Youngsters make a splash as trophy heads to Dorking
A SERIES of brave and nail-bitingly exciting performances swept Dorking Swimming Club to a hard-fought victory in the annual U14 Rother Junior Trophy at Dorking Sports Centre on Saturday night.
The 51-event gala saw the club's younger swimmers take on rivals from Alton, Epsom, Farnham, Bognor and Wey Valley.
Dorking and Epsom quickly established a clear lead over the other four clubs and remained neck and neck throughout an increasingly tense evening's competition.
The decisive moment came in the final race – the squadron relay – when Dorking's Seb Cook closed out the final leg in spectacular style to touch home first and ensure that it would be junior captains Dominic Collier and Jessica Langham lifting the trophy at the end of the evening – the latest instalment in what has been a tremendously successful season for the club.
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Overall, Dorking placed first, second or third in 43 of the evening's 51 events, with each member contributing valuable points towards the trophy-winning total.
"This was a great team effort and a fantastic night," said a delighted team manager, Gordon Saxby. "Everyone played their part and swam fantastically well, from our youngest team members through to our more experienced competitors."
Head coach Sue Yeomans was equally thrilled. "It was wonderful to see them displaying such technique and determination to do their best. They should be very pleased with their achievement."
There were many highlights, but special mention goes to the youngest competitors, eight-year olds Dan Saxby, Aaron Walsh and Maisie Apps.
There were freestyle victories for Freya Read, Amy Pollard, Robert Saxby, Nathan McCleave and Seb Cook, with the latter three boys also victorious in their backstroke events along with Amelia Fennemore, Sophie McClean and Bertie Coomber.
Anna Griffiths and Megan Stephenson led the way in their breaststroke events, while Daisy Biglands did likewise in the butterfly. There were also big wins for three of the club's relay teams – the U13 medley quartet of Saxby, Stephenson, Collier and Read, the freestyle quartet of Rob Sandle, Jasmine Strudwick, Fennemore and Cook, and the squadron relay team of Louisa Harrington, Matthew Thomas, Walsh, Biglands, McCleave, Pollard, Read, Saxby, Strudwick and Cook.