REDDITCH Swimming Club secured a quickfire return to Division One after claiming victory in the Division Two Final of the Nuneaton & District Junior League at Wolverhampton.
Having won all three of their previous galas in this competition – the only unbeaten club in the league – Redditch were favourites going into the final.
Although Stratford Sharks took an early lead on the night, which they increased to eight points after 13 events, Redditch chipped away at the points difference and gradually seized control.
At the halfway point, Redditch had a narrow lead and, despite a couple of disqualifications, their winning margin after completion of event 51 was eight points above runners-up Sharks.
Redditch topped the pile with 227 points, Sharks totalled 219 and Bromsgrove were third with 180.
Redditch finished first or second in almost two thirds of the 51 events, winning 20 and coming second in another 12.
Redditch winners in individual events were Alice Wilson-Marsh (9 years 25m breaststroke), Ashleigh Green (12 yrs 50m backstroke and butterfly), Brendan Colley (12 yrs 50m breaststroke and freestyle), Riley Perry (11 yrs 50m butterfly), Evie Rendell (9yrs 25m butterfly and 25m freestyle), Amelia Wise (10yrs 50m backstroke), Hannah Osborne (10 yrs 25m butterfly) and Orla Power (9 yrs 25m backstroke).
Those gaining second places for Redditch in individual events were Amelia Wise (in two events), George Hastings, Riley Perry, Rosie Ward, Hannah Willis, Bobby Riley, Anna Farr and Noah Chambers.
There were also wins for Redditch teams in the following nine relay events – 9 year-old girls’ medley and freestyle (Niamh Dawe, Orla Power, Evie Rendell and Alice Wilson-Marsh), 10/under girls’ medley (Amelia Wise, Evie Rendell, Hannah Osborne and Martha Colclough), 11/under boys’ freestyle (Noah Chambers, Bradley Steward, Nathan Sanders and Bobby Riley), girls’ 8x25m freestyle ‘cannon’ (Orla Power, Evie Rendell, Amelia Wise, Hannah Osborne, Ella Loftus, Anna Farr, Hannah Willis and Ashleigh Green), 12/under boys’ medley and freestyle (Bobby Riley, George Hastings, Riley Perry and Brendan Colley), 12/under girls’ freestyle (Anna Farr, Hannah Willis, Ashleigh Green and Rosie Ward), mixed 8x25m freestyle ‘cannon’ (Evie Rendell, Josh De Waal, Amelia Wise, Stefan Troye, Anna Farr, Riley Perry, Ashleigh Green and Brendan Colley).
Fifteen new Division Two Final ‘best performance’ records were set on the night – eight of these by Redditch swimmers or relay teams.
The RSC nine-year-old girls (Dawe, Rendell, Wilson-Marsh and Power) won all six of their races and set three new records. The girls carved significant chunks off both the medley and freestyle relay records and Orla Power lowered the 25m backstroke time by half a second. The nine-year-old girls’ medley relay record had been the oldest for any event, having been set 18 years ago.
Amelia Wise broke the record for the ten/under 50m backstroke and there were also new records for Ashleigh Green in the 12/under 50m backstroke and for the 12/under girls’ freestyle relay team.
The girls in the mixed age 8x25m freestyle relay lowered the existing record by over three seconds and the boys joined the Redditch record-breaking spree when they linked up with the girls in the final event – the mixed 8x25m freestyle relay – to lower the current record by just over two seconds.
Other members of the victorious Redditch final squad were Max Davidson, James Sanders, Emily Holmes, Elliot Wall, Alex Celec, Oliver Celec, Arty Kirman and Aled Lee.
Junior club captains Ashleigh Green and Brendan Colley collected the league championship shield on behalf of the team, as well as medals for every swimmer and a further five trophies for relay events.
As six points are awarded for winning each round of the competition (five points for second, four for third etc), after the four rounds the promoted clubs were Redditch (24), Stratford (22), Hereford (19) and Bromsgrove (19).
Redditch head coach Chris Britt was delighted with this latest success for the club’s junior swimmers and said: “I was very proud of our fantastic young swimmers again.
“They have a huge amount of talent, work hard in training every week and it is great to see them get the rewards for all of their effort.”