Arena League Final (2011)
"An awesome team effort", was how assistant coach Bob Pay summarized the evening, as Windsor Swimming Club earned a much-deserved second-place finish in the Arena League Finals on Saturday at Crawley's K2 Sports and Leisure Center. For the first time in the club's history, the team will now go on to compete at the National finals held in Sheffield next year. As the closing results were announced Pay settled on an appropriate superlative: "Magic".
Contrary to the previous rounds of the league, Saturday's competition was spread over eight lanes, and the points shared across eight teams. And so, given the league's scoring system, all strengths were tested, and all weaknesses were magnified.
In brief, out of a total of fifty races, including relays and individual events, Windsor secured 12 victories. Though perhaps most tellingly, they managed to notch up a total of 27 top-three finishes, which was just enough to pull them into second place in front of close rivals Amersham.
Special mention should go to the boys 9-11yrs relay team of Max Hoogers, Harvey Karavis, Nimath Ukkash, and Matthew Burton, who won both of their events on the night, punctuating an outstanding start to the season in which they've gone unbeaten in all competitions.
Likewise, the senior boys team, comprised from Sam Straughan, Robert Iddiols, Oliver Leonard, Alex Farrell, Declan Bourke, and Tim Delaney, won both the medley relay and the final squadron relay to chalk up the final points that established Windsor's overall position on the night.
Individual victories on the women's side went to Lucy Campbell in the 100m Backstroke and 100m Freestyle, and Katie Ambridge in the 100m Butterfly. On the Men's side, maximum points were scored by Oliver Leonard in the 100m Butterfly, Sam Straughan in the 100m Backstroke, Harvey Karavis in the 11yrs and under 50m Freestyle, and Robert Iddiols in the 100m Freestyle.
"It's taken four years to get to this", said Head Coach Matt Heathcock, who was eager to congratulate the whole squad for their efforts. The team has now been confirmed as the leading club in the Windsor Maidenhead area, and second only to Guildford in the South-East region.
What's more, Windsor's B team finished fifth overall in their meet, second only to A teams, confirming once again that Windsor is a club on the move.
Next weekend the team travel to Hillingdon for the final meet of the year.