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City of Salford lifted the Swim England Synchro Combo Cup after winning three golds and a bronze at the inaugural staging of the competition in Manchester. The North West club scored 294.2333 points to finish ahead of City of Leeds (271.0334) and Rugby (227.2001) in the overall rankings. The Combo Cup features free combination routines across five age groups in two divisions; Division 1 open to swimmers who hold up to Figure Grade 3, and Division 2 open to those who hold at least Grade 3.
Salford impressed with their strength in depth, winning golds across both divisions. They kicked off with the 15 & Under Division 1 title in the first competition of the day, scoring 61.5000. Further victories came in the 15 & Under (58.7000) and 13-15 Yrs (61.1667) age groups of Division 2. Salford’s youngest swimmers finished fourth of 21 – the biggest field of the day – in the U12 Division 1 event before the 15-18 Yrs Division 2 team closed the competition with bronze.
Great to be the first team to win the cup
“It feels great,” said Salford swimmer Lauren Blissett, who swam in the Division 2 15-18 Yrs event. “It’s nice to be the first team to win the cup as it’s a new competition. “It’s quite intense because we’re all relying on each other to perform and do the best we can. But today I think we showed what we can do and have a trophy to prove it, which is amazing. We definitely supported each other. We’re more of a family than a team.”
Leeds and Salford battle for top spot
Salford were always penciled in for a top-two place, as one of just two teams – the other being Leeds – to have entered five events. Leeds also left with a collection of medals, scooping bronze in the Division 2 13-15 Yrs as well as silver in the Division 2 15-18 Yrs.
Only Rugby SC could go better than Leeds in the latter, racking up the highest points tally on the day with 65.1667. The Midlands club had plenty of experience in their 15-18 Yrs team, calling on nine of their squad who finished sixth with the same routine at the senior National Championships in Nottingham earlier this year. The other Division 2 gold went to City of Birmingham, who scored 64.2333 in the 13-18 Yrs event.