Woking were proud hosts of Arena Round 2 last night as throughout the country over 10,000 swimmers in 302 teams at 51 galas and over 1,000 officials were involved in the prestigious National Arena League. The Arena League is swum in three rounds during October, November and December with winners of each region swimming in finals in April next year. This marks one of the most exciting events in all swimming club calendars and sees many swimmers travelling from far afield for the honour of competing for their club.
Woking’s first round saw an excited group of swimmers (and even more excited coaches and team managers!) make their way to Oxford for the first round and Woking hold on to a well earned 4th place.
This time Woking were set against teams of City of Oxford, winners of the first round gala, Thanet, Maidenhead, Portsmouth Northsea and local rivals Staines.
A clash of Round 2 with the British University National Championships (BUCS) meant that many clubs’ senior swimmers were absent and younger swimmers were asked to step up and swim in the senior age groups. The true Woking team spirit shone through with many of the younger swimmers providing some season’s best and PB swims to ensure Woking firmly held on to 3rd position throughout the gala. Individual wins came from Anna Maine, Hendrik van der Leest and Kyarra Steele with some very close second positions from Ewan Smith, Abi Stemp, Kiera Heney and Katie Bauer. The 9-11 yr girls relay team of Kyarra Steele, Scarlett Webster, Sophie King and Katie Bauer brought home 2nd place in both relays.
As ever, with Arena, it was the whole team effort that brought home the 3rd place position behind the very strong teams of Oxford and Thanet. ‘Swimmers Of The Night’ were once again a difficult choice for coaches, finally awarded to Ewan Smith, Maya Hartwell and Joshua Thompson.
Final Scores :
Thanet – 254
City of Oxford – 239
Woking – 177
Portsmouth NS – 162
Staines – 125
Maidenhead – 88
All now look forward to Round 3 in December!
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