First National Arena Swimming League fixture of the season

The prestigious National Arena Swimming League kicked off for 2023 and West Norfolk found themselves travelling to the University of East Anglia UEA SportsPark for their opening fixture in the East Midlands Premier Division.

Opposition came in the form of A and B teams from both the City of Norwich and Norwich Swan; as well as both Dereham and the City of Cambridge.

Sarah O’Brien and Freddie Laws opened the afternoon’s proceedings with the open age group 200 Individual Medley events – with Laws placing third in the Men’s race.

West Norfolk Swimming Club news
West Norfolk Swimming Club news

The following string of relays was a mixed bag for West Norfolk, with a highlight being third place for the Women’s Open Medley Relay squadron.

Once the gala moved back to the individual events, podium positions came West Norfolk’s way courtesy of Belle Ringwood in the Girls’ 13 and Under 100M Backstroke and Millie Harris in the Girls’ 15 and Under 100M Butterfly

The 11 Years 50M Breaststroke events proved fruitful for West Norfolk with Valeria Soldatihhina placing third in the girls’ race and Harry Clarke going one better to finish second in the boys’ race.

Ringwood then followed with a second place in the Girls’ 13 Years 100M Butterfly to make it West Norfolk’s third top three placing in succession and her second of the afternoon.

By this point, Sarah Vanderloo’s side was on a roll, with a string of second places following shortly afterwards courtesy of Harris (Girls’ 15 Years 100M Freestyle); Molly Lee (Women’s 100M Breaststroke) and Laws (Men’s 100M Breaststroke).

A third place then came Polly Anderson’s way in the Girls’ 11 Years 50M Freestyle before Finlay Ryan took second place in the final individual race of the gala – the Men’s 100M Freestyle.

The highlight of the closing set of relays was a third place for the Girls’ 11 Years Medley Team, with West Norfolk ending the afternoon in a solid mid-table fourth place.

The league’s second round takes place on Saturday, November 11, with West Norfolk set to hit the road having been drawn to travel to Nottingham.

Final standings: East Midlands Premier Division Round 1 – Norwich – UEA City of Norwich 309 points; City of Cambridge 272; Norwich Swan A 272 ; West Norfolk 190; UEA City of Norwich ‘B’ 170; Norwich Swan ‘B’ 132; Dereham 68.