05 March 2019
ONB County Championships 2019: Head Coach Report
This year’s county championships saw Maxwell Swim Club enter 52 swimmers along with 8 relay teams over five weekends from January through to February. This year also saw the youngest Maxwell team ever entered at ONB counties (due to the events of later last season), with only five senior swimmers entered during the event.
The first weekend (5th January) opened up with the 1500m mixed Freestyle events at Oxford Leys Pool. Although the 1500m and 800m events are only presented as open age group competition, Maxwell saw multiple top five age group swims showing exceptional potential for the future of the club in the years to come. Such examples saw Imogen Walton (3rd) and Rowan Cyster (4th) in the 15 years age group, Gracie Hudson (1st) and Poppy Baybutt (3rd) in the 14 years age group, Jamie Prince (5th) in the 15 years age group and Sam Drew (5th) in the 16 years age group.
This first weekend also saw the first of the relay events take place, with the girls and boys 10-12 and 13/14 years medley and free relays. The group of Kian MacNab, Daksh Surana, Chale Cowles and Jake Chesworth claimed silver in the medley relay and bronze in the freestyle relay, with the team of Daniel Beadle, Kalan Mistry-Lubbock, Oliver Mundy and Levi Sond placing 12th in the freestyle relay (with nine year old Myles Mistry-Lubbock recording a phenomenal opening backstroke leg in the same age group medley relay). John Manser, Sourab Surana, Charlie Toms and Matthew Readhead claimed 4th in the medley relay and 10th in the free relay with the second relay team of Marco Abbisogni, Callum Childs, Hayden Ronaldson and Andrew Kardasinski taking 12th and 16th in medley and free relays.
The second weekend (12th January) began with the 800m mixed freestyle events take place at Oxford Leys Pool. Again this weekend saw the potential of swimmers coming through at such a young age, with Rowan Cyster (4th) and Imogen Walton (5th) in the 15 years age group, Gracie Hudson (1st), Poppy Baybutt (3rd) and Izzy Ford (4th) in the 14 years age group, Eliza Hudson (2nd) in the 12 years age group, John Manser (4th) in the 14 years age group, Charlie Toms (2nd) in the 13 years age group, Jake Chesworth (2nd) and Chale Cowles (5th) in the 12 years age group.
Weekend three (20th January) opened with the 400m freestyle and I.M. events for both genders and the girls 10-12 years and 13/14 years medley and free relays. With the events now being rewarded in their respective age groups, this weekend saw Maxwell begin to stretch their legs out and move on with some terrific swims in their events. The 400 I.M. began Eliza Hudson claiming silver in the 12 years age group, Gracie Hudson claiming gold and a club record in a 5.10.09 in the 14 years age group, Jake Chesworth silver in the 12 years age group, Charlie Toms silver in the 13 years age group and John Manser bronze in the 14 years age group.
The 400m Freestyle brought James Martin a silver in the 10-11 years age group, Jake Chesworth silver in the 12 years age group, Hannah Campbell gold in the 10-11 years age group and Gracie Hudson bronze in the 14 years age group.
The final session of the day brought more medals in the relays with the team of Isobel Cox, Ellen Eccleston, Eliza Hudson and Sofia Barradas winning bronze in the 10-12 years medley relay and 4th in the freestyle relay, while the younger team of Hannah Campbell, Clara White, Kara Clewlow and Sofia Iannone claim 8th in the medley relay and 9th in the freestyle relay. The girls 13/14 year team of Amelie Bissett, Gracie Hudson, Poppy Baybutt and Izzy Ford claimed closely contested bronze (1.74 between 1st and 3rd) in the medley relay and silver in another closely contested freestyle relay, while the younger team of Larissa Campbell, Louise Martin, Annabel Starkey and Emma Phillips placed 11th and 10th in the medley and freestyle relay final standings (out of 23 teams).
The junior relay teams competed on the fourth weekend of the competition, with the girls 16 and unders team of Elle Cogan, Imogen Walton, Rowan Cyster and Izzy Ford coming 5th in the freestyle relay and the second team of Poppy Baybutt, Charlotte Downing, Gracie Hudson and Millie Jones taking 12th (out of 22 teams) in the freestyle relay. The girls medley relay of Imogen Walton, Elle Cogan, Rowan Cyster and Poppy Baybutt finished 6th with the second team of Amelie Bissett, Gracie Hudson, Millie Jones and Charlotte Downing finished 14th.
