Tough at the top

Event: National Arena League Western Division, Premier Division Round 1 Venue: Millfield Date: 12th October 2013

Last weekend saw Swindon Dolphin’s long awaited return to the Premier Division of the Western Arena Swimming League.   Their first round meet was at Millfield school against some formidable opposition including last year’s national finalist Millfield as well as City of Cardiff and Swim Swansea.  Despite many personal best swims, Dolphin struggled to stay out of the lower placings and finished in sixth place just three points behind local compatriots West Wilts Force Five.

Dolphin’s highest place finishes were runners up spots by Jon Audis in his 100m backstroke and James Clark in his 100m freestyle.  It took world youth championship medallist Xavier Mohammed to beat Audis whist Clark came narrowly close to victory over world championship competitor James Guy, although had the consolation of setting a new club record in the process.  James Watson proved to be one of Dolphin’s biggest individual points earner with third place finishes in the 100m freestyle and 100m backstroke whilst Alice Lockey put in a gutsy display to earn Dolphin’s only other top three finish.

Notable fourth place finishes included James Clark’s 200m individual medley in which he set his second club record of the evening, Leo Ng’s 50m freestyle in which he set a significant personal best and Lauren Matthews’ 100m butterfly in which she narrowly missed out on a third place.

Dolphin can be content at having completed the first round of competition with no disqualifications and maintaining an excellent team sprit throughout.  However it will take more than just this if they are to improve on their current league position.

Round 1 results: City of Cardiff 232, Millfield 232, Swim Swansea 208, Exeter City 168, West Wilts Force Five 105, Swindon Dolphin 102

The next round of the league takes place on 9th November when Dolphin will be competing at Newport against Taunton Deane, Swim Swansea, Keynsham, Exeter City and Weston-super-Mare

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