The London Lightning followed up their best finish at the SESL Championships with a trip to Cincinnati for the highly competitive Chris McCollough Invitational at the Beckett Ridge Country Club on Saturday, July 21st.
London has sent representatives to the meet each year since 2007. Emma Sampson (12) has claimed the high point award in each of the past four seasons, and 2012 was no different.
The highly talented swimmer scored 100 points for London on her way to winning five individual events and setting an Invitational record in the 50m backstroke with a winning time of 32.80. The former record has stood for 11 years with the time of 33.81. Her four other event victories came in the breaststroke, freestyle, IM, and butterfly.
Other top finishers included the 15-up girls medley relay team of Kali Boyd, Christina Granger, Melissa Granger, and Morgan Slone, who finished 5th overall.
Boyd claimed a 9th place finish of the 30 competitors in the 50 meter breaststroke with a time of 44.17.
The London Swim Club finished fifth in the final SESL standings on Thursday, July 19th after all final events had been completed at the Suburban East Swim League Championships at the Gahanna Swim Club, marking the highest finish in team history.
The team was represented in 13 events at the league finals, featuring 17 different individuals. The Lightning finished in the top-5 in 11 of the 13 events on the final day of competition. All 17 swimmers that qualified to the finals earned All-SESL recognition by scoring for the orange and white.
The team continued to make history, as London was represented by a boys relay team for the first time in team history. The gentleman placing their name on the all-league wall were Andrew Edwards, Grant Fender, Hans Harris, and David Harris. The quadrant of boys placed third overall in the medley relay, which is the highest finish of any relay team in team history.
Emma Sampson (12) was the highlight of the meet, as she earned three individual championships, breaking the SESL record in all three of her events, in the freestyle, backstroke, and individual medley.
Sampson now has five Suburban East Swim League records to her name, as she has claimed a minimum of one individual title in each of the past five seasons for the Lightning.
Other individual event qualifiers included Kali Boyd (16) in the breaststroke (5th/1:29.28) and Sara Sampson (8) in the backstroke (8th/24.93).
Boyd has now earned a top-6 finish in the breaststroke in four of the past five seasons. Those individual performances and additional relay performances have earned her a total of nine (9) All-SESL finishes in five years.
The Lightning had eight relay teams score in their honor including the 11-12 girls medley relay, 11-12 girls freestyle relay, 13-14 girls medley relay, 13-14 girls freestyle relay, 13-14 boys medley relay, 13-14 boys freestyle relay, 15-18 girls medley relay, 15-18 girls freestyle relay.
MAKE ROOM FOR THE BOYS (2012)
Last year the London Lightning produced history with the highest point total in team history at the SESL Championships, in 2012 they continued to improve their scoring output- earning the highest team finish (5th place) and qualifying the first boys relay team to the SESL Championships in team history.
In previous years the female dominated team never reached enough individuals to put a boys relay team together. However with the addition of three rookie male athletes and the return of another one, the orange and white featured a boys medley and freestyle relay team at the SESL Championship. The quadrant of boys finished in the top-5 in each of their events at the Championship meet, which places their names on the All-SESL wall in the lobby to always be remembered. The four boys include Andrew Edwards, David Harris, Hans Harris, and Grant Fender.
London was represented by a total of 17 athletes in 13 different events at the league finals. Kali Boyd (16) was a qualifier for the fourth time in five years, placing 5th in the 100 yard breaststroke. Her performance in 2012 broke her own team record she set a year ago. Sara Sampson earned All-SESL for her first time, as she broke the team record in the 25 yard backstroke en route to an 8th place finish overall.
Other highlights throughout the season came as Emma Sampson continued to break team records, league records, and meet records during the 2012 summer. Sampson suffered only a single defeat the entire summer on her way to claiming three individual SESL Championships, three league records, and a MVP performances at the season finale Chris McCollough Invitational.
The team was coached by current swimmers and lifeguards Kali Boyd, Melissa Granger, and Morgan Slone.
