Fantastic Swims at the regional short course championships in Sheffield
2nd and 3rd November 2019 at Ponds Forge
21 swimmers were in action for Tadcaster over the weekend, competing in 87 individual races (heats, swim-offs and finals). Jessica, Charlotte, Sophie, Giorgia and Livvy, were making their regional debuts with Stephen making his debut in Tadcaster colours. The roster was completed by Ellie who had escaped from the training at Loughborough Uni for the weekend.
This gala is rather complicated. In fact it is actually two galas with the pool and the scoreboard divided in two. Whilst the pool can cope with this readily enough, asking the scoreboard to deal with two galas at the same time did feel like potentially a challenge too far, though as it turned out, the Ponds Forge electronics were in almost as good form as the Tad swimmers!
The age groupers (11-13) race in one pool with the open age events at the other end of the building. The age groupers have events for each year group and are “heat declared winners” (i.e. no finals) spread over 4 normal sessions. The open events involve one very long session of heats each day before a short session of finals – one per event – at the end of the afternoon.
If you like whistles then this is definitely the event for you. Not only were there lots of heats of distance freestyle events with whistles to tell swimmers they were embarking on the last lap (and possibly wake up snoozing spectators) but there also seemed to be an unofficial competition between Refs on the two pools as to who could blast their whistle the loudest at the start of races.
If you like 80s classics during warm up, then Saturday morning was also definitely for you, as the PA belted out Bon Jovi, Guns N’ Roses and Journey in close succession. Sunday was less good, starting with S Club 7, which made all right-minded people reach for their earplugs rather than any celestial bodies.
Fortunately, it wasn’t all about whistles and dodgy tunes on the PA during warm up. There was some quality action in the water too.
Sat open heats
100 free – Jake Lee, Alex Williams, Ethan and Tom
200 free – Abby
50 breast – Ethan, Dan and Stephen
100 breast – Chloe
100 fly – Alex Heard
50 back – Tabby, Livvy, Alex H and Ellie
200 medley – Abby
400 free – Alex W
50 free – Tabby, Alex H, Abby and Clemmie
200 breast – Stephen
50 fly – Jake, Ethan, Alex W and Tom
100 medley – Ethan and Tom
In the free, Ethan and Alex both got PBs with Tom qualifying 3rd for the final in the 100. In the 200, Abby bagged 11th place with a PB, less than a tenth of a second away from a place in the final.
In the 50 breaststroke, Stephen marked his Tad debut in fine style, progressing to the final, a feat he repeated later in the 200 breast.
In the 50 back, Livvy made her regional debut, after which Ellie qualified for the final in 7th place. In the 200 back Ellie cruised into the final 2nd fastest, thanks to a PB.
Clemmie looked like she was out for a Sunday afternoon stroll in the 50 free, qualifying 2nd fastest for the final with a PB, despite swimming with a broken hand. Abby made good use of having two fully functional hands to qualify for the final with a PB.
In the 50 fly, Ethan and Tom bagged a PB and 4th fastest into the final respectively, with this pair then upping the finals count, albeit without any PBs, in the 100 medley.
Sat am age group
100 breast – Jessica, Eloise Eastman and Indi
200 breast – Jimmy
400 IM – Sophia and Indi
200 free – Sophia
50 back – Sophia
First into bat for the Tad youngsters was Jessica who marked her regional debut in the 100 breast with a fairly sizeable PB, with Eloise also registering a PB. In the 200 breast, Jimmy also got some PB action, which was good for 7th place.
In the 400 medley, Indi opened her PB account for the weekend – by nearly 10 seconds!
Sat pm age group
100 fly – Indi
400 free – Sophia
100 medley – Charlotte, Sophia and Indi
Indi just missed out on a top ten finish in the 100 fly, but did add to her PB tally.
In the 400 free, Sophia did the “double” (PB and top ten place) in 7th and there was another top ten finish (9th) for Sophia in the 100 medley. Charlotte was an inch or so off her PB on her regional debut and Indi got a “double” of her own in this event, claiming 10th place.
In the 50 breast, Jimmy repeated his “PB and 7th place” effort from earlier in the day, before Eloise rounded off the youngsters’ first day action with a PB.
Sat open finals
In the free finals, Tom was out first for Tad over the 100, claiming 4th, with Abby on her own in the 50 free final as Clemmie unfortunately had to withdraw to save her hand from further damage. In the race itself, there was a blanket finish for 2nd to 8th with Abby claiming 6th thanks to another PB.
In the 50 backstroke Ellie finished 6th after which Tom opened Tad’s medal account (silver) in the fly, also over the 50.
