It's another great night in the National League

11th November 2013

On Saturday 9th November, swimming coaches up and down the country were preparing their teams for the second round of The Arena National League, and for Atlantis it was no different, as we welcomed teams from Tunbridge Wells (RTW Monson), Redhill & Reigate, Sevenoaks, East Grinstead and Ashford to The Pavillions. Having tied for first place in the opening round, expectations for another exciting evening of swimming were high, especially as RTW Monson had comfortably won their first gala. The opening race, the ladies open age group 100m medley, was a good indication of what lay ahead with just 0.2 seconds splitting RTW Monson and Bex Lobley for the first two places. The next 9 races, 8 being relays, were also very close, and again, our 9-11 year old girls team of Isobel Hooker, Amelia Wright, Ethel Whyman and Rebecca Barber showed their strength to win their race. Their example was followed by the Ladies open aged medley relay team and a very impressive Mens open age team of Matt Fulcher, Chris Tait, Jon and Ryan Pook, who came from behind to win a very exciting race. At the end of the first 10 races, the strong looking RTW Monson had taken an 11 point lead over Atlantis, with East Grinstead and Sevenoaks having a close battle for third place.

The next 32 races were the individual events for all the age groups, and again there were many close finishes as the Atlantis swimmers tried to catch RTW Monson. In fact, after 18 races the gap had closed to just 7 points, helped by impressive personal best (PB) swims from Ethel Whyman, Lily Cherriman, Dan Jones and Andrew Kershaw. For swimmers to achieve PB’s so early in the season illustrates the effort and determination of the team, and their example was followed with more PBs from Rebecca Barber, Nick Cooper, Amelia Wright, Chris Tait, James North, Ed Hundleby and Lily Davis.

The evenings events culminated with the last of the relay races, and in the last race, the Mens Open 6 x 50m freestyle, the Atlantis team gave an exhibition of powerful swimming, taking victory by some 20meters. However it was in vain, as RTW Monson had already built up a commanding points lead overall and finished comfortable winners ahead of Atlantis who were comfortably second. The result will mean that we will remain in the top six of the league, and hence, will face RTW Monson again in the final gala, when the top six teams swim against each other, with the winners and runners up gaining promotion to the Premier League. It should prove to be another very exciting evening of competitive swimming.

After the event, I caught up with our Deputy Head Coach, Andy Lobley, who said " We are thrilled with the result tonight. All of our swimmers are training really hard as we prepare for Counties in March next year so to be producing such great swims is fantastic. We are especially pleased with the attitude of our swimmers and there is a real feeling of Team spirit in our camp"

Full result:

1st RTW Monson – 243 pts

2nd Atlantis – 212 pts

3rd Sevenoaks – 182 pts

4th East Grinstead – 172 pts

5th Redhill & Reigate – 151 pts

6th Ashford – 79 pts