Last week, the Dean Close Swimming team took part in the annual National Bath and Otter Cup Swim Relays; a national swimming relay competition for all HMC schools. The quality of the competition draws schools from all across the country. The Dean Close team travelled down to the Olympic Pool in Stratford, with Imogen as Captain, Hunyi, Georgie, Madeleine, Ollie, Javier, Ben and Archie accompanied by Miss Long and Mrs Hodgson.

The first relay was the Girls’ Freestyle 4x50m. This was the first time they had competed in a 50m pool together, the girls showed unwavering determination and motivation throughout, which led them to long course PBs and coming first in their heat. A terrific achievement in such a high-pressure environment. The boys’ first challenge was the Freestyle 4x100m relay. After a valiant effort in which they trumped the previous year’s team School Record by 15 seconds, the boys narrowly missed out on the final, by just 1 second! This put them 11th of 36 overall.

The afternoon brought the Medley 4x50m relay heats, which saw the girls place 3rd in their heat in a well fought and highly competitive race, improving on last year’s time by a massive 2 seconds. Following their races, the girls quickly turned to support the boys in the last relay of the day. After coming so close to the Freestyle final, the boys were even more determined in the afternoon’s medley and clinched a position in the final, in which they improved by 1.2 seconds on their previous time, placing them 7th in the country overall.

Director of Swimming, Kelly long, said, “Not only did the teams have great swimming performances on the day, but their team morale and support for others really shone through. The team showed tremendous sportsmanship and, in true Dean Close fashion, were the only team to run back down to the starting blocks and give encouragement to a school left to swim their heat alone. It was a really enjoyable day and huge congratulations to everyone who swam and to those who got PBs on their own individual performances. The teams are improving year after year and Dean Close swimming is growing!”