Arena League Round 1 2015

The first round of galas in the Arena National League saw Exmouth Swimming and Life Saving Society travel to the Life Centre, in Plymouth, for an enthralling Devon Derby. Exmouth drawn in lane 4, faced opposition from Dawlish; Torquay, Tavistock, Devonport and Oddicombe. Competing in the Division 2 of the Western qualifying section, it is a rare event for all 6 clubs to be from the same county, which helped to generate an extra special atmosphere on poolside.


Swimmers competed in individual and relay events in the 10-11; 13 & under; 15 & under and Open age categories. Points are allocated to each team depending on their position in each race. There were mixed fortunes for Exmouth in the early relay events, and it was the Boys 13U 4x 50 Medley team who came closest to a maximum points return finishing second. Victory for Exmouth eventually came in the Boys 13U 100m breaststroke, with Scott Simpson-Currie racing home with a personal best time of 1:31.74. Next swimmer to bag six points for Exmouth, was Abbie Freeman, who held off the Dawlish swimmer to win the 11U 50m butterfly, in a time of 41.56 seconds. There were also victories for James Griffin and Joel Rawe in the Boys 11U 50m Freestyle and Boys 15U 100m breast respectively. James won his race with a personal best of 34.71, whilst Joel had a thrilling finish that saw him hold onto first place by beating the Dawlish swimmer by 0.15 of a second. There was also a club record for George Cornwell-Brown. George swam a time of 1:09.21 in the 100m backstroke the fastest time recorded for an 18 year old Exmouth swimmer over that distance. With 50 races in total, the overall winner of the gala was only decided in the final event, where Tavistock leap frogged Dawlish into first place by winning the open 6 x 50m cannon relay. Exmouth finished in a creditable 5th place, just 8 points behind Torquay.


The gala saw National League debuts for a number of Exmouth swimmers, especially the 11U's boys and girls teams. It was also an opportunity for the younger ones to be part of a team that involved Master swimmers, and in particular Ian Lang and Alison Browning.  In addition to those already mentioned, there were personal bests recorded for: Lilly Manchester 50m freestyle; Jon Doble, Sophie Beacon and Jess Dixon in the 100m backstroke; Jules Roberts 100m butterfly; Ben Taylor and Sophie Spiller 100m freestyle; Katie Brindley 100m breaststroke; Sophie Spiller in the 200m IM and 50m Freestyle PB times for Rhys Norman, Jon Doble and Ella Amor.


Next up in November for some of the Exmouth swimmers is the Exeter Hub Open meet, the Tiverton Sparkler Open meet and the start of the annual Club Championships, so plenty to train for over the coming weeks. 

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