North Lancs Swim League – A Team report

On Saturday 18th January the Senior A team travelled to Blackpool to compete in the first of three events in the 2020 North Lancashire Swim League.

The competition is open to all swimming clubs affiliated to the North Lancashire Swimming and Water Polo Association and runs each year with Leyland’s Senior A team competing again this year in Division 1.

The first match was due to take place at Darwen but a last minute alteration to the venue saw us travel to Blackpool to compete against Blackpool A, Pioneer 79, Blackburn, Fleetwood, Carnforth, Preston A and Kendal.

The event consists of 38 races comprising 50 metre individual races and 4 x 50 metre medley and freestyle relays with a mixed 4 x 50 metre medley cannon starting proceedings and a 6 x 50 metre freestlye cannon relay bringing the competition to a noisy end! 

Swimmers are selected for the team in three age groups – 12 and under, 13/14 years old and open ladies/gents.

In the first race – the mixed 4 x 50 metre medley cannon – the team started off well with one of our Masters swimmers – Chris Suggitt – swimming a very impressive 50 metre breaststroke leg in 31.79 seconds and 12 year old Megan Doherty swimming a personal best on the freestyle leg in a time of 31.25.

The Mens open freestyle relay team comprising of Tom Arkwright, Kyle Mckenna, James Handford and Matt Houghton all swam 50 metres freestyle in under 25.50 seconds each with Kyle and James recording personal best times. Tom Arkwright then went on to record his own personal best time of 25.26 in the freestyle cannon at the end of the afternoon.

Pia Murray swam in the individual 50 metre butterfly and backstroke events winning both and providing spectators with a view of her seemingly effortless stroke and great technique.

Fourteen year old Jack Hepplestone was kept busy having to step up to swim additional races when illness meant Ethan Roberts was unable to attend. Jack swam really well in four relay events and two individual events recording some consistently good times in all six races.

As the event proceeded the strength and depth in the Preston A team across all age groups was obvious and they quickly went into the lead and held it throughout the afternoon. Leyland and Carnforth fought hard for second and third position with Leyland managing to stay just one or two points ahead as the event progressed.

With some good strong performances and great team spirit (and behaviour) the final result was as follows:

  1. Preston A – 258.5 points
  2. Leyland A – 215
  3. Carnforth – 214
  4. Blackpool A – 193.5
  5. Blackburn – 143
  6. Fleetwood – 136
  7. Kendal -113
  8. Pioneer 79 – 92
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