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Guildford City and Maidenhead joint National Arena Junior League champions

Guildford City Swimming Club and Maidenhead Marlins were crowned joint champions of the National Arena Junior League Grand Final on Sunday.

The event at the Alan Higgs Centre, Coventry saw swimmers aged between 9-12 take on 33 events in one of the traditional team curtain raisers for the new season.

Swimmers competed in both individual and relay events in the short course competition where Guildford and Maidenhead couldn’t be separated after both clubs ended on 179 points apiece.

It was a close and competitive final between all eight teams with the lead constantly changing hands throughout the contest.

The top four teams were all in the hunt for the title towards the closing stages but in the end it was Guildford and Maidenhead who came out on top.

Chelsea & Westminster completed the podium in third place with a score of 163 points whilst Poole swimming club earnt 155 points in fourth.

All six top swimmer awards were won by different clubs, proving how close the competition was on the day, with Maidenheads James Bothams’ performance helping to fire his team to the top of the standings.

He won the best 9/10 Years boys swimmer with Poole’s Charlie Hoare winning the girls award.

Chelsea & Westminster’s Maya Orfanidis won the Girls 11 Years best swimmer with Brompton’s Roman Cazzol receiving the Boys 11 Years honour.

Jayden Carter (Basildon Phoenix) and Eleanor Porter (Camden Swiss) were also recognised for their showings by being crowned the 12 Years best boys and girls swimmers respectively.

‘They swum their hearts out’

Last year’s champions Guildford City were delighted to share the title with Maidenhead this time around with coach Sam Tierney saying: “The standard was extremely high this year from all the clubs and we knew it would be tight in the end.

“We’re delighted to share this title with Maidenhead and send our congratulations to everyone who swam today.”

Maidenhead Marlins coach, Luke Mathers, added that the club were ecstatic to finish joint top after only reaching the final for the first time 12 months ago.

He said: “This is amazing for our team. We only qualified for the National Final for the first time last year and were determined to come back this year and improve, but to win along with Guildford was beyond our expectation.

“The swimmers all worked together and had a top class attitude throughout thy swum their hearts out and we’re truly delighted and surprised with the result.”

Guildford City may have had to share the overall title this time around but they were victorious in the showpiece Relay Challenge event.

The Relay Challenge is a Mixed 6x50m Freestyle relay with one boy and one girl from each of the age-groups.

Guildford came on top with a time of 3:09.42 with Maidenhead around one and half seconds back, finishing in 3:11.03, whilst Camden Swiss rounded out the podium in 3:13.74.

Chelsea & Westminster took home the Best Club Supporters Award for the second consecutive year after their fans helped inspire them to an impressive third place finish.

You can see the final standings and results from the National Junior Arena League final below.

Final points:

=1 – Guildford City 179

=1 – Maidenhead Marlins 179

3 – Chelsea Westminster 163

4 – Poole 155

5 – Brompton 130

=6 – Wycombe District 128

=6 – Camden Swiss Cottage 128

8 – Basildon Phoenix 125

Full results are available here.