The City of Newport Swimming Club made it two wins from two in the National Arena Swimming League on Saturday 10th November, when they travelled to the latest round of the competition in Horfield, Bristol.
After a convincing win in the first round at Millfield, the team arrived at Horfield with high expectations. They were without several senior swimmers, but the younger swimmers who stepped up to race up an age band in their absence more than held their own.
After ten events the points were announced, and Newport were in second place behind Street and District. The next time the points were announced, Newport and Street were dead level at the top - making for some interesting must-win races towards the end of the competition. Ultimately Newport’s strength powered through with the club going on to win convincingly by 25 points.
“It’s always an exciting event, especially being a part of the City of Newport,” said Girls Team captain Megan Allison. “It’s amazing to see both the younger and older swimmers of the club stepping up, supporting and working together as a team, producing outstanding results and securing a very strong position to go into the final of the Arena League.”
Boys Team Captain Alex Griffiths shared Megan’s pride in the Newport teams. “It’s great to see all the younger swimmers getting stuck in to a fun and exhilarating competition,” he said. “I’m proud of how the club performed, showing the great team spirit we have here at Newport; not only did we perform well, we had fun doing it. We’re now in a strong position for the final and to hopefully take victory.”
Special mentions go to the 13-and-under Boys who, out of six events enjoyed five wins and a second-place finish; notably in the Freestyle Relay where, following strong swims from Gianni Davies, Evan Sellick and Brandon Keenan, Sebastian Major anchored to leave the other teams trailing.
Scarlet Major won three individual events including one swimming up an age group and Lucy Jones won two individual races and both the relays she was in. Megan Allison won the open 100 freestyle, 100 butterfly and was narrowly touched out into second place in the 100 backstroke. She also won one relay and took a second-place finish in the second relay.
The final placings were as follows:
1st City of Newport
2nd Street and District
7th West Wilts Force 5
“The team did very well to close that one out, getting stronger as the competition went on,” said Head Coach James Goodwin. “We have plenty to work on now in training and are motivated to continue to improve. We hope to move on to the final on a high, after a successful Welsh Short Course Championships which will be held from the 30th November to the 2nd December. I would like to thank all the volunteers, coaches, team managers, officials, as well as the parents who travelled to support the team.”
Newport now progress to The A Final, which takes place on Saturday 8th December, at Newport Live’s Newport International Sports Village. Spectators are welcome to attend and show their support for this team of young dedicated swimmers. The event starts at 3pm and promises to be as exciting as each stage so far.
"We'd love the people of Newport to get behind the club and come and watch the Final," said James. "Everyone's welcome, and spectating is free."