While Tom was trying to recover from the fly final before the 100 medley final, Ellie bagged a bronze in the 200 backstroke with another PB. Whilst a backstroke medal for Ellie was no great surprise, the fact that she had got through a whole day at a championship gala without ripping her hat did cause a few raised eyebrows, given her catalogue of destroyed race kit at the Yorkshire Champs in February.
Tom and Ethan rounded off the action for the day for the older Tad swimmers in the 100 medley final. Ethan touched in 5th with Tom adding his second silver medal around 5 minutes after the first.
Sun open heats
100 free – Abby and Ellie
200 free – Alex W
50 breast – Chloe, Abby and Alex H
100 breast – Ethan and Stephen
100 fly –Alex W and Tom
50 back – Alex and Tom
200 IM – Ethan
50 free – Alex, Jake, Ethan and Tom
50 fly – Abby and Alex
100 medley – Libby, Alex, Abby and Ellie
In the free, Ellie and Abby were first out for Tad in the 100, in which they finished 1st and 2nd in the same heat to progress to the final, with a PB thrown in for good measure for Abby. Alex also got a PB in the 200.
The 50 breast saw some drama for Alex as she was joint 10th with a big PB and was thus into a “swim-off”. Swimmers generally pull something out of the bag in a swim off, and so it proved with Alex, as she produced another big PB to qualify for the final. Or so we thought, until the dreaded “DSQ” appeared alongside her name on the scoreboard. This wasn’t as cruel a blow as it might have been though as Alex subsequently secured two other places in finals and had a busy end to the weekend as it was. There was also a PB for Ethan in the breast (in the 100) thankfully without any DQ action.
In the 100 fly, Alex got another PB and Tom qualified 2nd, though he subsequently withdrew from the final to keep his powder dry for other events. One of these other events was the 50 back, where he qualified 5th for the final, with Alex securing another PB here too. The other was the 50 free where the same outcome resulted, albeit with Tom in 4th place this time.
In the 50 fly, Alex and Abby both qualified for the final from which Abby subsequently withdrew, again to prioritise a different event. This pair were then joined by Ellie and Libby for the 100 IM. Ellie, Alex and Abby all qualified for the final, with Walker the Younger and Elder both bagging PBs.
Sun am age group
100 breast – Jimmy
200 breast – Indi
100 free – Sophia and Sophie
50 fly – Indi
It might have been a few days past Halloween, but Jimmy’s third “7th place with PB” effort in the breaststroke – this time the 100 – was definitely a bit spooky!
Indi’s 200 breast outing may not have been spooky but it was still fast enough for another PB.
In the 100 free, Sophia bagged another “top ten with a PB effort” – 9th this time – before Sophie marked her regional debut with a PB of her own.
Sun pm age group
200 medley – Indi
100 back – Sophia
200 fly – Sophia and Indi
100 medley – Jimmy
50 free – Sophia, Sophia and Giorgia
In the 100 back, Sophia again finished in 9th place with a PB, before Indi bagged another 10 second PB in the 200 fly to claim 10th place.
In the 100 medley, Jimmy was going for a quadruple of “7th place finish with a PB” and got halfway there with another PB.
The 50 free rounded off the weekend for the youngsters, with Giorgia marking her regional debut with an 8th place finish. There aren’t many (if any) other Tad swimmers who can claim a top ten placing first time out at regional level.
Sun open finals
Ellie and Abby were out first in the evening session to claim PBs in the 100 free final, with the former bagging the silver and the latter finishing 7th.
Tom was out next, claiming his 3rd silver of the weekend in the 50 backstroke with a PB. He was out next again in the 50 free, unfortunately edged out of the medals by three of his regular nemeses from East Leeds
With a fair few hard races already under her belt, Alex found the 50 fly final tough going and was still dripping wet when she took to her blocks approximately 5 minutes later for the 100 medley final, with the somewhat drier Ellie and Abby for company. Ellie powered ahead on the backstroke to take an unassailable lead, with Abby coming through strongly up the last length to join her in rounding off the weekend with a medal (gold for Ellie; bronze for Abby) and another PB.
The final tally
The final tally for Tad was 1 gold (Ellie), 4 silvers (3 * Tom and 1 * Ellie) and 2 bronzes (Ellie and Abby) and 23 other qualifications for finals/top ten finishes (4 * Sophia, 3 * Tom/Jimmy/Abby, 2 * Indi/Alex H/Stephen and 1 * Ellie/Giorgia/Clemmie/Ethan). Apologies for any errors in this tally – it was a long, hot weekend at Sheffield and keeping score was not easy!
Thanks as always go to Danny and Jane who were on coaching duty all weekend and to Vicki who was again on Twitter duty.