Success for Plymouth Leander...

A SUPERB performance by Plymouth Leander has seen them regain the National Arena Swimming League title at the international pool in Cardiff.

Leander finished 83 points in front of Guildford City with Millfield, Somerset, 26 points adrift in third place. The meet was also a personal triumph for coach Robin Armayan in his first full season in charge.

The Plymouth club went to the final looking for their eighth success, having missed out to Guildford City by a point two seasons ago before finishing second behind Streetbased Millfield last season.

Twelve swimmers from Leander competed at the recent Commonwealth Games in Australia, and almost 50 of the club’s top athletes – aged from ten and upwards – travelled to Cardiff. Such was Plymouth’s dominance that top swimmer awards also went to Finn Broekhoven (11 and under age group), Hubert Gdaniec (13 and under) and Honey Osrin (15 and under). Stephens finished third in the women’s 200-metres individual medley (2:19.22) with Millfield’s Sophia Wilson, fourth (2:19.95).

Freddy Clampett also finished third (2:09.05) in the men’s event with Millfield’s Brodie Williams second (2:04.16). That was followed by the Leander girls’ under-12 freestyle team finishing second (2:03.84) with Millfield tenth (2:12.47). The boys’ team finished second (2:02.79) in front of Millfield (2:03.05).

Leander’s first win came with the girls’ under-14 team medley (2:05.24), with Millfield tying for second with City of Oxford (2:06.17). The boys’ team completed the double (1:54.56) by finishing in front of Millfield (1:58.07). The girls’ 16-and-under freestyle team (1:50.81) also beat Millfield (1:51.79) into third place.

That was followed by success for the boys’ 16-and-under freestyle team (1:39.95), who kept up the winning streak with Millfield (1:40.14) second. The Leander relay teams continued to impress by winning both the women’s (1:57.87) and men’s (1:44.35) open medley, with Millfield fifth (2:00.64) and third (1:47.67) respectively.

Those team events had seen Leander open up a good lead and the individual swimmers didn’ disappoint as they kept the momentum going. Blythe Kinsman (34.61) was third in the under-12 50-metres backstroke event, Millfield’s Katie Sherlock (36.88) ninth. Broekhoven powered clear to win the boys’ event (34.45) with Millfield’s Adam White (35.28) third and Alex Maticiuc kept the points ticking over by finishing sixth in the girls’ 14-and-under 100- metres breaststroke (1:18.56) with Millfield’s Grace Olding (1:23.22) ninth.

Leander’s Cameron Williams enjoyed an emphatic win in the boys’ event (1:10.15) in front of Millfield’s David O’Loughlan (1:13.58). Osrin then had a great win in the girls’ 16-and-under backstroke (1:04.93) with Millfield’s Polly Painter (1:07.12) sixth, while Mohammad Warley (1:00.60) held on to win the boys’ event with Millfield’s Alex Sergeant (1:02.13) sixth.

The victories kept coming with Stephens (1:00.84) taking the Open 100-metres butterfly, with Millfield’s Isabel Jones fifth (1:03.91), and Eduardo Valsecchi completing the butterfly double (55.57) in the men’s event.

Tegan Drew was third in the Open 100-metres backstroke (1:04.00), with Millfield’s Sophia Wilson sixth, (1:05.23), while Perry Gardner (58.32) finished behind Millfield winner Brodie Williams (57.72) in the men’s event. Szilvia Remenyi was fifth (41.39) in the girls’ 12-and-under 50- metres breaststroke with Millfield’s Katie Sherlock ninth (43.21). Leander Orian Noel came first in the girls’ 14-and-under 100-metres butterfly (1:06.71), with Millfield’s Rhiannon Evans (1:08.81) fourth, while Leander’s James Hart (1:00.60) came second in the boys’ event, in which Millfield’s Calvin Fry (1:02.92) was fourth.

Leander’s Duru Tanir (1:00.00) came a close third in the girls’ 16-and-under 100-metres freestyle, with Millfield’s Yasmin Hamerlaine (1:00.77) sixth. Leander’s Reid Jones (54.76) was also third in the boys’ event with Millfield’s Huw Williams (54.89) fourth. There was a top five finish for Vicky Russell (1:15.31) in the open 100-metres breaststroke, just in front of Millfield’s Abigail Hurst (1:15.48), and Adam Chillingworth finished third in the men’s event (1:04.71) in which Millfield’s Joshua Lawson (1:07.71) was seventh.

Erin Powell was fifth in the 12-and-under 50-metres freestyle (31.22) Millfield’s Georgina Hawkins (32.67) tenth, club-mate James Rostron (31.98) came ninth in the boys’ event and Millfield’s Ashton Gifford-Groves (30.69) was third.

The Somerset club’s Astrid Hannah (1:01.02) won the girls’ 14-and under 100-metres freestyle in front of Leander’s Emily Cornish (1:01.69) with Plymouth’s James Hart (58.10) also second in the boys’ event with Millfield’s Calvin Fry (59.05) fifth.

In the girls’ under-16 breaststroke Lana Broekhoven came second (1:13.75), with Millfield’s Isabella Renwick (1:15.97) seventh, Millfield’s Will Mitchell came first in the boys’ event (1:07.64) with Leander’s Cameron Williams fourth (1:09.99). Jessica Jackson (56.93), won the open girls’ 100-metres freestyle, with Millfield’s Emma Harvey (1:00.36) tenth. Reece Dunn (52.23) completed the double in the boys’ event with Millfield’s Louis Barker (53.68) fifth.

The girls’ under-12 medley team were second (2;19.16) with Millfield ninth (2:33.98); the boys team could only finish sixth (2:24.14) with Millfield second (2:20.00), but the win eventually came when the girls’ under-14 freestyle team (1:54.02) came from behind to beat Millfield (1:54.97). Leanders boys’ team (1:47.23) were overtaken by Guildford City (1:47.15) while Millfield came third (1:47.38).

Leander finished with four straight wins the girls’ 16-and-under medley (2:01.76), the boys’ 16-and under medley (1:51.77), the women’s 300-metres freestyle (2:41.79), and the men’s freestyle 300 metre team (2:21.43). Millfield finished fifth (2:04.17), second (1:52.01), eighth (2:48.02) and second (2:24.92) respectively.

Leander also won the relay challenge, with Millfield third.


Final positions:

1, Plymouth Leander, 427 points; 2, Guildford City, 344; 3, Millfield, 318; 4, Wycombe District, 267; 5, Hatfield, 265; 6, City of Oxford, 258; 7, Team Ipswich, 257; 8, Stockport Metro, 249; 9, City of Peterborough, 229; 10, City of Derby, 137.

This article first appeared in the Independent. To get the latest articles when they appear, buy the print edition every Sunday or subscribe to our online edition HERE.