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West Norfolk swimmers take part in A final of the National Arena Swimming League’s East Midlands Premier Division





West Norfolk Swimming Club participated in the A Final of the National Arena Swimming League’s East Midlands Premier Division for the first time in the club’s history on Saturday.

The club secured their spot with a fantastic team performance in the penultimate round last month.

Held at the University of East Anglia’s Sportspark facility in Norwich, the final saw the season’s six strongest teams from across the East Midlands and East of England go head-to-head.

West Norfolk Swimming Club members
West Norfolk Swimming Club members

West Norfolk’s competition for their debut appearance in this prestigious final came in the shape of City of Cambridge, City of Lincoln Pentaqua, City of Peterborough, Norwich Swan and hosts the City of Norwich.

As always in National League competition, the gala commenced with the women’s 200m individual medley event, where Sarah O’Brien secured West Norfolk’s first two points of the afternoon, before Nathan Wells provided an early highlight by taking second place in the equivalent event for the men.

Steady and consistent point scoring followed throughout the opening sequence of relays, with Sarah Vanderloo’s squad proving their worth amongst the league’s best outfits and another top three placing coming courtesy of Nathan Wells, Freddie Laws, Joseph Wells and Finlay Ryan in the Men’s 4 x 50 metre freestyle relay.

The core run of individual events saw further highlights of a second place from Valeria Soldatihhina in the girls’ 10-11 years’ 50m butterfly and a repeat performance from Millie Harris in the same event for the 14-15 years’ age category.

Nathan Wells hit the jackpot with a first-place finish and a maximum six-point haul in the men’s 100m backstroke before Harry Clarke, 11, swam a fantastic 50m breaststroke to take second place in his age category just two events later.

Harris was back in the top three again in the girls’ 14-15 years’ 100m freestyle before West Norfolk scored two second places in a row courtesy of Sarah O’Brien and Freddie Laws in the Women’s and Men’s 100m breaststroke events.

Finlay Ryan took one final podium place in the last individual event of the gala, before the men’s 100m freestyle and the closing sequence of relays saw two more third places for West Norfolk.

These came from Polly Anderson; Nellie Chadderton; Valeria Soldatihhina and Lexi Foster in the girls’ 9-11 years’ 4 x 50m medley Relay and then the reliably strong line-up of Laws; Ryan and the two Wells Brothers in the men’s 4 x 50m freestyle.

With all said and done, West Norfolk had racked up 166 points in their first A Final appearance - enough to take fifth place ahead of Lincoln Pentaqua



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