HIGHEST POINT TOTAL IN LONDON'S SESL HISTORY (2011)
The London Lightning was able to produce their highest point total at the season's final meet of the 2011 season at the SESL Championships in program history. The 36 points were produced by earning All-SESL honors in eight different events.
Emma Sampson (10) claimed two individual titles (50freestyle, 50breaststroke), and finished as league runner-up in a third (50fly). Sampson was also apart of two relay teams that finished sixth to grab extra points for the Lightning.
Other individual All-SESL recipients included rookie Laura Sampson (6), who earned honors in the 25freestyle (5th place). Kali Boyd (15) earned her third individual all-league title by qualifying to finals and eventually finishing sixth in the 100 breaststroke. Boyd had a career year in the breaststroke by setting career bests in both the 50 breast, and 100 breast.
The orange and white were able to qualify three relays to the finals including the 11-12 girls freestyle relay, 11-12 girls medley relay, and the 15-18 girls medley relay.
LONDON LIGHTNING RETURNED VETERAN SWIMMERS (2010)
The London Lightning returned 20 of the 22 athletes from 2009, and added a handful of rookie swimmers in the Junior Varsity division.
Coach Ryan Gillespie led the lightning to a 2-5 on the regular season, defeating Foxboro (Gahanna) and Bexley Jewish for the third consecutive year, however finished 8th of 8 teams competing at the SESL Championships in the league's final meet of the year.
London was represented by Emma Sampson (10) and Kali Boyd (14) as individual All-SESL recipients. Sampson qualified to finals in three individual events, winning each of them - including setting a league record in the freestyle. Boyd finished fourth in the 50m breaststroke at the Championships for the second time in three years.
RECORD NUMBER OF SWIMMERS JOIN TEAM (2009)
In 2009 the London Lightning roster featured 22 athletes, a record number for the club program since it was established in 2007. Ryan Gillespie was the lone returning coach, however he welcomed Rebecca Richardson to his side as they continued to build a successful program.
The lightning finished 2-5 on the regular season defeating Bexley Jewish Center and Gahanna to finish 6th in the regular season standings for the second consecutive season.
London competed in a total of seven competive meets in 2009 including a trip to Cincinnati for a non-league event.
The season was highlighted at the Beckett-Ridge Invitational when 9-year old Emma Sampson earned the meet "high point award".
WELCOME TO THE SESL (2008)
The club established their official team name (London Lightning) and the official team colors (Orange and White) prior to the 2008 season and joined the Suburban East Swim League. London joined the likes of New Albany, Hilltop, Reynoldsburg, Gahanna, Bexley Jewish Center, and Eastmoor to become the 8th summer swim team to join the league.
London competed in a total of nine competitive meets in 2008 that included weekend trips to Cincinnati, Lancaster, and Bexley for non-league invitationals.
The lightning, coached by Long, Campbell, and Gillespie finished 3-4 on the season defeating New Albany, Bexley Jewish Center, and Gahanna to finish 6th of 8 teams in the regular season. The post-season was highlighted by individual Emma Sampson winning 3-individual events at the SESL league championships.
The Lightning had three individual All-SESL performances from Sampson, Kali Boyd (50m breaststroke), and Alex Dorsey (50m butterfly).
THE INAGURAL SEASON (2007)
The London Swim Club was established in June of 2007. A total of 11 members registered for the innagural season. The Club was established by Ryan Ladd (Director of Parks and Recreation) and Jennifer Long (Recreation Assistant).
Long was joined by Morgan Campbell and Ryan Gillespie as the coaching staff during the first season. The 2007 squad competed in a short regular season schedule that included trips to the Baltimore (OH) "Sea Lions" Invitational on Sunday, July 8th, Canal/Chevington Classic on Saturday, July 14th, and the Beckett Ridge Invitational on Saturday, July 21st. The teams best finish came at the Canal/Chevington Classic, where the squad placed 8th of 12 teams (24 points).
Prior to opening the innagural season, the Department of Parks and Recreation spent the month of May preparing the competition pool for the swim club. Thanks to Royal Cabinets, who donated $2,500 the Department was able to purchase racing lanes prior to the first week of official practice.