2021 North West Winter Regional Championships

Iain Hazell

Bobcats competed at the Winter Regional Championships for the first time in two years on Saturday 6th / Sunday 7th November at Manchester Aquatic Centre. We had a reduced team of 6 swimmers attend the meet, which unfortunately was impacted by swimmers and parents being in isolation.

Considering where swimmers were in their training program and the disrupted preparation, I thought that everyone performed exceptionally well, with all swimmers demonstrating that they are in a good position to continue improving as the season progresses.

Lucy Turner was in great form, qualifying for the junior final in the 50, 100, 200 Butterfly, 50 Backstroke and 200 IM. Lucy was able to improve her times in all finals, finishing a close second in the 50 Butterfly and 50 Backstroke, controlling the 100 Butterfly from the front to win by 1 ½ body lengths and a determined last 100 on the 200 Butterfly to dead heat for first position.

Lucy’s time in the 50 Backstroke final was also inside the qualifying standard for the Winter National Championships, adding to the 50, 100, 200 Butterfly, 200 Backstroke and 100 IM events where she had already qualified.

Lydia Dewhurst showed improved start skills and speed to set a new best time in the 50m Breaststroke, finishing in joint 9th position. This meant a swim off to be reserve for the final, as is often the case with swim-offs, both swimmers pushed themselves and despite finishing second Lydia took another 0.3 seconds off her heat time.

In the 100 Breaststroke, Lydia used her improved speed over 50 metres to record her fastest ever 50 splits, tiring towards the end of the race, Lydia held on well to finish just inside her previous short course best in 10th position.

Baylie Seery competed in the 100 Backstroke and 200 Butterfly events, both these events were in the same session and close together. With only six swimmers entering the 200 Butterfly in the open age group, Baylie knew that she would also qualify for the final. A strong first 50 helped Baylie to swim her second fastest time ever in the 100 Backstroke, finishing in 11th position. In the 200 Butterfly final Baylie improved by 10 seconds from her heat swim to finish in 6th.

Jamie Clayton continued his improvement this season in the sprint freestyle events, lowering his previous best times in the 50 and 100-metre events to finish in 12th and 13th position. In the 400-metre freestyle, Jamie recorded a massive 10 second improvement from the Bobcats meet to finish within 2 seconds of his previous best.

Caitlin Wilson recorded new personal best times in the 50 Butterfly and 50 Breaststroke heats to finish 16th and 20th in the junior age group. In the 200 IM, Caitlin improved by two seconds from the Bobcats meet to finish closer to her previous best in 21st position. At 14 years old, Caitlin still has two years to compete in the junior age group so can hopefully look to move up the rankings in future.

Sam Charlesworth competing in the 50 Butterfly demonstrated improved length and timing of the stroke to finish just outside his best time in 21st position., this swim looked to set up Sam really well for the 100 Butterfly but unrfortunately he was unable to attend on the Sunday.

Overall, I was very pleased with how everyone prepared and the focus, effort, and determination all swimmers displayed in their races. Hopefully our swimmers can continue to demonstrate these qualities at future competitions and next year we will have a larger team representing Bobcats at the Winter Regionals.