01 May 2012
ASA Counties take place every year and to be fair, they are not the
highest level competition in the calendar. However, I always like
them because we seem to rise to the challenge, swim fast and win
This weekend though we surpassed our wildest expectations winning so many junior and senior titles, breaking county records, setting regional and national times, setting pb’s, winning medals and generally just being a fantastic team of swimmers.
Leading into the counties I always worry whether or not we have prepared properly but this year I had noticed swimmers putting in some great times in training and thought we had a good chance of doing something special, and we did.
Who would have thought that when Hayley Alcock came to me eight days ago and said ‘I feel really tired all the time, I’m not swimming well in training and I am not sure I am going to swim well at the counties’ that she would go and break a fist full of county records and win three senior titles as well.
Who would have thought it possible for 12 year old Paddy Keaveney to win the junior title in two events beating all the 13, 14 and 15 year old swimmers in the county? Three months ago Nicola Pasquire was climbing out of the pool in agony with a shoulder injury, unable to train and now she has broken the magic 60 second barrier for 100 freestyle as well as winning both senior and junior county title in the 800m freestyle.
How is it possible for the pocket rocket Rhiannon McCaffray to win junior titles in 50m event and 400m event? How good a swimmer must an 11 year old be to get on the junior county rostrum like Aiyanna Lawson did, her 12th birthday was yesterday? How is it that Ollie Maltby can swim the way he does, what a legend.? And struggling with tonsillitis for the past few weeks, Nick Stalley managed to bag two county titles!
There were so many other successes over the weekend (first time achieving regional qualification were Luca Hargrave and James Maltby) with many swimmers winning medals in multiple events such as Tia Wilson, Orla Keaveney, Kaelah Lawson, Hannah Hawkins (also qualifying for regionals), Bethany Dolan, William Maltby, Brennan Connelly, Aaron Hird, Llewelyn Wake (also qualifying for regionals), Max Wilson and Joe Munno. The most pleasing thing for me though was the team atmosphere and the way all swimmers went out and raced. There were very few disqualifications and the starts and turns are beginning to look better. Well done to all swimmers and good luck for second weekend in a fortnight.