City of Peterborough Swimming Club (COPS) made an awesome start to the defence of their National Arena Swimming League title.
COPS A swim in the East Midlands Premier Division and they began their 2017/2018 campaign with a home gala at the Regional Pool at the weekend.
And they certainly made home advantage tell, storming to an emphatic victory. They dominated the round and won 285 points out of a possible 300.
The final points table read: 1 COPS A 285; 2 Norwich 184; 3 West Suffolk 181; 4 West Norfolk 151; 5 Modernians 149; 6 Chesterfield 96.
COPS head coach Ben Negus said: “For me there are no individual highlights – the whole team were working together and fighting as one. That was the highlight.
“I am very happy with this performance - to win by over 100 points from our nearest rivals is extremely impressive - but I am realistic enough to see that there are four teams alongside us in with a chance of winning the East Midlands title this year and our biggest challenges are yet to come.
“However, this team look strong and their mindset is to race hard and win so we have it all to play for.”
The successful COPS A team comprised:
Open age group: Mollie Allen, Becky Burton, Rachel Wellings, Tom Wiggins, Jamie Scholes, Harry Whiteman and Stuart Clarke.
15yrs and under: Anna Blakely, Kenzie Whyatt, Mia Leech, Amelia Monaghan, Henry Pearce, Matthew Rothwell, Herbie Kinder and Myles Robinson-Young.
13 years and under: Ella McGhie, Olivia Lee, Brenna Howell, Harriet Salisbury, Fabien Brudnicki, James Rothwell, Connor Walker and George Whiteman.
11 years and under: Ruby Blakeley, Isla Fullock-Holmes, Charlotte Shaw, Eliza Mardon, Kieran Griffith, Safford Hewitt - White, Josh Martin, Ismail Tajer.
The COPS B team were away at Cambridge for their opening Premier Division gala and finished fourth.
Coach Rebecca Barsby said: “Every swimmer showed guts and determination and great racing skills with strong technique.
“While we didn’t win, this team have shown they are not to be messed with and we look forward to competing in round two in a few weeks time.
“The girls Under 13 medley relay team of Holly Graves, Sophie Griffin, Jessica Shaw and Kiara Kovacs led from the start and finished with a strong lead.
“Kiara also swam hard in her 100m freestyle having her own separate battle with the City Of Cambridge swimmer for first place and her determination won through in a very closely fought out battle.
“In another stand-out swim Ella Normington swam 50m freestyle with great underwater skills.
“The placings between second, third and fourth were so tight but she literally put her head down, didn’t breath for the last five metres and came out second.”