Essex Mini League Champions 2017

Congratulations to all the swimmers who have competed in the 5 rounds of the Essex Mini League in 2017, this is the first time since 1994 that the Club has won the League and it is an outstanding achievement.

Final positions can be seen using the following link:     Final League Table

There is no doubt that this has been a long journey since claiming 1st place in the gala at Southend in February and following that up with further success at Saffron Walden in March. Our unbeaten run came to an abrupt halt in May when we were only placed 4th in our home gala at Leisurezone. In June we visited Central Park in Hornchurch where the 33.3m pool provided some big challenges and we finished 2nd on the night. Our final gala in July at Braintree saw Penguins dominate and we recorded our highest point score of 188.

This League is important for the Club, it allows us to give our youngest swimmers the chance to compete for the first time and also gives swimmers who may not get individual events in other leagues the chance. Over the course of the league we have used 71 different swimmers and those swimmers have been drawn from all groups across the Club, from the new starters in Academy 2 to the occasional dip from Toni Howard!

On a personal note, selection for this League is a selection nightmare, it can literally take days and does not help when you have an Open Meet the week before and the swimmers you have selected,  PB and take them past the the Time Fault limits!

In 2017 we had 29 Time Faults (9 at Harlow, which may explain 4th place!!) in total but it has to be recognised that all these will have been personal best times.  I may curse a swimmer under my breath as another 5 points goes into the deep end but in some cases swimmers have smashed PB’s which in swimming is all a coach can ask for!!

I’d like to thanks all the Clubs officials for giving up their time and making this possible, Toni Howard for multitasking as a swimmer and coach, Patrick Arnold for leading us to victory in the early rounds and Nicola Arnold for managing the team and also taking 450 relay splits over the course of the 5 galas. This is very much a Club event and success and should be celebrated on that basis.

Martin Stringer
Head Coach – Harlow Penguins

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