National Arena League – Round 1

Underwater image of a swimming pool

Louth Swimming Club faced stiff opposition from 5 other clubs – City of Peterborough “A”, Nottingham Leander, Biggleswade, Rushden and St Ives at this gala in Biggleswade.  An extremely excited bus full of swimmers set off from Louth mid afternoon, ready for a late start at 6.50pm in Biggleswade. Older Open swimmers even came back from University and from Lincoln, where they now live, to help out the team, knowing it was going to be a very hard round.

Louth had just 3 individual wins and 1 relay win on the night, 5 second places and 5 thirds. That in itself, against such great opposition, is an achievement for such a small team as Louth.

The Louth “Swimmer of the Night” accolade was shared between the 3 individual winners; Kirsty Armstrong who came back from University to help out the team, who won the ladies Open 100m Butterfly by a huge 2.5 second margin, came 2nd in the 100m Open Ladies Backstroke in a Pb time and gained a further 2nd place in the 100m Open ladies 100m Freestyle later on in the evening. Sam Swaby aged 13 was Louth’s first winner, claiming a 1 second victory, in a Pb time, in the 13/u 100m Breaststroke, his favoured stroke. Sam showed his determination to win throughout the race, never looking like he would do anything but win. 13 year old Daniel Challis is the 3rd Swimmer of the Night for Louth. Daniel had a closely fought 13/u 100m Freestyle race, with the swimmer from City of Peterborough, Daniel winning in the end by just 0.6 seconds! He gained another Pb time into the bargain. The Boys 13/u 4 x 50m Freestyle team, consisting of Sam Swaby, Daniel Challis, Ivan Koslow and Finley Fox, were the other Louth winners of the night, putting in a thrilling performance, to clinch a 0.5 second victory.

2nd place accolades also went to Alexandra Swaby in the girls 15/u 100m Butterfly, Rebecca Dunning in the Girls 15/u 100m Freestyle and Joshua Wright in the Boys 11/u 50m Breaststroke. 3rd places went to Rebecca Dunning in the girls 15/u 100m Backstroke, Callum Mitchell in the Boys 15/u 100m Butterfly, Alex Swaby in the Girls 15/u 100m Breaststroke, Jay Clarke, Josh Wright, George Walker and Callum Kidd in the boys 11/u 4 x 50m Medley Relay and finally, the Ladies Open 6 x 50m Freestyle Relay team consisting of Alex Swaby, Emily Patch, Anne Meiwald, Alice Ward, Rebecca Dunning and Kirsty Armstrong.

Other swimmers for Louth making fantastic contributions on the night, not previously mentioned, were – Sofie, Fred and Marie Schneider, Lily Miller, Megan Hodgson, Katherine Brown, William and Adam McIntyre, Tom Richardson, Oliver Petts, William Kemp, Ella Nicholson, Emma Maw, Megan Gilpin, Qian Yue To and Emma Harrop.

Final Positions 1st – City of Peterborough 264, 2nd – Notts Leander 210, 3rd- Rushden 166, 4th – Biggleswade 157, 5th – Louth – 135, 6th – St Ives 114.

Team Manager Sarah Richardson, along with Head Coach Steve Armstrong, had nothing but praise for the swimmers who had taken part in the gala. It was a “Great Team Performance”.

The next round is on November 12th at Boston.

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