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English Summer Nationals Day 

(In your best Georgie accent) Today in the Poole ‘Brother’ House, following the sunny wake-up walks the swimmers greeted coach Jan to the chorus of Stevie Wonders happy birthday, (extended edit) with a finely prepared fruit and fresh bread breakfast laid out by Naomi.

With high-energy and Stevie Wonder stuck in ever- one’s head.  The coaches, Abbie and Ella headed down to the pool meeting up with Izzy ready for their races.

Morning Heats

Up first were Izzy and Abbie in the 200 Breast.

Izzy preferring a faster stroke speed, set out with the aim of achieving the same amount of strokes per length on the first 50m (21 strokes) and the last 50m (26 strokes) of the 200m heat, that had worked well in the 100m the evening before.  The middle 50’s would be about holding 23/24 strokes. Izzy held the stroke count brilliantly and worked  with great effort but was lacking the same amount of drive forward seen the evening before, the result being just outside her PB in 13th place.   A still smiling Izzy will reflect with her coach and come back positive for the 200 IM tomorrow.

Abbie’s stroke suits a lower stroke count. She had a target of holding 19 strokes on the first 50m, 21 strokes for the middle 50’s and 23 strokes on the final 50. The stroke was held well, and Abbie with the fastest last 50m of the heat, came through strong to deliver a small PB and qualify 2nd for this evenings final; Her first National final!

An hour later Ella stood up and in the middle lane for her first ever event at nationals; the 50m free. Ella achieved a good start, a clean break out and holding her breath, worked as fast as she could down the length. With a breath at 25m, 32m and 40m she hit a fast heat time just 7 hundredths of a second outside PB pace.  After a couple of nail biting heats later it was confirmed that Ella had also made her first final qualifying in 10th place.  

After a buffet style lunch and some recovery, athletes that weren’t competing, headed down to the pool to train or prepare for their next races. Abbie and Ella prepared for their finals.

Evening Finals

Abbie headed down for her 200m, mimicking the heat on the first length she had a smooth, long stroke. But the girls in the surrounding lanes had gone out much quicker in contrast to the heats.  Abbie panicked slightly, trying to keep up. On the second and third 50's she managed to achieve similar splits to the heat, but this had taken extra effort to do so and meant coming through strong on the last length was tough, but with one final surge for the wall she nearly caught up to the leaders and impressively finished 4th in her first National Final! Great Effort!

Next, was a pumped-up Ella, who had warmed up, visualized, primed and was ready for battle in the outside lane of the final.  The start was swift, keeping up with the rest, and by 25m she was 0.2 quicker than the heat. The race was  close cut coming into the last 10m and with all girls coming in together Ella touched in 6th place; 0.4 of a second quicker than her heat time and only 0.25 of a second behind the race leader. A brilliant step up from 10th in her first National Final.

After coaching Ella for four years, prior to moving into the Youth ranks, Jan couldn't have had a better bidrthday present, beaming with pride.  In the evening, the crew celebrated further with another impressive meal and small pieces of an Oscar the Bear Cake of which Jan blew the 21 candles out in one attempt. 

Tomorrow we have Izzy in the 200m IM and Miles in the 800m.