The latest round of the National Arena League took West Norfolk on a long coach trip to Bedfordshire to take on hosts Biggleswade, Deepings, Louth, St Ives and South Lincs.
Girls captain, fifteen year-old Abbie Whiting, had an evening’s swimming to remember, dominating every event in which she competed, and underlining her position as one of the club’s top swimmers.
Abbie opened her account in the Ladies’ Open Medley relay, swimming the fly leg of the race. Sophie Empson swam a strong backstroke leg, handing over to Natalie Coogans for breaststroke, which took West Norfolk well into the lead.
Abbie then extended further, allowing Elise Sorrell to seal the race, and victory, with an authoritative freestyle leg. Abbie was soon back in the water, winning the 15/under 100m backstroke. She followed this up with a very comfortable win in the 100m freestyle, in a time of 1.00.05. She then notched up another first place in the 100m Open freestyle event, showing no signs of flagging, by bettering her time of the previous race, with 59.87.
Another relay was soon to come, as Abbie joined team mates Annabel Heywood, Roxanne Uys, and Cassie Bywater-Haylett, to swim fly again as the girls won the 15/U medley event in dominant fashion.
A final victory came in the Ladies’ Open relay, with Abbie joining Sophie, Natalie, Roxanne, Sarah Vanderloo and Elise Sorrell. The girls stormed home to grab another thrilling race.
Other wins and great performances came for Chloe Sorrell in the 13/U 50m breast; Freddie Laws in 10/11 50m breast; Natalie Coogans in 100m open breast and Roxanne Uys in 15/U 50m breast. Overall it was a sensational night’s swimming, with many others clearly inspired by Whiting’s performances.
As a result, West Norfolk held third place throughout the gala, squeezing through to take second with 197 points, to winners, Louth, on 214. Many thanks go to Lois Addis and Angela Gray for poolside assistance, and Sarah Vanderloo for coaching and swimming duties. A tired but happy team arrived home late in Lynn, breaking the journey with a well deserved stop for fish and chips.