16th November 2010

Atlantis played hosts once again at the Pavilions in the Park on Saturday night for the second round of the National Arena Swimming League South Division 1 (East) 3-gala series.  And once again the young Atlantis team achieved a comfortable second place finish behind strong joint leaders of the division, Chelmsford, in front of a vocal home crowd.

The final points tally was: Chelmsford 1st (238.5 points); Atlantis 2nd (199.5); East Grinstead 3rd (185); Southend-on-Sea 4th (149); White Oaks 5th (141); Beckenham B (133).

The result leaves Atlantis in 4th= place in the division with 10 league points, from two second places finishes, alongside Croydon Amphibians.  This means that Atlantis are  now assured of a highest ever finish in the National Swimming League and are guaranteed a place in the top gala for the final round swim-off.  There the team can expect tough competition from the best in the division and will face joint leaders Thanet (against whom Atlantis competed in the first round), Epsom and Chelmsford, as well as Croydon Amphibians and Bromley.   The contest will take place at a neutral venue yet to be determined.

The performance from Atlantis was all the more creditable because the team was hit by a couple of last minute withdrawals through illness from two of its most reliable performers.

The Atlantis team swam consistently throughout the night, finishing in the top three positions in 31out of the 50 races, including 10 1st place finishes.  The spirit within the team was typified by Duncan Smith - a relative newcomer to the league squad - who produced two strong swims in the Open and 15/u 100m breasts and achieved an incredible split in the freestyle relay of 27.61 -  a 1.6 secs improvement on his personal best.

A delighted Atlantis Head Coach Bill Penny said at the end of the gala: “This was a great overall team effort, with our 4 Club Captains leading from the front.  Everyone really did themselves justice.  I couldn’t have asked for more”.

Team Manager Andy Lobley added: “The guys were all really psyched up for this one – it’s something we work on.  They all swam magnificently for each other and I would like to say a massive well done to George Boyle who stepped in at the final minute in the last relay and swam brilliantly. Now we’ll have to make sure we’re ‘up’ for what will be a tough final gala.  Whatever happens, it’s a great achievement to have made the top gala, but we don’t intend to go there just to make up the numbers!”  

Further Information: Andrew Dunlop - 07710 352023