Young Ipswich team finish seventh

TEAM Ipswich finished a respectable seventh at the 38th National Speedo Swimming League cup final against a host of the country's top sides on Sunday.With the cream of the country's swimmers on show, the relatively small club of Ipswich were always going to find the going tough as two competition best performances were recorded in the first two events at Ponds Forge, Sheffield.

TEAM Ipswich finished a respectable seventh at the 38th National Speedo Swimming League cup final against a host of the country's top sides on Sunday.

With the cream of the country's swimmers on show, the relatively small club of Ipswich were always going to find the going tough as two competition best performances were recorded in the first two events at Ponds Forge, Sheffield.

Despite this, Ipswich but put in some superb individual and team performances in a pressure cooker of an environment to finish on a solid 242 points ahead of Guildford City (224), Lincoln Vulcans (170) and City of Coventry (165). Stockport Metro were crowned Speedo champions, swimming's equivalent of winning the FA Cup, with 409 points.

Team Ipswich finished fifth in the relay challenge trophy, the exact position Ipswich's opening competitors of Chloe Price, Bethany Catchpole, Gemma Bartle and Karla Hutchinson finished in the girls 9/11 years freestyle relay (2.07.32). Meanwhile, the boys 9/11 years freestyle team of Kilian Korth, Charlie Smith, Jonathan Andvig and Mitchel Lewis finished in seventh place with an admirable performance (2.07.96).

The girls 13 and under medley team of Grace Williams, Heather Rodwell, Jennifer Redmond and Rachel Andvig also put in a great team effort to grab sixth place, while James Poole, Jonathan Davis, Jack Hollis and George Bartle finished in seventh spot in with another solid team performance in the boys 13 and under medley team (2.08.95). The girls 15 and under freestyle team of Rebecca Reader, Alex Seal, Eleanor Haynes and Jasmine Cross also finished in seventh spot (1.55.72), while Lewis Coleman, Troy Lynch, Andrew Bigley and Jason Rodd finished in eighth place (1.45.42) in the 15 and under boys freestyle team.

The women's medley team of Zoe Cray, Amy Swallow, Sam Berry and Rebecca Reader swam an outstanding race and only just missed out on a win when finishing in second place (2.03.11), while the men's medley team of Konrad Korth, Lewis Coleman, Ben Matthews and Matt Vinter had to settle for ninth place (1.54.85).

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With several members of the World Championship team from Melbourne competing for the other teams, this was certainly a steep but valuable learning curve for many Team Ipswich swimmers, who were determined to give everything.

Gemma Bartle swam a great 50m backstroke in 36.32 to finish in sixth place in the 11 and under age group, while Kilian Korth finished a very impressive third in a time of 34.93 in the boys race. Heather Rodwell just missed out on a win in the 13 and under 100m breaststroke when finishing in 1.20.46, just 0.15 seconds behind the winner, while Rebecca Reader finished in fifth place in the 15 and under 100m backstroke (1.09.65).

Another outstanding performance came from Ellen Oxbrow in the 11 and under 50m butterfly, as she snatched third place (34.31), while James Poole also finished strongly to grab third place in the 13 and under 100m backstroke (1.09.21). Veteran campaigner and self confessed short course fan Zoe Cray swam a great race to finish in second place in the ladies 100m backstroke (1.06.40), while Louisa Emery also snatched a second spot with a powerful 38.90 in the 11 and under 50m breaststroke.

Jason Rodd finished in sixth place in the boys 100m freestyle in 1.00.79, Zoe Cray again had a podium finish in the 100m freestyle when holding on to third place in a time of 59.44, while team-mate Matt Vinter swam another great race in the men's 100m freestyle with a time of 53.92.

The last block of relays is always an exciting part of any Speedo League gala and this year was no exception as Gemma Bartle, Louisa Emery, Ellen Oxbrow and Bethany Catchpole secured third place in the 11 and under medley relay (2.22.33), while the boys' team of Kilian Korth, Mitchel Lewis, Charlie Smith and Jonathan Andvig held on for seventh place (2.27.87). The girls 13 and under freestyle team of April Hyam, Charlotte Bonnar, Rachel Andvig and Jasmine Cross nearly caused an upset when just missing out on first place (1.57.88).

The boys' team of Jonathan Davis, Jason Rodd, George Bartle and Oliver Bott stormed to third place (1.51.85), while the girls 15 and under medley team of Rebecca Reader, Amy Swallow, Lydia DeCarvalho and Alex Seal also secured third spot (2.07.65). The boys' team of Brendan Marsh, Lewis Coleman, Andrew Bigley and Troy Lynch had to settle for eighth place (2.00.67).

The women's 6x50 freestyle team of Rebecca Reader, Alex Seal, Zoe Cray, Stephanie Calver, Eleanor Haynes and Helen Powley finished a credible fourth behind some of the best teams on offer in the country.

The men's team of Matt Vinter, Troy Lynch, Andrew Bigley, Konrad Korth, Chris Taylor and William Boosey were pushed into ninth spot.

The final scores were: Stockport Metro 409, Plymouth Leander 385, Millfield 349, Bracknell 293, Hatfield 268, City of Salford 247, Team Ipswich 242, Guildford City 224, Lincoln Vulcans 170 and City of Coventry 165.

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