Swimming: Penguin make great strides

Lifestyle / Sat 14th Mar 2015 at 01:32pm

AFTER three successive promotions in the last three years, which have taken Penguins back into the top division for the first time since in nearly 10 years, Harlow Penguins started their Essex League campaign on Saturday at Basildon sporting village and came very close to pulling off a major upset when they lost out by a single point to Romford Town who have reigned supreme for the last 15 years. Head Coach Martin Stringer was not too sure how he felt about the result after the gala, stating “to finish 1 point behind Romford, not sure whether I’m really pleased with the result or gutted that we didn’t turn them over!”

After the successes of the County Championships, most of Penguins new County Champions were in the pool and the swimmers certainly rose to the occasion, claiming victory in 16 of the 49 event programme.

Top performers on the night were the Senior Mens team of Karl Batorski, Mason Arnold, Lee Baker and Bradley Veitch, they simply won everything! Mason Arnold set the standard winning the Mens Open 100m Butterfly in a time of 58.25secs, Lee Baker followed this up with victories in the 100m Back (1:01.93) and the 100m Free in a time of 53.39secs and finally Karl Batorski dominated the Mens Open 100m Breast event, his time 1:07.45. If the boys were having it their own way in the individual events, combined no one was going to get near them, they outclassed the opposition in both the 4×50 Free and 4×50 Medley easing to victory in both events.

Bradley Veitch showed what an outstanding swimmer he is, he gained 2 victories competing in the Men’s relay team’s but being only 15, Bradley also gained 2 victories in the 15&U age group, his time of 55.94 in the 100m Freestyle and 28.40 in the 50m Butterfly put him well clear of the opposition. Just to round off his evening Bradley also won with as part of the 15&U 4x50m Freestyle and 4x50m Medley relay teams, with Filip Kusnir, Jamie Rushworth and Greg Barton. Greg on the anchor leg in the Freestyle relay left if late to storm through, producing an amazing last leg split of 26.38sec to touch out the Newham team by 2 hundredths of a second.

Carys Brealey, the Club’s swimmer of the Month for February after her amazing success at Counties, simply dominated the 11&U 50m Freestyle event, her time of 29.98 looked really easy and confirmed her place in the national rankings as the UK’s top U11 sprint freestyler. When you have someone like Carys in your Freestyle team, it certainly helps and the 11&U Girls team of Lily Taylor (33.52), Leanne Hemmings (34.57), Ellie Cronin (33.63) and Carys (28.73) got the evening off to a winning start, beating a strong Romford team into second place.

Emily Hills showed a return to form with a great win in the 15/U 100m Freestyle event , her time of 1:04.29 was a big improvement on her previous best set at Counties and gives a real indication of her potential. Emily was also part of the victorious Girls 15/U 4×50 Freestyle team of Celeste Andrew (0:29.57), Emily Hills (0:30.15), Caitlin Mascall (0:30.13) and Olivya Holleyman (0:30.22).

Penguins are developing a real strength in Breaststroke, Kirsty Vears returned to her sub 1:20.00 times, going out from the start her 1:19.01 was her best this year and claimed victory in the Girls Open 100m Breaststroke. Lauren Nelson continued her recent great run of form, her time of 1:23.10 in the 13/U 100 Breast was a near 2.5sec improvement on her previous best to claim a well deserved win.

Essex League is a great team event for the swimmers, apart from the 15 victories in the gala, Penguins had 15 second places as well and to highlight the quality of the performance, no Penguin swimmer was placed 6th and the performance will undoubtedly give Romford cause for thought. As a newly promoted team and one that has rapidly gone through the divisions, it was something of a step into the unknown, but great team spirit and a desire to win came through.

Final Result on the night:

Harlow Penguin OneRomford 229

Harlow Penguins 228

Newham 200

Enfield 131

Witham 121

Halstead 118

If anyone is interested in joining Penguins, please note we currently have spaces available for our next course due to start 20th March in both our Learn to Swim programme and Development Academy, please call 07787 318558, or e-mail : [email protected].

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