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Lightening 'McCrea' leads Record Breaking Charge at Swim England Winter Champs

Swim England Winter Championships 2019

A small band of swimmers from Poole Swimming Club headed up the well-paved northern routes to Sheffield for the Swim England Winter National Championships.  A short course event where the pool had been transformed into a Christmas light show with banging anthems for athletes that made the walkout in finals.   The Team would be joined by the healing hands of Corinne as the recovery specialist with the team pulling together to enjoy a tour of Sheffield's finest eating establishments each evening.  
This started on Wednesday night,  at Jacobs's choice of an eatery called the Botanist in Leopold square where the squad enjoyed skewers and sweet potato. 
Day 1: Thursday 5th December Heats
First up and making a debut performance at this level, quite a few years younger than the 18/U qualifying standard was Catherine E who set out strong in the 100m Fly returning with her fastest heat swim and just shy of her best ever time in the 100m Fly to finish 34th.  A couple of heats later Jasmine M put in a decent heat and qualified for the Youth final.  Whilst Jacob finished 2nd in his heat earning a spot in the A final in the same event. 
With assistant Coach Sam in the crowd watching the pair were fired up for final which around with Jacob setting the scene in the A Final and Jasmine in the Youth final for the 100m Fly.  Jacob had been beaten in the heat by Plymouths Edoardo V to qualify in second position.  As the race unfolded this remained the same at the 50m point with Eduardo turning in 23.7 and Jacob 24.1.  As the second half of the race unfolded Peters opened up the tanks and with an impressive 10 fly kicks underwater off the last wall, overcame Eduardo and snook in the win.  Jacobs's time of 51.16 was the first Dorset and Club Senior Record of the meet for Poole swimmers.
A mere 2 races later and Jasmine was up in the same event in the Youth final.  Having qualified in the 7th position it was going to take something special to step into the top positions.  Then from the start maximizing her underwater skills, Jasmine took the race on and led from start to finish to touch in a lifetime best, winning the final holding off Mount Kelly's Katelyn B who can back strong on the second 50m.  The second win and second Dorset and Club Senior Record for Poole in a time of 1.00.49.
Thursday nights food was held at the posh 'hawkers' place called Kommune, where a choice of foods from around the world could be ordered.
Day 2: Friday 6th December 
Day 2 started with the girls 100IM, where Jasmine again through good turns and underwater segments finished second in her heat qualifying second for the Senior Final.   Up next was Izzy H also making her debut at the Winter Nationals in the 200m Breast-stroke, putting in a solid swim, improving turn approaches and breakouts the time was just shy of her personal best to finish 44th in the Youth section.
Robbie and Jacob had been pitched in the same heat in the 50m Back.  Both boys with good underwater and consistent stroke speed, both hit personal bests.  Robbie's time pinched Jacobs Dorset Junior Record in the 50m Back 26.22, whilst Jacob lowered his Senior Record to an impressive 24.31.  That's right TWO records in one race.  Robbie qualified for the Youth Final and Jacob the Senior. 
Following her swim down and a check-in with our recovery expert Corinne, Jasmine found herself behind the blocks for the 50m Fly, where her time qualified her 3rd for the Senior Final, in her best heat time.
The final swim of the morning was Robbie in the 200m Back, who performed his fastest heat swim hitting on his personal best.  The time finished him 19th in the 18/U Youth section.
Jasmine was up first in the 100IM Final and went out knowing n good clarity where she could improve. She did just that and improved a place by winning the senior silver medal in the fourth Dorset and Club Record of the campaign in a time of 1.02.33.
Jacob in the Senior Final for the 50m Back didn't quite work the breakout on the second length and touched just shy of the time set in the heats to finish 3rd. Robbie sneaking into the Youth final in the last spot with the clear intention of where an improvement could be made,  he applied it well and touched in a 26.05 to set the fifth Dorset/ Club Record of the meet, improving his time to 26.05 to finish 9th. 
Jasmine was back in action ion the Senior 50 Fly where her target was to break 27 seconds for the first time.  Utilizing a better turn and underwater section she did just that and hit a 26.88, it was just outside the medal positions, but the fourth place was another personal best and the sixth Dorset/ Club Record of the Week. 
Fridays food midway through the competition required a hearty meal at Bella Italia and the crew humored Robbie's jokes.   Let's give you an example 'Why do cows have hoof's'  ............. Because they Lactose!  Moving on swiftly...
Day 3 Saturday 7th December 
The morning heats started with the 100m Backstroke which Robbie was the sole entrant for Poole.  He put in a strong first 50m and kept the pace and rate going to finish in a new personal best of 56.32. The time was the seventh Dorset Record/ Club Record of the week and placed him the fastest in his age, but not quite enough to reach the 18/U Youth Final. 
Next up, was Thea in the 400m Free.  Having worked hard in training, Thea coming back into smiling form put in a brilliantly paced race hitting splits of 2.10/2.12 finishing in a 4.22.98.  The time was a season-best by 5 seconds and in-fact 12 seconds quicker than where she started at the Manchester Open in October.  The time finished her 33rd Senior. 
Robbie was back in action in the 100IM and went out fast on the fly and back, but got caught too close to the wall on his crossover turn and went about catching up on the Breast-stroke.  His time of 1.00.97 was just shy of his best and he finished 45th Junior.
Jasmine and Jacob trained in preparation for Day 4.
It was a return to Kommune on Day 4 for food and an early night in preparation for the exciting final day of competition.
Day 4 Sunday 8th December 
Jasmine was up first in the ladies 50m Free.  Where she delivered her fastest heat time of 25.93, this was enough to qualify her for the Youth final. 
Robbie in the 50m Fly could not quite find the form he set to qualify but still, a strong swim finished him on 26.17 and as 49th in the Junior section.  Jacob qualified second for the A Final in 23.48.
Jasmine was up first in the 50m Free final and led the race from start to finish to win the Youth final, showing again an impressive step up to hit a lifetime best and the teams Eighth Dorset/ Club Record of the Week.  Jacob a couple of races later improved his heat time to finish in 23.33 in the 50m Fly, not quite a PB and not quite enough to hold of Eduardo who earned the win.
Earning 6 medals (3 Gold) and no less than 8 Dorset Records shows a good sign that the squad has improved their skills in the 'Short Course' section of the season.  It's now time for a block of fitness training in order to keep the momentum going into the more endurance-based Long Course season.  Whilst some of the squad started this in Windsor over the same weekend.  Jacob P heads to Amsterdam next week to compete for the European Cup where he will follow a small taper and hopes the North Sea wind blows his beard off for smooth streamlining in the water.
Huge thanks go to Corinne who once again performed her role brilliantly to keep the athletes swimming fast and the coach calm during the event.  Whilst commendation must be given to the whole team environment between parents swimmers and coaches for what turned out to be another enjoyable meet both swimming and socially.