthened by the return of swimmers from illness. The B team qualified in fourth place, but with very little separating the top four teams an exciting gala is in prospect.
Premier Division: Bournemouth Dolphins A 238, Taunton Deane 194, Sx3 A 180, Swim Swansea 168, Severnside Tritons 93
Division 2: Christchurch / New Milton 228, Sx3 B 209, Paignton 191, West Wilts Force 5 B 148, Carn Brea 134, Three Towers Somerset 127