2nd PLACE (U13s)
By Nikki Jones

I got to wear a new hat today – as one of PE crew – away with the U13 swimmers at Moreton Hall for the North Shropshire Schools Swimming Gale. My team were: Phoebe Carter, Amelia Livermore, Jasmine Wenlock and Rhiannon Williams. 

After being greeted with “Miss Jones why are you here? Miss Jones are you swimming with us? Where’s Miss Gardner? Is this a new bus? and lastly “Oh no, it’s egg. Miss Jones can we change our sandwiches?” we headed off to Moreton with Pete the driver.

The meet involved nine schools all from the North Shropshire region: Corbett, St Martins, Lakelands, Marches, Oswestry School, Moreton, Sir John Talbot and Thomas Adams, Wem and it involved teams of U13s, U15s and U19s. Most came in huge crowds but our little team of four was not to be taken lightly.

Rhiannon was up first for the 50m backstroke. Turns out she knew most of the swimmers there who trained with her with the Oswestry Otters. The heats would be split into two and best time would win overall. Adcote was to be in the 2nd heat in all races so Rhiannon, who was already nervous, had to wait that little bit longer. 

Finally she is off. The first 25m was very close with three out of four girls turning at the same point and Rhiannon came out 3rd of the turn. Her pure determination pulled her back up but was beaten by a finger tip into 3rd, A great swim and 3rd place in heat for Adcote. 

Next to swim was Jasmine: 25m butterfly. She came out of her dive in second and was still second at the turn. Can she keep it up? Yes she can. Jasmine swam a good heat and kept her 2nd place from the off. As she walked back towards us she had a smile from ear to ear, very chuffed with herself and rightly so.

Third to swim was Amelia. The first length was neck and neck; she turns at the same time and comes out 2nd. Kicking like mad, she is on the heals of the swimmer in first place and had there been another 5m would have caught her, but, alas, 2nd it was. A valiant swim from the little torpedo. Mum timed this for us and she swam a 40.45 second race. Well done Amelia.

Last but not least, for the individual stroke races, was Phoebe in the 50m breaststroke. The beep goes and she’s in the pool with a brilliant start  – we all leap up – she is in first place. All 4 of us are on our feet screaming encouragement. She turns. She’s still first and pulling away. She’s going to do it! A first win for Adcote and by a good 5m. Straight to mum for her time, 49.88 seconds which is a personal best. She comes over to us to be hugged and congratulated. As she sits down she says to me, “Miss Jones, I looked around and thought I’m pretty sure I can take this!” and smiles. We await the official result but were told it is close between Phoebe and the winner of heat 1 – they will email our PE department with the judgement!

With all the individual stroke races done, Rhiannon is up again for the Individual Medley – 25m of each stroke – and she’s up against her friend from her swimming club, which makes her more anxious than before her first race. Can she do it, can she beat her friend for the first time? The beep goes and she’s in and swimming. First length is Butterfly and she’s in 3rd at the end of this, then backstroke. Still 3rd. Breast stroke next and she’s pulling up to be neck and neck with second place. Freestyle and she’s overtaken and catching first. Go Rhiannon Go! I won’t have a voice left tomorrow nor the girls. Screams of ‘go’ are heard from the four of us but it’s just a bit too far and second place it is. Between her and three and four was half a length so well done Rhiannon, brilliant swim.

Lastly, it was all of them competing in a freestyle relay. Amelia kicks us off and hands over to Jasmine, then Phoebe and lastly Rhiannon taking us home. Great swim by all four girls and we come a very proud second. 

We may have been the only team of four and only U13s but these girls swam their hearts out for Adcote and proudly wore their Adcote Swimming hats. They really did us proud. They sat patiently, with no running around or complaining and just waited for their races and supported each other. 

I am one very proud Adcote staff member tonight.