Colchester - Round One 2015

On October 10th it was time for the first round of the much-anticipated National Arena Swimming League competition. The Premier Division of this exciting league always means some tough competition for the squad and the round one draw for this season was no exception.  In great form, the squad was ready to take on some of the toughest competition from teams like Hatfield, Hillingdon and Teddington.
Kaythi Aung kicked the evening off with a strong swim in the ladies’ 200IM getting the first points on the board for Colchester. Men’s Captain, Spencer Prior, followed in the same event for the boys smashing 5 seconds off of his time and finishing in a terrific time of 2:15.81.

The first two individual events were followed by the first group of relays offering up their usual flurry of excitement amongst all the teams and spectators! Colchester’s 9/11 age girls’ freestyle relay team of Lucy Morgan, Anita Tien, Ciara Wookey and Sophie Freeman provided Colchester’s first win of the night coming in over 3 seconds ahead of Hatfield.

The girls’ 13/U medley team of Olivia Norman, Asma Parker, Abbie McCarthy and Eloise Sneddon stormed in snatching 2nd place from Basildon and Phoenix with hardly anything between the two touches. The boys’ 12/U team of Christopher Ashdown, William Pestell, Ben Hardy and Alexander Williamson raced well and held their own in a time of 2:17.74.

The last of the first set of relays saw some good swims by Colchester’s senior swimmers with some strong performances by both 15/U freestyle relay teams as well as the ladies’ and men’s open medley relay teams against much older swimmers in many cases. These events completed the first half of the relays with Colchester sitting in 5th place in the points table.

The individual events got underway with the girls’ and boys’ 10/11 50m backstroke event seeing some terrific swims and personal bests by Anita Tien (1 sec) and Naythan Aung (.5 sec) both securing 2nd place and important points for Colchester. Pestell and Parker put in strong performances in the 13/U 100m breaststroke events securing a 2 second and 4 second PB respectively and adding some more points to the table for Colchester.

Arran Francis swam to 5th place with a PB in the Men’s open 100m butterfly event followed by three more terrific 2nd places secured by Sophie Freeman and Naythan Aung in the 10/11 50m Butterfly events and Olivia Norman in the 13/U 100m backstroke. Sophie Freeman also swam to 1st place victory in the girls’10/11 50m freestyle event in a terrific personal best time of 30:18 seconds.

Determined swims by Ellie Duley and Tom Grieve in the 15/U 100m butterfly events saw Ellie rack up the points with third place for Colchester and Tom swimming a 2 second PB and securing 6th in a time of 1:04.47 just .24 seconds behind Basildon and Phoenix in 5th. Fingertips separated the girls at the finish in the ladies’ open 100m backstroke event with Martha Duley coming 3rd just .05 seconds behind the Hatfield swimmer in the adjacent lane. Martha continued her return to form later in the evening in the ladies’ open 100m freestyle.

Ciara Wookey broke 40 seconds in the 10/11 yrs 50m breaststroke race that saw her secure a comfortable 1st place and 8 points for the team.  Abbie McCarthy impressed coming 3rd in the 13/U 100m butterfly event breaking her personal best set just one week ago. The team’s efforts continued to secure a steady stream of points in the remaining individual swims including some strong swims from senior swimmers Cameron Simpson and Philippa Davenall in their individual open breaststroke events and a great swim by Jamie Coles in the boys’ 15/U100m breaststroke event shaving 2 seconds off his PB.

Steady positioning in the final set of relay finishes enabled Colchester to maintain a strong position. Another 1st place for the girls’ 9/11 relay team of (Tien, Wookey, Freeman and Morgan), 3rd for the girls’ 13/U 4x50m freestyle relay (Parker, McCarthy, Norman and Sneddon) and strong swims in the remaining events of the evening, including the enthusiastically received ladies’ and men’s open relay, secured Colchester a finish in a well deserved 5th place finish. A great way to kick off the first of the three rounds!

Also securing some valuable points for Colchester were: Chloe Rudkin, Jack Howlett, William Easteal, Ross Jordan, Kai Cheng, Katie White, Rory Bennett and Alexander Tinnion.