The boys junior relay team made up of Sam Drew, Lewis Baybutt, Sean Richards and Josh MacNab finished 10th in the medley relay while Jamie Prince, Sourab Surana, John Manser and Charlie Toms finished 17th. The freestyle relays made up of Sam Drew, Sean Richards, Jamie Prince and Josh MacNab finished 11th while the team of Marco Abbisogni, Chale Cowles, Jake Chesworth and Charlie Toms finished 19th.
The distance weekends saw the following totals:
- 89 swims with 63 PB’s (70.8% PB rate)
- 1500m: 12 swims with 9 PB’s (75% PB rate)
- 800m: 24 swims with 18 PB’s (75% PB rate)
- 400m: 53 swims with 36 PB’s (67.9% PB rate)
The fourth and fifth weekends of ONBs County Championships saw all the main body of events being competed over four days, with finals being swam in the evening for the open 200m events and all age group 50m and 100m events.
Top 8 positionings, finalists and medallists of both weekends:
Stats of all combined individual swims:
- 151 top 8 finishes (contributing points to the team)
- 98 x 4th – 8th finishes
- 21 x Bronze Medals
- 18 x Silver Medals
- 14 x Gold Medals
- 190 x PB’s across 252 swims with a PB rate of 75.4%
Stats of all combined Relays:
- 8 x top 8 finishes
- 5 x 4th – 8th finishes
- 3 x Bronze Medals
- 2 x Silver Medals
Club Records gained at County Championships:
- Gracie Hudson: 100m Breaststroke (13 years), 400m I.M. (13 years)
- Izzy Ford: 50m Freestyle (13 years)
- Poppy Baybutt: 50m Butterfly (13 years)
- Imogen Walton: 50m Backstroke (14 years), 1500m Freestyle (14 years)
- Elle Cogan: 50m Breaststroke (15 years), 200m Breaststroke (15 years)
John Manser: 800m Free (13 years)
Jake Chesworth: 800m Free (11 years), 100m Breaststroke (11 years), 50m Butterfly (11 years)
This year’s county championships were going to be the hardest due to the sheer number of senior swimmers who have left/quit and the sheer number of last year’s county medallists who left the club so soon after Lisa left. This has meant we were swimming with 27 less swimmers than last year’s team which came second in the overall standings, and second in the junior standings.
This year’s final standings meant we took 4th overall and 2nd in the junior standings. This, in comparison to the number of swimmers lost, is a huge positive. The future of the bottom end of the club looks VERY strong, while naturally we have struggled to maintain a top 3 standing because of the loss of so many older swimmers. However, when looking deeper into the results, one can see how much swimmers have stepped up and progressed to ensure we had more top 8 finishes than last year with a smaller contingent. This has meant the remaining swimmers in the club have not only improved but improved dramatically enough to be placing multiple swimmers in finals and multiple medals in the same age group.
However, we can see huge gaps in certain age groups (for example very few swimmers in the 12/13 year old age group) which is where can see the current development and need to put focus on within the club. With Arena League around the corner in October, we will be looking to fill the gaps and how this age group of swimmers can better progress.
As we can see, the 13/14/15 years girls are very strong, with the core group of 14/15 year old boys really progressing and making moves forward. As with the 11/12 year old boys and girls, when looking towards next seasons counties and arena league, we will be struggling on the mid and open age groups. However, with addressing the highlighted issue, we will hopefully cushion the blow this will take.
Overall, I feel this was a very successful county championships under the circumstances. I feel as a team we have rallied around our swimmers and helped progress a group of downhearted swimmers into a successful group of swimmers. This was shown in the younger age group of relays and their performances. Extremely positive.
I would like to thank Marc (who has shown a great ability to transverse potential into medals at counties for the swimmers and trawled the results to pull these stats together for me), Bill (who’s swimmers medalled and performed exceptionally well over all the weekends), Sophie and Danni for their hard work with the swimmers.