Sevenoaks Swimming club hosted round one of the Kent Junior League (KJL) 2018 at Sevenoaks Leisure Centre last week.
The KJL is the leading team competition for 13 years and under in the county. The Sevenoaks A team were last year’s winners and B team were out to prove their place in the premier division this time out.
The fixture pitched both teams against Beckenham, Shepway, Saxon Crown and Black Lion. Unfortunately both teams were somewhat hampered by the late arrival of some swimmers who participated in the national IAPS gala at the London Aquatic Centre that same afternoon although it didn’t dampen their efforts.
For some 9 and 10 year olds this gala was their first league fixture and they performed brilliantly within the noisy, competitive environment.
The A team were seeded in top position and quickly justified this rating with a string of first and second places battling with Beckenham, who led after 12 events, but the A team strength in depth told in the end.
They finished with a fine flourish, winning the squadron relay having already secured 25 1st places from the 48 races, helped by Elspeth Watson (220m IM and 100m Fly), Johnny Vowell (50m Breast), Devon Tannock (50m Back), Imogen Stoddart (100m Breast), Amelia Tovey (50m Free), Alyze Gentles (50m Back and 50m Fly), Oliver Dennis (50m Back), Jacob Crombie (50m Free and 50m Breast), Emily Brown (100m Breast), Izabella Okaro (100m Free), Joseph Box (100m free), along with 12 of the 17 relay races.
A special mention must go to Valentina Groves who stood in for an older swimmer who was delayed at the Aquatic Centre and swam a credit worthy 100m butterfly.
The final results were Sevenoaks A first on 263 points, Beckenham 255, Black Lion 165, Sevenoaks B 154, Saxon Crown 125, Shepway 95.
The A team were: Freya Ashdown, Iris Whitlock, Annabel Nung, Ruth Godfrey, Abigail Saunders, Amelia Tovey, Alyze Gentles, Valentina Groves, Millie Armstrong, Izabella Okaro, Eva Okaro, Emily Brown, Imogen Stoddart, Elspeth Watson, Devon Tannock, Jacob Crombie, Maxwell Haslam, Xavier Hards, Oliver Dennis, Jonathan Vowell, Thomas Johnston, Macaulay Johnston, Seamus Hamilton, Ben Watson, Joseph Box, Jaedon Lynch, Noah Enticknap and Tom Creasey.
The B team produced a number of solid results with several spectacular races, including a couple of wins against the A team rivals: Caitlin O’Sullivan (under-10 50m free), Amelie Thompson (under-10 50m breast) and Samriddhi Das (under-13 100m Back). The swimmers pulled all the stops out to finish in the top three in an astonishing 22 races.
The B team were: Vivien Rooney, Amelie Thompson, Evie Collings,Caitlin O’Sullivan, Evie Armstrong, Fern Gray, Mia Bakunowicz, Olivia Dyckhoff, Isla Murphy, Martha Roberts, Daisy McMillan, Rosie Deacon, Samriddhi Das, Isabelle MacKenzie, Kara Dimond, Holly Gushlow, Matthew McLean, Boris Argirov, Aidan Moore, Hugo Schwemm, Ptolemy Mangat, Joseph Strebel, George Rehbein, Zachary Loder, Zachary Howard, Albert Whitlock, William Jarrett, Ethan Martin, Thiago Gentles, Edward Holness and James Fry.
The coaches thanked all the poolside helpers, officials and the leadership group for supporting and enabling this event, in particular Janet Benn for organising the venue and helpers.
Round two will take place on September 8th.