Barry Alldrick
Swansea Open Meet
Poole Swimming’s Clubs Youth contingent headed west to the Swansea Open Meet to improve long-course racing and push for Summer National Ranking Qualifying Times.
It was to be a quick in–and–out meet and for some their first time away, so a bonus opportunity to learn the important independence, self-management, adaptability, and resilience skills needed for stepping into racing at high levels.
The group left Poole at 5 pm, were in their hotel rooms by 10 pm, and was up at 6am for Saturday, Day 1 of the competition. The team put in a very solid set of performances. Double Golds were earned by Halle R (50 Breast and 200 Breast) and Hugo Y (50 Free, 100 Free), Hugo further earned silver in the 400m Free. Jes H and Halle H led their age groups earning a Gold apiece in the 50m Fly, with Jes adding a silver in the 100m Fly and Halle a silver in the 100m Fly. Further silvers were earned by Cody C (200m Back), Freddie B (100m Breast), Freddie H (50m Back) and Lottie V (50m Breast). Bronze medals went to Lottie and Poppy in the 200m Breast in personal best times.
The team finished at 7 pm and were soon celebrating Charlie’s 17th birthday around the meal table, with just a shy piece of Colin the Caterpillar cake each to wash the optimal carb and protein-based main course down. The team were lights out by 10 pm and again on the road to the pool at 7am.
After the morning brief, the team impressively upped their game around self-management, with supportive camaraderie, and improved timing activities into races and getting off the hot poolside into cooler areas between events.
The PB rate on Saturday was 25% and this increased to 30% on Sunday. The competition on day 2, saw 5 swimmers earn gold medals with Arron in the 400m IM, Charlie (50m Back), Freddie H and Hugo (50m Fly) and Halle earned the Breast-stroke treble with a Gold and PB in the 100m Breast. Double silvers were earned by Halle H (50m and 100m Free) and Freddie B (50m and 200m Breast). Hugo added a further silver to his collection in the 100m Back, as did Lottie with silver in the 100m Breast. Jes earned Bronze in the 200m Fly, Freddie H bronze in 100m Back, Aimie Q bronze in 200m Back and Poppy Bronze in the 100m Breast.
Across the weekend Personal Best Times were earned by Erin M (100m Back, 50m Breast, 200m IM & 100m Free), Poppy B (100m & 200m Breast, 50m Fly & 100m Fly), Ellie C (50m & 200m Back and 100m Free), Holly O (50m & 100m Free, 50m Back), Halle R (50m & 100m Back, 50m Free), Lottie V (100m & 200m Breast & 100m Free), Halle H (200m Back and 100m Free), Jes H (200m IM, and 200m Back), Ollie D (50m Back & 50m Free), Aimie Q (200m Back, 400m IM), Freddie H (200m & 100m Back), Betsy V (200m IM, 100m Free), Charlie M (50m Free, 50m Fly), Hugo (100m Fly), Freya C (50m Breast), Cody C (400m Free), Ollie J (100m Fly) and Arron H (400m Free). A big well done to Max and Tilly who were nail-biting close to their personal bests.
The team can take a lot from their performances and preparation for races. With all coming away with areas to focus on into the end-of-season meets. Parents can be proud of the swimmers for their self-management, it can be daunting to let swimmers fend for themselves, but the responsibility and self-drive they take from events like this will pay dividends in the future.
After a busy race period for many the focus now heads to exams and managing training around this period before the focussed push to the end-of-season meets.
A massive thank you to Phil, Bev and Stuart who brilliantly supported the team with their fun and calm demeanours, along with driving, team managing and officiating.
Final Stats
127 Swims
40 Personal Bests
11 Gold
12 Silver
6 Bronze