The annual County Relays gala at UEA Norwich Sportspark provides great excitement and entertainment for swimmers and spectators alike, with 2017 being no exception.
This event provides a wonderful opportunity for some of West Norfolk’s younger swimmers to gain both relay and long course racing experience.
Due to the depth of talent across the age groups the club was able to have A, B and C teams taking part. Competing teams were City of Norwich, Norwich Swan, Dereham, Diss, Thetford, Great Yarmouth and North Norfolk Viking.
There were some superb swims from both the boys’ and girls’ teams in some very close and dramatic relay races. The first victory of the night went to the girls’ A team 13/14 yrs Medley team of Lara-Grace Mount, Keira Frosdick, Rachael Johnson and Morgan Coates. The B team, comprising Astrid Hubbard, Ellie-Mei Shepperson, Lucie Peck and Jenny Read, quickly followed up with an equally impressive win.
Sam Rose, Alex Florance, Luke Bryan and Jacob Isle took first place in the 16 yrs/under Medley in a very close finish. The girls’ version then went to West Norfolk with Lara-Grace, Keira and Morgan being joined by Bryony Pack to make up a winning quartet.
The Men’s Open Medley event saw brothers Nathan and Joseph Wells team up with Oliver Newton and Ryan Sykes to storm through and take maximum points for the A team again.
The girls’ team of Roxanne Uys, Keira, Bryony and Abigail Whiting finished second in their Open Medley, just behind City of Norwich.
Possibly the finest race of the night came in the Men’s Junior freestyle event.
Jake Lammas, Sam Rose, Jacob Isle and Luke Bryan refused to be beaten in a dramatic race, taking victory by less than half a second from Norwich Swan.
Alex Hall, Freddie Laws, Robert Addis and Sam Rose produced four fine swims to finish second in the 13/14 freestyle event. The same age girls’ team of Morgan, Jenny, Rachel and Keira also came second.
An inexperienced girls’ 9/10 yrs special relay (ie no butterfly leg) B team of Jamie Sturge, Libby Collins, Summer Hawkes and Tia Barrett swam a phenomenal race to finish first.
There was also a well-deserved second place for the B team of Oliver Harris, Jake Hall, Ryan Sykes and Matthew Addis in the Men’s Open freestyle relay.
The grand finale Cannon Relay team of Abigail Nicholson, Kyle Ostil, Leah Wightman, Harry Sharpe, Keira Frosdick, Sam Rose, Bryony Pack, Luke Bryan, Abigail Whiting and Nathan Wells gave their all to come second in a hugely exciting race to Norwich Swan.
West Norfolk’s valiant efforts were rewarded with second place at the end of the night, with City of Norwich the eventual winners overall.
Many thanks to all the organisers and competing clubs, poolside helpers, coaches, officials and vocal family supporters which make this such a special event in the calendar.