Swim England’s National Arena League’s 50th anniversary final took place at Cardiff International Pool over the weekend, with Plymouth Leander and Mount Kelley coming away as the respective A and B cup winners. Touted as the UK’s Premier Competitive Swimming League, the NASL is made up of 6 Leagues across England and Wales. This year spectators were treated to special on-deck appearances by Olympic champion Adam Peaty and Commonwealth Games gold medalist Alys Thomas.
The top 5 teams in the A Cup Final were as follows:
- Plymouth Leander 361
- Millfield 354
- Guildford City 348
- Hatfield 276
- City of Cardiff 271
With its 361 points and narrow victory over Millfield, Plymouth Leander earned its 9th NAL title in 12 years. Plymouth Leander head coach Robin Armayan said of the result, “It was so close this year. Millfield were outstanding and Guildford were there as well. We didn’t know we’d won until the result was announced and it’s more fun when it’s close.”
“In this competition, the guys compete for something that’s bigger than themselves.
“It’s more about getting points for the team so someone can come fifth or sixth and still feel happy because every point counts. Everybody is important. Everybody matters.”
A Cup Final Highlights:
- The Relay Challenge Trophy went to Guildford City, the squad who finished 3rd in the overall team standings. The team won 5 relays, including a league record-breaking 2:10.71 from the U12 girls’ 4x50m Medley team.
- Millfield’s Brodie Williams earned top male swimmer status after winning the men’s 200m IM in 2:04.54.
- The top female swimmer honor was bestowed upon Guildford City’s Tatiana Belonogoff for her winning 100m breaststroke effort of 1:08.05.
- William Ellington of Millfield raced his way to a new league record in the U16 100m breaststroke, clocking 1:05.81.
- Northhampton’s Edward Mildred was succesful in the U16 100m butterfly, getting his hand on the wall in a time of 56.10, a new league record.
The top 5 teams in the B Cup Final were as follows:
- Mount Kelly 390
- Bromley 347
- Team Ipswich 318
- City of Milton Keynes 278
- City of Cambridge 270
Mount Kelly took control of the points board in the B cup final by way of winning 17 of the 50 events. The club also took the B relay challenge.
Mount Kelly’s director of swimming Emma Collings-Barnes said: “It was disappointing for us not to make the A final but we bounced back well and this was a good win.
“It has worked well for us really. It gives us a bit more time to get it right in the A final. Hopefully we will be in the A final next year and challenging the best teams in the country.
“We’re a small school and we’re really proud of what we’ve achieved.”
Italian and Northwestern University-bound Federico Burdisso earned a remarkable 5 wins across the competition, including 3 individual events. He earned the 200m IM gold in 2:08.27, the 100m fly gold in 54.49 and the 100m free gold in 50.94. The latter performance garnered the World Junior Champion the award for Best Male Swim.
Quotes courtesy of Swim England.