Sx3 Pick Up the Pace in National League Round 2
The second round of National League competition took place last weekend with the B Team making the long trek to Plymouth and the A Team competing closer to home at Bath Leisure Centre.
Following the A Team’s first round encounter against strong opposition from Plymouth Leander and Bournemouth Dolphins, their main antagonists for this round looked to be Millfield. The other top contender was Ferndown, renowned for their strength in Age Group swimming, but would they have the strength in depth through Youth and Seniors comparable to Sx3?
The first ten events saw mixed fortunes for the Swindon side. Going one better than their hard earned second places in the first round, there were wins for the boys 11/U freestyle team of Jack Janicki, Niall Westman, Noah Kirby and Tom Codling and boys open medley team of Jon Audis, Chris Jones, Dean Williamson and Andi Manley. However, two disqualifications coming in-between these two victories left the squad worryingly in fourth place at the first score announcement. The following block of 32 individual races proved to be more fruitful, with eight first places and seven runner up spots. The boys open again proved dominant in their 100m swims with wins from Audis (backstroke), Manley (freestyle) and Chris Jones (breaststroke). Other first places came from Lauren Matthews (50m backstroke) Craig Lofts (50m butterfly), Niall Westman (50m breaststroke), Liam Herbert (100m backstroke) and Thomas Howitt (100m freestyle). The final block of relays again saw the boys’ 11/U seal a victory in the team medley event which helped ensure Swindon’s second place behind Millfield and ahead of Ferndown.
Riding high from their 100 point margin victory in round one, the B Team travelled to Plymouth for their gala. Like the first round, they were up against unknown competition, so could they repeat the feat?
With nine victories from the first ten events, it was clear that there was no mercy on offer from the Squad. With slightly tougher competition than the first round coming largely from Wells and Shepton Mallett, there were impressive wins in all but one of the relay events and in 19 of the 34 individuals. Top points scorers with two individuals and relay wins were Jacob Roberts, Joe Kerslake and Kath Baker. Other impressive performances came from Matthew Rose (boys open 100m freestyle), James Magness (boys open 100m butterfly), Aaron Lee (boys open 100m backstroke) and Stacey Wood (girls open 100m butterfly) all of whom won by a clear margin.
Although the side finished on a similar points total to round one, their winning margin was eroded by the much improved opposition. This should still, however, put them in an unassailable position going into the final round.
The third and final round of the league takes place on 13th December.
Premier Division – Millfield – 239, Sx3 A – 208, Ferndown – 188, Camarthon – 159, Barnstaple – 155, Glamorgan Valley – 96
Division 3 – Sx3 B – 230, Wells and Shepton Mallet – 165, Weymouth – 127, Cirencester – 117, DRSN – 112