Darkness falls across the land
The swimming hour is close at hand
Creatures front crawl in search of blood
To terrorize your swimming pool
And whosoever shall be found
Without the soul for diving down
Must stand and face the blocks of hell
And drop inside the chlorine smell
The foulest stench is in the air
The funk of Jamie Aldred’s trunks
And grizzly costumes from every bag
Are closing in to seal your doom
And though you fight to stay alive
Your body starts to shiver
For no mere mortal can resist
The evil of the swimmer
And so… late in the afternoon the Otter's team are in fancy dress as is their tradition for the final round of Arena League. The theme this year? Scary. Easy for some of them. As for the poor, unwary lifeguard that Maya and Lucia trapped and wrapped up to bring along for the trip, has anyone seen him since?
Setting off in the coach at about 4 o’clock for The Quays in Southampton were 32 swimmers and assorted supporters and parents along for the excitement the evening would bring. The swimming, not the roadworks on the M3.
Otters knew that another performance like those in the earlier rounds would mean promotion but with strong teams to swim against nothing could be taken for granted. A steady start in the open IM events was followed by eight relay events in which Otters managed to pick up three wins; Girls 11 and under freestyle relay, Boys 13 and under medley relay and Boys 15 and under freestyle relay. Two second places for the Boys 11 and under freestyle relay and the Boys 13 and under medley relay and nothing worse than a 4th place meant a strong opening section of races and after 10 events Otters were in second place overall just a couple of points behind Walker Tigers from Jersey.
A batch of individual events were next up with Otters winning 3 of them, Sadie Lucas in the 50 back, Zebina George in the 100 breast and Sam Phippen in the 100 back. Sadie and Zebina setting new Otters club records in the process. Otters still in second place to the swimmers from Jersey.
Individual events continued with Daniella Hoyland winning the 50 fly but a DQ from Ross McGarvie in the 100 back and nothing else better than a 3rd place meant that Otters slipped back into 3rd place behind Tigers and Didcot after 26 events. Still good enough for promotion but having had a second place and a first in the opening rounds Otters wanted to finish strongly.
The next eight individual events saw a win for Sam Phippen in the 100 freestyle and seconds for Maya in the 100 free and Charley Huggett in the 100 fly but Didcot had a really strong group of swimmers for this section and managed to extend the gap to Otters in third place out to 10 points.
Hugo Lane then managed to win the 100m free with a big PB and second places for Max McGarvie in the 50 free, Zebina George in the 100 breaststroke, Maya Semyonova-Hoyland with a new Otters club record in the 100 free meant the gap narrowed and Otters were closing back in on second place. An extraordinary strong 15 and under boys 100 free saw Sam Phippen lower his club record but still only finish 4th in a race where 7 swimmers ducked under 1 minute. Tigers were now well clear in the lead.
The last 8 events were all relays and Otters really gave it everything. Wins for the 11 and under girls in the medley relay, the 13 and under boys in the free relay, and the boys in the 15 and under medley relay along with second place for the 11 and under boys medley relay and finishing ahead of Didcot in every race meant that the deficit was overcome and the final scores were Tigers with 326, Otters with 282 and Didcot with 276. Otters went through the evening with just the one DQ, no 8th places and only one 7th. The 12 wins and consistent 2nd, 3rd and 4th places clinched promotion comfortably in the end.
All of the squad, Daniella Hoyland, Sadie Lucas, Olivia Lee, Isobel Sellers, Grace McCann, Max McGarvie, Scott Jackson, Michael Zeineddine, Will Newman, Emma Button, Zebina George, Charley Huggett, Jessica Blackman, Ross McGarvie, Hugo Lane, Sam Clark, Jason Ramsey, Maya Semyonova-Hoyland, Lucy Villiers, Katie Norris, Sam Phippen, Angus Guironnet, Jamie Aldred, Luke Moloney, Verity Hunn, Roma Sachak-Patwa, Lucia Finan, Lydia Richmond, Jordan Huggett, Harvey James, Cat Holmes, Graham Pearce should be proud of themselves. Especially if they've recovered from the sugar high they must have had eating all those sweets and Lucy's excellent Brownies on the way home.
|South - Division Two West|
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The next swim assessment for new members will be held at Chalfont pool on Sunday 11th January.
The full minutes of the 2014 AGM have been released in the members area. The committee would like to thank the retiring members for their valued contributions in the past and to welcome the new members into the world of running Otters.
Thanks to those standing down; Andrew Mercer, Shelley Blackman, Karen Eden, Philippa Guironnet, Emma Laurie and Anne-Louise Hunn.
Welcome to Sarah Martin, Victoria Lucas, Lou Villiers and Rob Lucas and thanks also to Vicki Aldred, Sarah McGarvie and Liz Noller for taking on the Schools co-ordination.
We still have a number of vacant roles and other help needed so the committee would love to hear from any parent who can spare some time to get involved. It is fun, honest.
A big thank you to everyone who came along to Presentation Night and congratulations to all the Otters picking up certificates, medals or cups. Well done all!
The Annual General Meeting of the swimming club will be held on Thursday 20th November it will start at 7pm and any club members who wish to attend are more than welcome. The venue will be the committee room in St Josephs Church, Chalfont St Peter.
Chalfont Otters enhanced their promotion chances on Saturday night when they defeated all comers in the latest round of the Arena League.
Whilst everyone shone on the night, special mention must go to Jamie Aldred who stepped in when a late injury scare disrupted the well laid plans and Charley Huggett who swam magnificently in her individual races and relays.
Otters are now placed 2nd in the League going into the final round where they again take on Wycombe and top of the table team Jersey Tigers for the promotion places. Final scores;
If you wish to follow some of the news and views from next week's trip, set the Chalfont Otters website as your favourite and you will see and hear developments as they happen. The daily blog will appear each morning starting bright and early tomorrow....... Make sure you can log in to the members area, register if you don't have an account, request a password reset if you've forgotten it.
Joanne will also be tweeting up to date news on the Otters Twitter account. Follow @ChalfontOtters if you're on Twitter, maybe sign up if you aren't?
Saturday 20th December
Sunday 21st December to
Thursday 1st January
Saturday 10th January
Last Gasp at Maltman's
Saturday 10th January
Thames Valley Junior League R1
Sunday 11th January
Joiners Swim Assessment
Saturday 17th January
Sunday 18th January
Windsor L2 Open Meet