Up where we belong
Event: National Arena League Western Division, Division 1 Final Venue: Millfield Date: 8th December 2012
Dolphin concluded a three year journey on Saturday at Millfield, winning the Arena League Western Division 1, and gaining promotion to the Premiere Division. In 2010, Swindon Dolphin re-entered the Arena League after a two year absence, starting in the third division and have gained promotion every year since. Competing in the Premiere Division next season gives Dolphin the opportunity of competing against some of the country’s top swimming teams including Plymouth Leander and Millfield.
Swindon Dolphin ~ a winning team
Club Captains Charlotte Pitts and James Clark led by example with convincing wins in the opening two events; the 200m individual medley. Despite a lower placed finish and a disqualification in the following eight relay events, top three finishes in all the other races ensured Dolphin held a slender five point lead after the first ten events. Individual wins by Olivia Flack, Sophie Bartlett, James Watson and Emily Dixon helped stretch the lead to ten points ahead of closest rivals Yeovil by event 26.
Over the next 16 events a further six wins from Craig Harris, Georgie Pitts, James Clark, Olivia Flack and Rebecca Flack only just outnumbered Yeovil’s five victories, although too many lower places by Dolphin meant their lead slipped back again to five points. Underlining the fragility of the overall competition, the result of the next event, the mens open 100m freestyle restored Dolphin’s 10 point lead going into the final block of eight relays.
The first three relays resulted in two first and one runner up place for Yeovil which brought them within two points of the Dolphin lead with just five races remaining. A nail-biting 12 minutes of racing followed in which Dolphin held their nerve and showed their mettle with a further three victories; finishing the contest how they started with two back to back wins, this time in the prestigious 6 x 50m freestyle relays.
Club Captains James Clark and Charlotte Pitts
Chief Coach Louise Clayton commented that she was pleased with the Team’s performance and was looking forward to next year’s competition. Hear the full interview below,
Final results: Swindon Dolphin 303, Yeovil 292, Severnside Tritons 259, Newton Abbott 222, Swim Bournemouth B 200, Southwold 194, Salisbury Stingrays 168, Tornadoes of South Dorset 156