The team assembled on the 17th, joining the coach at three different pick-up points for our journey to Chesterfield for an overnight stay, evening meal and some team bonding at the IBIS before breakfast and the short journey to Sheffield the following day.
The pool was set up in its customary mode of two 25m pools for this event with the two 20 team divisional competitions running concurrently at opposite ends of the pool. Kent competed in the Division one competition, as they have done since the competitions inception in 2002.
Savanna Jemmett (Sevenoaks SC) and Theo Haslam (Bromley SC) were appointed team captains for the day, however Michael Jacobs represented Theo in the parade with Savanna as Theo was racing early in the programme. The atmosphere was electric, as always, with face paint, wigs and an assortment of musical instruments (and tutu) in abundance making it a colourful and noisy event!
Kent did not have to wait long for its first victory courtesy of Thomas Leman (RTW Monson SC) in the boys 12/13 100m Breaststroke. Henry Rennolls (White Oak SC) supplemented with a dominant performance to win the boys 14/15 100m Freestyle in style, leading from start to finish in a new Kent County Junior Record (Subject to ratification). There was a 2nd and 6th place finish for Imogen Meers (Bromley SC) in the girls 12/13 100m Back and 100m fly. Annabel Guye-Johnson (RTW Monson SC) and Tiegan Child (Beckenham SC) both secured 4th places in the girls 14/15 100m Breast and 12/13 100m Free respectively. Kentís points tally was augmented with a further five top ten finished: a 5th place by Nathaniel Rodrigues (Sevenoaks SC) 12/13 100m Free and Matthew Rogers (Bromley SC) in the boys 14/15 100m Breast, 6th and 8th place finishes from Max Jameson (Thanet SC) in the boys 14/15 100m Fly and Back and 10th in the girls 16/17 100m Back for Team Captain Savanna Jemmett.
These were the highlights, but every member of the team fought hard for every point and special mention must go to those whose swam unfamiliar events and really stepped up to the plate in terms of commitment to the team.
Kent and two other teams battled it out for most of the event for 4th-6th places and some fine relay performances put Kent in with a shout of 4th with a couple of events remaining. Lancashire ran out clear winners in the end, retaining the trophy they won last year. Kent finished a very creditable 6th, just 2 points shy of 5th and 3 points of 4th, which would have equalled Kentís best ever performance at the event in 2012. In any event it was our second highest ever points score and a superb result.
From a coaching and Team Managers perspective team was a credit to themselves and their clubs. They jelled well and were excellent ambassadors for the County. They were very professional and well behaved (with the hotel manager feeling the need to put pen to paper endorsing this fact!) and gave their all for the cause.
A very tired team travelled back to Kent in the care of our regular driver Graham (Scotland & Bates) and even a two hour delay on the M11 could not dampen their spirits from what was a fabulous weekend for Kent!
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Tiegan Child Beckenham SC
Emily Das RTW Monson SC
Imogen Meers Bromley SC
Zoe Naylor-Perrot Sevenoaks SC
Tamara-Elise Elliott Beckenham SC
Annabel Guye-Johnson RTW Monson SC
Maisie Macartney Thanet
Ruby Waters Beckenham SC
Hanna Denny Thanet SC
Savanna Jemmett Girls Captain Sevenoaks SC
Sophie Lewis-Ward Beckenham SC
Sophie Waller Thanet SC
Joshua Cowan Thanet SC
Thomas Leman RTW Monson SC
Eddie Peytchev Bromley SC
Nathaniel Rodrigues Sevenoaks SC
Luke Douglas Saxon Crown SC
Max Jameson Thanet SC
Henry Rennolls White Oak SC
Matthew Rogers Bromley
Theo Haslam Boys Captain Bromley SC
Michael Jacobs Sevenoaks SC
Simon Newton RTW Monson SC
James Vick Erith & District SC
Team Staff, Officials & VIPís
Scott Walker, Kent County ASA President
Kay Grimshaw, Past President, Kent County ASA, London Swimming, ASA Sport Governing Board