COPS storm through to National League area final

The COPS A and B teams which competed in the National Arena League at the weekend.
The COPS A and B teams which competed in the National Arena League at the weekend.
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City of Peterborough Swimming Club (COPS) stormed into the East Midlands final of the National Arena League when crushing allcomers in the second round on Saturday.

The meeting was at the Regional Pool and COPS certainly made home advantage count.

The A team won 90 per cent of the races and finished over 80 points clear of big rivals City of Milton Keynes.

The final placings were: 1 COPS A 278pts; 2 City of Milton Keynes 197pts; 3 Nottingham Leander 191pts; 4 West Norfolk 182pts; 5 COPS B 130pts; 6 Louth 69pts.

Individually Rebecca Burton once again stood out. She followed up her winning treble in the previous week’s East Region Winter Championships with another hat-trick of wins.

Double wins were achieved by Safford Hewitt-White, Rachel Wellings, Connor Walker, Myles Robinson-Young and Ruby Blakeley.

Others to claim a first place were Harriet Salisbury, Amelia Monaghan, Herbie Kinder, Tom Wiggins, Eliza Mardon, Brenna Howell, Kenzie Whyatt, Ella McGhie, Jamie Scholes and Josh Martin.

COPS also did well in the freestyle and medley relays - particularly the girls, who enjoyed a clean sweep across all age groups.

The East Midlands final takes place on December 9 at Corby and the top two finishers in that will head on to the big national final - the FA Cup final of swimming - in March 2018.

COPS head coach Ben Negus said: “We knew this was going to be our biggest challenge against last year’s winners Milton Keynes.

“They did have a few swimmers missing but in the end we proved our worth in the second half of the gala, winning 20 of the last 25 races.

“The gala was a particularly tough challenge for our youth swimmers (15yrs+) who had a gruelling training week after a successful Regional Championships.

“They weren’t on fire, but they performed with vigour and fight and showed that when given a fresh start in four weeks’ time they will be a force to be reckoned with.

“Our youngsters once again put in a very strong performance. In the past it’s mostly been our youth swimmers (15yrs+) getting most of the wins. But now our 11yrs & under and 13yrs & under age groups are knocking in the wins.

“If I was to give any specific group a special mention it would be the 11yrs and under boys age group. It’s been three years of National Arena League swimming since they won an individual event. On Saturday they won three out of four. It’s great to see the strength in depth of this age group starting to show and even be proud of their achievements.

“Next month’s final is going to be a big challenge as it could go to any one of four teams - Northampton, Cambridge, Milton Keynes or us. We will be doing our very best to win the regional title at Corby and make that National A final.”

COPS Natioanl Arena League squad:

Male selections

Alex Harlow, Panche Gurev-Markovachev, Max Tauchman, Mark Krolik, Safford Hewitt-White, Josh Martin, Keiran Griffin, Ismail Tajer, George Whiteman, Mark Goodes, Josh Smith, Josh Spencer, Connor Walker, Fabien Brudnicki, James Rothwell, Erivan Hamid, Matthew Newson, Jack Brown, Myles Robinson-Young, Henry Pearce, Herbie Kinder, Matthew Rothwell, Matthew Gray, Yasir Niami, Tom Stokes, Matthew Wouldham, Matthew Cussell, Valentin Pocevicius, Jamie Scholes, Tom Wiggins, Harry Whiteman, Stuart Clarke.

Female selections

Ella Normington, Calleigh Coull, Mille Pearce, Carys Horn, Ruby Blakeley, Eliza Mardon, Ilsa Fullock-Holmes, Charlotte Shaw, Holly Graves, Kiara Kovacs, Jess Shaw, Sophie Griffin, Harriet Salisbury, Ella McGhie, Olivia Lee, Brenna Howell, Eve Wright, Lauren Browne, Kenzie Whyatt, Anna Blakeley, Amelia Monaghan, Mia Leech, Lauren Harrison, Poppy Richardson, Emma Leslie, Leah Roughan, Rachel Wellings, Rebecca Burton.