National Arena League Round 1

 What a start to this year’s National Arena League campaign! Round 1 was at Waterlooville, Alton was hosting and we had stiff competition in the form of Staines, Rushmoor, Farnham, Godalming and Wantage.

Staines led from the start, but Alton was in a closely fought battle for second place with Farnham and Wantage – all three teams held the coveted runners-up spot at some point during the evening. In the end, Alton finished a commendable third place, just 9 points behind Farnham. This puts Alton in 7th place (out of 18 teams) in Division Two West after the first round.

Individual wins went to Noah (Open 100 Fly), Mia (Open 100 Back), Tori (15/U 100 Free) and Matthew (11/U 50 Fly and 50 Free) and the Open Girls Medley team of Mia, Lucy Sampson, Hannah W and Katherine also won their race. But a special mention needs to go to the Boys 11/U Relay teams of Matthew, James P, Arthur and Charlie. They smashed the opposition in both their relays – winning the freestyle relay by 7 seconds and the medley relay by a whopping 15 seconds! Well done boys!

There were also 18 personal bests for eleven of our swimmers (including 50m splits and first legs of relays). These were achieved by James M, James P, Lewis P, Henry, Arthur, Trinity, Matthew, George, Katie, Alex R and Lucas. Emily H also needs a special mention as her leg of the 11/U freestyle relay was almost 4 seconds faster than she’d ever swum it before. Fantastic swimming!

Finally, a shout out for those swimmers who stepped up an age group to replace missing swimmers. Thank you to Tori, Matthew, Lucy Sampson, Arthur, Lucy Steiner and James P – the team couldn’t have done it without you!

Detailed results can be found here:

Thanks also to Davina and her able team of volunteers for enabling the smooth running of the night’s event. There are too many to mention you all, but particular appreciation goes to David Eades for battling with the technology, the numbers and the spreadsheets with good(ish) humour and Nicky Plewes for her calm and professional commentary throughout the night.

So it was in high spirits that everyone headed over to McDonald’s for a well-deserved post-gala nutritious (!) snack. Despite the not-so-fast food, it was a fitting end to the evening and the poolside team spirit continued, albeit with the swimmers making it very clear that parents were to sit elsewhere AFTER they’d paid!

Head coach, Luke Surplice, had this to say:

I was really pleased to see all the swimmers stepping up for the relays and individual swims at the Arena League. Everyone swam for the team and had a good team attitude and it showed, with lots of PBs. I was proud of what they all did and to be ADSC Head Coach. What a shame I couldn’t stay to eat the McDonald’s (when it finally arrived)!

The next round is on Saturday November 9th at a venue to be announced shortly. Please keep an eye out for this and the team selection. Remember it is an honour to be selected to represent the club, especially at this event where, this year, 333 teams all over the country are competing at the same time! So please make every effort to be available - your swimming club needs you!

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