CoStA find league step up tough

PUBLISHED: 18:35 14 October 2009 | UPDATED: 14:33 06 May 2010

CITY of St Albans Swimming club returned to the top division in Round One of the National Speedo League on Saturday night, and learned just how tough it is going to be to stay there. Competing against the very best clubs in the London Region, CoStA strug

CITY of St Albans Swimming club returned to the top division in Round One of the National Speedo League on Saturday night, and learned just how tough it is going to be to stay there.

Competing against the very best clubs in the London Region, CoStA struggled to make headway against some of the strongest swimmers in the country, including 2008 finalists Team Ipswich and Ealing.

Needing to raise their game to compete at the highest level, the CoStA squad recorded 31 personal best (PB) times in the 50 event gala.

Daniel Peacock led the way with the first of his two PBs in the second heat of the night the men's individual medley.

It was a good night for Lawrence Free, who twice broke his PB in the 50m freestyle, and then added a third PB in the Men's 100m backstroke.

Izzy Smith twice broke her personal best in the women's backstroke, and there were two new PBs for Zac Horne, Joseph Hensmann, Luke Foster and Stephan Ong.

However this was a real test for CoSta, and it wasn't until heat seven, when the Girls U15s freestyle quartet of Chloe Beard, Charlotte Henson, Holly Winfield and Katie Lightowler managed to get a podium place coming in third.

Not to be outdone in the following heat the Boys U15s freestyle team of Daniel Peacock, Chris Stobbart, James Loveman and Jack Baron also achieved third place.

However the optimism was not to be maintained, with only Charlotte Henson and Jack Baron achieving further podium finishes, and CoStA faced the ignominy of finishing in eighth place on their return to the big time.

"This was a good lesson for us" said coach Sarah Stevens. "We knew we would have to step up having been promoted, and overall the squad did well. To stay at this level we will need to be putting in our best performances. Fortunately we wont be coming up against Ealing and Ipswich every round! The second round of the Speedo League is November 14 so we have time to improve."

Next week it's back to individual events with the Hemel Hempstead open Gala.

CoStA welcome swimmers of every standard. To join CoStA visit www.costaasc.org.uk.

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