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Mini League (Harwich)

Harwich Swimming Club hosted round 4 of the Essex Mini League at Dovercourt Bay Lifestyles on Saturday night. The atmosphere was electric as Harwich competed against Halstead, Harlow, Maldon and Saffron Seals. A lot of the swimmers were competing for the first time but they were up to the task and the whole team acquitted themselves well.

Brooke Baldwin started the night off with a first place in the 11 & under 50m backstroke, finishing strong and gaining a new personal best time.  Tabitha Pickersgill showed her strength in the 10 & under 50m backstroke gaining a good first place.  Menna Beegan smashed her personal best in the 13 & U 100m freestyle, cutting more than 2 seconds and coming first, her hard work in training really paying off.  Nancy Garner and Alice Messenger both gained personal bests and first places in their respective 50m breaststroke races, Nancy swimming up an age in the 10 & under age group and Alice in the 11 & Under. Nancy’s sister Jemima managed to keep the trend going in the 13 & under 50m breaststroke, storming to victory and smashing her personal best by 3 seconds. Hugo Arthey kept the winning ways going in the 13 & under 50m backstroke.  Butterfly first places came from Olivia Hunt in the 10 & under 25m and Alice Jennings in the 11 & under, both in personal best times. Ethan Jennings stormed to victory in the boys Open 50m Breaststroke, cutting more than 6 seconds off his personal bests.  Molly Richardson and Max Stapleton were both strong in their races, Molly Richardson cut more than half a second off her 100m freestyle time and Max doing the same in the 50m butterfly. Thomas Richardson, not to be beaten by sister Molly, swam in the open 100m freestyle and smashed his personal best by nearly 1.5 seconds, gaining a valuable second place.  Isabelle Tye, one of the hardest workers in the club, found that her dedication to training paid off in the 13 & under 50m butterfly, knocking over a second off her PB.

The girls 9 & under relay teams comprising of Mia-Rose Cleary, Nancy Garner, Isabelle Rose, Aiobheann O’Dea, Emelia Steele and Lotti Carr, 4 of whom were swimming in a gala for the first time, did themselves proud, Coming 2nd in both the Medley Relay and the Freestyle Relay.

The boys 9 & under relay team comprising Tyler Dean, Jake Smit, Noah Jobling, Daniel Yatluk and Oliver Scrivener also did themselves proud, gaining 3rd places in the Medley Relay and the Freestyle Relay.  Oliver and Jake swam up in the 10 & under  age group.  Oliver swam a very competent 50m backstroke and Jake swam 50m breaststroke to gain a very well deserved 3rd place

Reilly Muldoon recently joined the club and swam in his first gala.  In the 10 & under age group, he came 2nd in the 50m freestyle and 3rd in the 25m butterfly.

The relay firsts came thick and fast.  The  girls open 4 x 2 x 1 freestyle relay teams  of Jasmine Hall-Barnett, Eleanor Newman, Katie Holmes and Molly Richardson stormed to victory as did the boys team of Barney Weston, Ethan Jennings, Max Stapleton and Thomas Richardson.  Other relay firsts came from the Girls 6 x 1 fly relay; girls 6 x 1 breaststroke relay; girls 11 and under 4 x 1 freestyle relay; girls 10 & under 4 x 1 freestyle relay; boys 13 & under freestyle relay. The last race of the evening was the 10 x 1 mixed squadron relay and the pool roof lifted with the cheering as the lead swapped and changed between the clubs.  Harwich managed to clinch victory on the final length thanks to some excellent takeovers and strong swimming.

Despite Harwich having quite an inexperienced team in the younger age groups, with so many first places being backed up by many second places and nearly all the swimmers breaking their personal bests, Harwich were vying with Halstead for first place overall.  However, in the end Halstead won by 2 points with Harwich second.

Swimmer of the gala was Menna Beegan for her outstanding swim in the 100m freestyle and very competitive contribution to the relays she swam in.

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