Moonraker Winter League Division 1 Finals
Link Centre Swindon, 19th March 2016
Finals time! Due to the teams fantastic efforts over the course of the winter, a top 6 finish in the league meant we’d be swimming in the top 6 shoot out with a guarantee of at least 6th place overall – the clubs best placed finish in a number of years. Once again we were anticipating a tough night as we lined up with Royal Wootton Bassett, Calne Alpha, Bradford on Avon, Chippenham and Trowbridge.
The night started with a 6th place for the girls U17 4×1 freestyle (Beth, Lydia, Liberty and Grace), but the gala came to abrupt halt straight after. A couple of blocks were found to be loose and it took 15 minutes to find a wrench to tighten them – much to the disgust to many of our boys who were hoping to be home in time for the Rugby!
Back under way and the boys U17 4×1 freestyle (Tyler, Max A, Alyx and Tomas) had a brilliant swim, fighting from 5th after 50 to finish 3rd by 9 one hundredths of a second! races 3-10 saw us gain 2 5th and 4 6th positions, with a special mention for Joe Warrington racing in the boys 9-12 4×1 backstroke in his first gala and in the girls squadron 4×1 fly, Marianne completed the first of her 2 races of the evening.
After 10 races, Trowbridge led from Bradford and Chippenham, with Calne, Bassett and Swindon all playing catch up.
Races 11-20 were eventful with 1 4th, 2 5th and 7 6th positions. The girls 9-12 4×1 breaststroke almost got under way to an unusual start signal as Ellie had forgotten to turn her ring-tone off! (Sorry Ellie!) The girls Open 4×2 medley of Georgie, Grace, Marianne and Emily gained a fifth after a great effort from Georgie who managed to complete the first 50m despite the distraction of her goggles hanging off. The girls U15 4×1 freestyle (Olivia, Caitlin, Beth and Liberty) fought all the way for their 4th place finish after being a close 6th at the 50m stage.
At halfway we had 28 pts in 6th; Royal Wootton Bassett were 5th with 54; Calne were 4th on 71; Chippenham 3rd on 83; Bradford on Avon 2nd on 86; and Trowbridge still leading the way on 94.
There were 6 5th place finishes in races 21-30 and 4 6th places. The girls U17 4×1 breaststroke (Olivia, Lydia, Liberty and Grace), the girls Sqn 4×1 breaststroke (Alice, Liberty, Grace and Emily) and the boys Sqn 4×1 breaststroke (Simon, Max A, Alyx and Tomas) all fought back from 6th position to gain their 5th places. Solid swims from the boys u17 4×1 breaststroke (Alyx, Jake, Max A and Tomas), the girls Open 4×2 Freestyle (Grace, Chloe, Emily and Georgie) and the girls u15 4×1 backstroke (Caitlin, Beth, Olivia and Liberty) also saw them gain 5th places. A quick note on race 23, the girls 9-12 4×1 medley, where confusion between the send up (me) and the swimmers led to the girls having to change their planned stroke/length as Emmie handed over to Georgia to swim the breaststroke (expecting to front crawl) and Annabel handed to Alice to swim freestyle (instead of breaststroke). To their credit they stayed focused and completed the race.
With 10 to go, we still chased the rest with Trowbridge leading the way.
The last set of races saw us gain another 4th place in the form of the boys open 4×2 backstroke (Tyler, Tomas, Alyx and Brad) after a fantastic swim – 3 of the 4 swimming above their age group!. There were also 2 5th places for the girls Open 4×2 backstroke (Chloe, Lydia, Emily and Georgie) and the Girls u15 4×1 breaststroke (Olivia, Beth, Liberty and Caitlin).
At the end of the night Trowbridge finished 1st on 180 pts, with Bradford on Avon on 172, Chippenham 139, Calne Alpha 148, Royal Wootton Bassett 90 and Swindon ASC in 6th place on 60pts.
As I said earlier, this was a great achievement for the Squad and they should all be very proud of their efforts. Of particular note, Tyler, Alyx, Tomas, Jake, Max A, Cameron, Liberty, Beth, Olivia, Caitlin, Grace and Lydia all swam either one or in some cases two age groups above their own and in the cases of Alyx, Tomas, Liberty and Grace, the send ups barely saw them as they finished one race to line up for the next!
Well done to everyone, and as always a big thank you to all the officials, helpers, and parents who supported the team on the night. Lets get training for Summer League and excel again!