Winter Yorkshires – October 2019

Upper Age Group Yorkshire Winter Competition

19th and 20th October 2019 at Ponds Forge.

25 swimmers were in action for Tadcaster over the weekend, competing in 113 individual events. Livvy and Isaac were making their county debuts, with a quartet of new recruits (Callum, Jake, Meredith and Eleanor) making their debuts in Tadcaster colours.

Unlike at the recent younger age event in Leeds, rather than spectator seating being at a premium, this weekend it was spectators themselves in short supply, with plenty of space in which to enjoy the top quality racing that unfolded.

For the stats gurus, existing PBs in the analysis below are taken as the faster of actual short course and converted long course. Hopefully this provides me with enough excuses if I’ve missed referring to a PB performance. Apologies if this is the case.

Saturday am

Sophie, Tabby, Libby and Aiesha: 50 free

Abby, Chloe, Alex Heard, Charlotte, Ethan, Alex Williams and Maxwell: 100 breast

Indi and Libby: 200 IM

Gemma, Livvy and Callum, Alex W, and Jake Rodway: 100 back

Tabby, Libby and Sarah: 50 back

Sophie set the tone for weekend in the first event, the 50 free, with a PB and her first NER qualifying time. Libby and Tabby also laid down an early marker of good form with PBs of their own.

Alex H (6th with a PB), Ethan (7th with a PB) and Abby (7th) all secured top 10 positions in the 100 breast, albeit without the reward of the once-traditional commemorative hat. Chloe, Maxwell and Alex W bagged PBs here too with Chloe also getting a new NER time.

The PB-fest continued in the 200 IM (Indi and Libby) and 100 back (Gemma and Livvy) with Livvy mere inches away from her first NER time. But don’t worry – she did the deed in the 50 back the next day!

The 100 back also saw another cluster of top ten finishes for Callum (4th), Meredith (9th) and Alex W (10th with a PB) with Jake R also adding to the PB count.

Tabby notched a notable triple (PB, top 10 place and new NER time) in the 50 back, with Libby and Sarah both bagging sizeable PBs here as well.

Saturday pm

Indi, Libby and Emily: 50 breast

Abby, Meredith, Livvy, Gemma, Alex H and Imogen: 50 free

Ethan, Tom, Jake R, Maxwell, Jake Lee, Alex W, Callum and Daniel: 50 free

Indi, Aeisha and Libby: 100 fly

Emily and Libby set the ball rolling in the afternoon with PBs in the 50 breast before the traditional mass turn-out in the 50 free.

Abby claimed the gold with a PB. Gemma (6th with a PB) Alex H and Meredith (both 8th – different age groups rather than a dead heat) all claimed top 10 finishes, with Livvy and Imogen also both getting PBs.

On the lads’ side, Tad showed that not only is it strong at the 50 free, but also that it is good at “succession planning”. Jake Lee left for Uni at the end of the summer, so we were faced with the prospect of being Jake-free for the first time in years (unless Jacob Brown changes his name). Danny’s work in the summer “transfer window” headed off this risk though, with Jake Rodway joining us from Jorvik. As it was, the original Jake dusted himself down from the rigours of Freshers’ Week to take to his blocks once more in Tad colours.

Ethan took the silver medal (with a PB) with further PBs for the new Jake, Callum, Maxwell and Alex W. Tom came 5th, beaten only by a quartet of masters swimmers from East Leeds.

All in all, Saturday represented a solid day’s work from the swimmers and spirits were high at the prospect of racing on Sunday, helped by the session being due to start at 930, giving everyone a bit of a-lie in!

Sunday am

Ethan, Tom, Callum, Alex W, Jake R, Daniel, Maxwell, Livvy and Gemma: 50 back

Indi, Sophie, Libby and Aeisha: 50 fly

Ethan, Tom, Alex W, Jake R, Maxwell, Callum and Jake L: 100 free

Abby, Alex H, Meredith, Gemma and Imogen: 100 free

Indi, Libby and Emily: 100 breast

Ethan, Tom, Alex W, Maxwell, Jake L and Daniel: 50 fly

Meredith, Abby, Chloe, Livvy, Alex H and Imogen: 50 fly

The lads kicked off Day 2’s action in the 50 back, after which one could only conclude that it’s a shame there isn’t a 4 by 50 backstroke relay at championship level. Tom took the silver medal, Ethan and Callum both finished 5th, Alex W 9th and Jake R 10th, the latter 4 also involving PBs. Daniel and Maxwell both added to the PB-tally too.

For the girls, Livvy bagged a PB with her first NER time in the 50 back, with Indi (50 fly), Emily (100 breast) and Libby (50 fly and 100 breast) also getting PBs.

In the 100 free there was another gold for Abby (with a PB) and bronze for Tom, with further top 10 placings for Ethan (5th with a PB) and Alex H (9th). The PB-tally was further enhanced by Alex W and Callum.

In the 50 fly there was a silver for Meredith, bronzes for Tom and Abby and top 10 placings for Alex H (4th) and Ethan (6th with a PB).

Sunday pm

Ethan, Callum, Abby and Alex H in the 200 IM

Tabby and Sarah: 100 back

Ethan, Daniel, Alex W, Maxwell, Abby, Chloe, Alex H and Charlotte: 50 breast

Isaac, Sophie, Callum, Tabby and Libby: 100 free

Tom, Alex W, Maxwell, Meredith, Abby, Alex H and Imogen: 100 fly

There were some heavy workloads in the offing for the Tad contingent in the final session, with the 200 IM and 100 fly both on the schedule for the 15+ swimmers.

There was still plenty of gas in the collective Tadcaster tank in the first event, the 200 IM, with Abby, Callum, Ethan and Alex H all notching PBs. Abby got a bronze medal for her efforts, with Callum (8th) and Ethan (9th) able to feel well satisfied with their efforts too.

In the 100 back, Tabby claimed 4th place with a PB and Sarah claimed her 2nd PB out of 2 for the weekend here too.

Abby, Ethan and Alex H were prominent again in the 50 breast, with another bronze for Abby and 4th places for the other two. These swims didn’t contribute to the PB tally, but Daniel, Callum and Alex W were on hand to keep the scoreboard ticking over.

In the 100 free, Isaac’s debut saw him finish close to his PB and more highly ranked than he started, which is a solid effort first time out with “championship nerves”. Sophie then bagged another new NER time before Tabby (with a PB) and Libby dead-heated with each other in the same heat.

To round off the weekend in the 100 fly, Meredith (silver) and Tom (bronze) bolstered Tad’s position in the medal table, with Imogen also contributing to the PB tally. Abby and Alex finished themselves off, albeit with the consolation of further top 10 placings (5th and 7th respectively) and PBs, both looking rather grey in the face as they returned (slowly) to the stands.


Overall, a great weekend, with 2 golds (Abby); 4 silvers (Meredith * 2, Ethan and Tom); 6 bronzes (3 each for Tom and Abby); 24 further top 10 placings, 2 new NER qualifiers (Sophie and Livvy) and numerous enhancements of existing qualification stats.

The final PB tally was 56, representing a PB rate of approx. 50%, not quite as good as the youngsters 3 weeks ago, so that’s some extra motivation for the older swimmers as the NERs approach.

Thanks as always to the Coaches and Team Managers, with Danny, Vicki, Mark and Eleanor maintaining order poolside and of course, keeping the all-important social media updated.