The Bath Cup: Report – March 2017
In March, four Culford swimmers travelled to the London Aquatics Centre, the home of the 2012 Olympic games, to compete in the Bath Cup.
The team went with the intention of retaining their small schools title, which they won last year in the girls Dunelm Medley relay final. They also managed to finish second in the small schools Aldenham Freestyle relay final.
This was the fourth consecutive year Culford had competed in this event and the 2017 team consisted of Annabel Heywood (L6), Hannah Brecknell (L6), Niamh Perry (L5) and Morgan Porter (F4). The pupils were once again competing for a place in the small schools Aldenham Freestyle final (with 34 small schools competing) and the Dunelm Medley final (with 32 small schools competing).
After a strong start to the Freestyle relay from Hannah Brecknell (29.67), the team were out to an early lead, which was extended by Annabel (29.53) on the second leg, Niamh (29.29) on the third leg and brought home to the finish by Morgan (30.00) on the anchor leg. The girls finished the heat with a time of 1:58.69, which placed them first going into the final.
With the final taking place after the boy’s relay heats, the girls had some time to unwind and relax and prepare themselves. After a strong start from the Bishop Stortford girls team, the Culford girls all came together to improve on their heat time, putting in a great team performance to come from behind and take the gold medal with a nail-biting finish, in a time of 1:58.19. Hannah and Annabel both split 29.29, with Niamh coming in at 29.27 and Morgan finishing off the relay with a 30.34 split. This earned them a place on top of the podium, winning the Aldenham Cup final, ahead of St John’s School Leatherhead in second and Cranleigh School in third.
After a short break, it was back in the water for the girls Medley relay, with the team competing for a place in the small schools final – the Dunelm Cup.
In the heats, Hannah (33.82) led the team on backstroke, getting the team into a great position after the first 50m. Annabel (38.22) took on the breaststroke leg and put in a strong swim to keep them in contention for a place in the final. Niamh (32.41) was up next on the butterfly leg, with Morgan (30.87), again, rounding off the relay with the anchor leg on freestyle. The girls qualified for the Dunelm final in second place in a time of 2.15.32.
Once the boy’s relay heats had concluded, the girls were up for their final swim of the day. After a fight for clear water down the first 50m, Hannah (33.31) had got the team into an early lead. Annabel (38.25) fought hard to hold on to the lead, just dropping to third by the end of the first 100m. Niamh (31.60) maintained third place after the butterfly leg, with Morgan (29.95) on the Freestyle and managing to split her fastest time of the day. Culford just missed out on second place by 11 tenths of a second in another close race, finishing up with the bronze medal, in a time of 2.13.11. It was the same top 3 as the Aldenham Cup final, but with St John’s School Leatherhead taking the victory and Cranleigh School in second place.
Mr Pilbrow, Head of Performance Swimming, and Mrs Almond, School Swimming Coach, attended the event with the girls. The team did themselves and the school proud, picking up a gold and bronze medal for their efforts. The swimmers didn’t manage to repeat their Medley Dunelm Cup victory from 2016, with their close third placed finish, but stepped up in the Freestyle Aldenham Cup to take the victory! The competition is open to swimmers up to the Sixth Form, so it was a fantastic result for the young team of swimmers.
Well done to the girls on a fantastic days work!Published: May 5 2017