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Last year after a wait of around a decade Burton Amateur Swimming Club had returned to the top Division of the League following the Division 2 title being secured in 2016. The club did amazingly well last year to avoid relegation for the first time in their history and set up a second go at trying to survive with the big clubs in 2018.
We knew that we had rarely over the last 30 years got to the top league and when they did they always ended the season being relegated back to division 2 – with a clash of dates with County Championships looming in round 2 we knew 2018 was going to be our biggest challenge yet as a team.
The format of the league will see 18 teams split into 3 galas for the first two rounds – leading to the top 8 going into a final – the next 5 being in a gala – and the bottom 5 facing a gala that would see 3 relegated back for the 2019 season to division 2.
The draw saw us face the Coalville A and Wellingborough A which both finished in the top 6 last year, plus the constantly improving Braunstone B (the A team won the league last 2 years and the club have since gained many top swimmers from other clubs and the B team secured a finish in the top 8 final last year. Neptune A and Ilkeston A provided the rest of the opposition on the night and Burton SC knew this was a major step up and so soon after a long xmas break was going to be a test for the swimmers. We had never faced Wellingborough A before, and at the full squad level never beaten Braunstone B or Ilkeston A.
The format is 4 age groups are as at 31/12/18 and are age 11, 13, 15 and open – with the main changes being the addition of an Individual medley, the age 15 kids doing 100 fly not 50m. plus all the young kids doing 50m not 25m races.
Competitive debuts went to Amelie Brown, Harry Preston and Sam Hickenbottom. Winter league debuts went to Oliver Frost, Dylan Mitchell, Edan Maxwell, Jasper Saunders, Georgia Ulyett, Charlie Miller, Bella Smith, George Preston, Finley Brown and Matthew Appelbee.
6 First Places:
Tom Mitchell, Harrison Jones, George Preston and Hayden Cotton – age 13 boys free relay
Tom Mitchell – age 13 50m fly
Amelie Brown – age 11 50m fly
George Stevens – age 15 100m free
Jack Ward – age 15 100m back
Tom Mitchell – age 13 50m breast
7 Second Places:
Jack Ward, Matthew Appelbee, George Greener and George Stevens – age 15 boys free relay
Jack Ward – age 15 100m breast
George Greener – age 15 100m fly
George Preston – age 13 50m free
Sam Hickinbottom – open 100m fly
George Greener, Jack Ward, George Stevens and Matthew Appelbee – age 15 boys medley relay
Rosie Bolton, Ella Cooper, Charlotte Breeze and Daisy Wong – age 13 girls medley relay
9 Third Places:
Matt Gates – open 100m IM
Charlie Miller, Amelie Brown, Bella Smith and Rachael Greener – age 11 free relay
Ella Cooper, Daisy Wong, Charlotte Breeze and Rosie Bolton – age 13 free relay
Sam Hickinbottom, Adam Doughty, Matt Gates and Finley Brown – open free relay
Adam Doughty – open 100m breast
Harrison Jones – age 13 50m back
Georgia Ulyett, Bella Smith, Rachael Greener and Amelie Brown – age 11 medley relay
Matt Gates, Adam Doughty, Sam Hickinbottom and Finley Brown – open medley relay
Georgia Ulyett, Edan Maxwell, Ella Cooper, Tom Mitchell, Imeh Tyas, Matthew Appelbee, Hayley Brightman and Finley Brown – cannon team
From the start it was clear that Coalville and Wellingborough would compete for first place – with 3 teams all very close for 3rd, and Ilkeston struggling at this level. We sat in 5th from the first set of results but always within touching distance of 3rd – the level of commitment and fight shown on the night was very impressive.
– STAR SWIMMER – Tom Mitchell – two great individual wins and with his 3 relay swims always showed great speed and spirit
– STAR RACE – hard to pick with so many great swims but the smile after winning for Amelie Brown on her debut won the star race for her 50m fly
– Jack Ward, George Stevens, George Greener and Matthew Appelbee forming a ‘De Ferrers Dream Team’ – winning or coming a close second in all age 15 races
– Tom Mitchell, Harrison Jones, George Preston and Hayden Cotton winning one relay and coming so close on the medley – great team spirit with each kid cheering the others on when they swam
– All the age 11 kids swimming so many PB times as none are that used to doing 50m races and they all had great turns and strong second 25m lengths
– Matt Gates swimming a new PB in the 100m IM
– Edan Maxwell smashing his PB in 50m free and also doing a great job over 50m on fly for the first time
– Daisy Wong taking her relay team from 5th to 2nd with an amazing time
– Imeh Tyas, Emma Preston, Emma Brown and Sophie Fowkes for swimming up as open swimmers to cover a few gaps caused by seasonal illness
– The real pleasure of watching Sam Hickinbottom swim and the level of respect the other senior lads showed in watching his amazing 1.02 time for 100m fly
– An amazing 36 PB times swam so soon after a break from training was fantastic
Result after 51 races
Braunstone B 178
So the club has earned 2 points for coming 5th in round 1 ( an agonising 1 point off 4th place) and we now await the draw for the second round on February 24th. Early indications are we sit 13th in the league table after round 1.
Massive thanks go to:-
– the coaching team of Simon and Ian for all the advice and encouragement on the night
– Bev, Martin, Rob B, Chris, Karen and Donna for the officiating and timing
– All the parents for once again taking time out of their busy weekends to travel and support the team