On Saturday 16th June four pupils from Saint Felix Prep Department travelled to Sheffield for the English Schools Swimming Association (ESSA) Primary Team Championships.
Year 6 students Oscar Cole, Ava Lines, Ethan Rattenbury and Rose Webster qualified for the 4x25m Freestyle relay and the 4x25m Mixed Stroke relay in the Small School category. Only 24 schools from over 250 schools nationally qualify, so qualification is always a great achievement.
The team qualified fastest for the first event, the Mixed Stroke relay in 1.04.29, 1.5 seconds ahead of St Hilary’s School (Godalming) and Glendower Prep School (Kensington). Raring to go the team stepped up again winning Gold in a time of 1.03.74, nearly 2 seconds ahead of the closest rival and their time was only 0.6 off the National record set in 2012. The fastest time Saint Felix has ever gone.
Next up was the Freestyle relay, feeling slightly tired the team only qualified 4th for the final in 1.00.75, 1.4 seconds behind St Hilary’s School. After a motivating team talk from Nick Thompson the swimmers headed around to marshalling knowing what they had to do to swim faster in the final and challenge for the win. Ethan led off the final, 0.6 seconds faster than the heat, Ava dived in joint-first and extending the lead to 0.4 seconds at 50m. Rose went third, extending Saint Felix’s lead to 0.89 seconds, finally came Oscar, who had a great takeover and held off the fast finishing St Hilary’s School by 0.5 seconds to win Gold in a time of 58.81! Again, they narrowly missed the national record held by Saint Felix of 57.99 set in 2017.
As Saint Felix School won both events the team retained the overall Top Small School for 2018. This is the forth year in succession that the Prep Department and Saint Felix have won the national title and demonstrates the high standard of swimming at Saint Felix.