Fine start for Clevedon swimmers in national league

PUBLISHED: 14:39 21 October 2015 | UPDATED: 14:39 21 October 2015

Clevedon Swimming Club made a fine start to their National Arena League campaign.

Clevedon Swimming Club, sponsored by Hotspring Southwest and Wales, started their National Arena League campaign in fine form.

The club are in Division 1 of the league and last year finished in the middle of the league table and are looking to do the same this year to maintain their status.

The first round, at Hutton Moor, promised to be a tough and exciting affair, with three of the clubs in the same draw finishing above Clevedon last year.

Amelia Chappell (15) and George Leaman (16) got the team off to a great start swimming in the open age group 200m IM with Amelia bagging second spot and George producing a personal best time to come fourth. The first batch of relays brought in much needed points with strong performances from all teams.

The first win of the night came from Amelia competing in her favoured stroke, 100m butterfly, followed swiftly by 11-year-old Ella Jenkins, a talented young breaststroker, who touched first in the 50m breaststroke.

Another talented youngster, Ben Penhale (12), showed his strength by winning the 13 & under boys 100m butterfly, providing a strong middle section of the gala, which saw Clevedon sitting in third place with only nine points between the top three.

Ella secured the only other individual win of the night, touching first by a fingertip in the 11 & under 50m freestyle.

The final section of relays brought much needed maximum points from the 11 & under girls medley relay team comprising of Isobel Major, Ella Jenkins, Grace Ripley and Megan Fry.

The final points tally was Barnstaple 269, Paignton 266 and Clevedon 260. A better than expected third place thanks to a sterling effort by the whole team.

There were first time appearances at the Arena League for Grace Ripley, Megan Fry, Isobel Major, Annabel Earnshaw, Ruby May-Hawkins, Ryan Baldwin, William Finch, Toby Foster, Lucas Hayles and Joe Thorne, all of whom swam extremely well, while Abigail Phipps, Ben Penhale, Rob Jones, Ella Jenkins and George Leaman all produced personal best times.

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