Plymouth Leander were to win the 45th National Arena League Cup Final of England & Wales to take their sixth title over the last seven years. Their 400 point marker, beating second place Stockport Metro by an unprecedented 75 points was one of the most dominant displays in British club swimming in recent times.
Spearheaded by Olympic Champion Ruta Meilutyte, Plymouth were to break six of the meet records on their journey to success, with Jon Rudd’s team winning 22 of the 50 events in Cardiff. The club’s strength and depth was most apparent in the winning of 10 of the 16 relay events.
World Record holder Meilutyte was to win the Top Female Award for her performance in the 100m Breaststroke, with team mate Ben Proud matching this with the Top Male Award following a strong 100m Freestyle outing. Plymouth were also to win the Relay Challenge Trophy (an award based on the accumulative time across the relay events) by over 45 seconds.
Meet records in the individual events came courtesy of Meilutyte (Open 100m Breaststroke) and Antony James in the 100m Butterfly. The Plymouth 13 years female 200m Medley relay (Tegan Drew, Jeanri Buys, Jessica Manning, Emma England) were also in record breaking form, with Olivia Halcox replacing Manning to set a new 200m Freestyle relay equivalent in this age group. Both the female (Eliza Duffy, Ruta Meilutyte, Charlotte Atkinson, Julie Meynen) and Male (Joe Hulme, Jack Burton, Antony James, Ben Proud) 200m Medley relays were also to re-write the 45 year-old record books.
Plymouth’s Head Coach Jon Rudd said, “It’s great for us to become club champions of our country for the sixth time and each year we achieve it, we’re closing in on the impressive number of victories from City of Leeds in the 80’s and the 90’s. It’s competitions such as this, where the individual or the relay performance means as much to the collective team as it does to the participants of that particular race that help instill the kind of values I’ll be looking for from my England team come the Commonwealth Games this summer.”
|3||City of Leeds||319|
|6||City of Peterborough||268|
|7||City of Salford||241|
|9||City of Liverpool||232|