Hackney Aquatics Club clinch historic promotion

Isabella Rose (left) and Zac Zeldin-Steinmann

Isabella Rose (left) and Zac Zeldin-Steinmann - Credit: Archant

Hackney Aquatics Club secured a momentous victory in the final round of the M11 National Arena Junior League at Clements Hall to secure promotion to the top tier for the first time in the club’s history.

Finishing as divisional champions, the club lifted the Mercel Harvey Memorial Trophy after winning all five of the final relays on the day, with Hackney achieving more first-place finishes than any other club competing.

HAC entered the final meet in second place behind favourites Basildon and Phoenix, but an outstanding team performance laden with personal bests helped them to victory.

The Clissold Leisure Centre club saw nine of its members stand on the top step to help them to victory, including wins in the 50m freestyle for Juan Pablo Piedra Ojeda (29.17 seconds) and Rachel Zerdin (29.36).

Zac Zeldin-Steinmann (32.94) secured a gold medal in the 50m backstroke along with Ella Sharman (37.01) and Linus Kelsey (40.61), while Zeldin-Steinmann (31.37) was the fastest winner in the 50m butterfly ahead of Zerdin (33.72), Marlow Depeza-Purvis (35.07) and Tara Andre (38.31).

Victories were then added in the girls’ Under-11 4x25m freestyle relay and 4x25m medley relay, while the Under-12 boys added victory in the freestyle and medley relays, as well as the final cannon relay which involves a representative from each age group in both boys and girls categories.

The league success follows an impressive season for Hackney, who reached a record number of regional finals this season, advanced to their first ever national qualifier and achieved a historic first victory at the Islington Summer Championships.