British Summer Champs 2019 - Day 2

Tom Dowden

By the time swim downs, stretching and race videos were watched, in turned out to be a late evening, but the six swimmers were up early walking round the Gorbles and Clylde bank areas of Glasgow in the dazzling sun and prepared for the races ahead.

The first swimmer to warm up was Abbie Q for the 200m Breast, joined by Ella shorty after for the 50m Fly with Robbie, Oli and Alex preparing for the 100m Back.  Thea prepared for the 800m towards the end of the morning heats and the rest of the team came down for a midday training session including new arrival Alex C.

Morning Heats

With Abbie qualifying at this level for the first time, she had firmly set her sights on improving her ranking.  Sticking to her nerve and somewhat longer stroke than the girsl in teh lanes next to her Abbie delivered a strong first length hitting her split and stroke count target, on the return 50m, the stroke stayed long for the most part, speeding up into the turn, to touch around personal best pace, the third 50 was decent to, splitting the same as the previous 50m.  Abbie then picked up the speed of her stroke on the last length and touched on a 2.43 just one second outside of her personal best.   She had indeed stepped up to finish in 21st position with a positive first experience of British Summer Championships.   Such is the determination of Abbie she didn’t want her photo taken at this level until she PB’s so this is the best we could gain .

Next up was Ella in the 50m Fly, who was super charged and ready to go.  With a much improved dive and underwater kick technique Ella hit the 15m marker ahead of her personal best, and the same at 25, the stroke rate was super high and although the arm speed continued, power started dropping at aruond 40m feeling the effects of the first 20m and a slightly missed timed finished touched Ella just shy of her personal best in 29.40, ranking her 16th overall a massive improvement on the 35th position of last season.

The trio of Ollie, Robbie and Alex continued to impress with their focus and preparations into the 100m back heats.

Alex and Robbie were drawn in the same heat and both went out with intent turning in the 28’s, with Alex 1st and Robbie 2nd.  This continued down the second length and the boys finished in the same position they had turned.  Alex had earned a personal best and Robbie just outside with a fastest heat swim.  The time impressively moved Alex up from 22nd to 12th rank and he was placed second reserve for the double age group final.   Robbies time qualified him first for the evening final in his age.    Next up was Oli who lost a bit of ground compared to his counterparts at the start who had great underwater work, but doing what Oli does best he clawed back every stroke and maintained a decent stroke rate to touch in a new PB of 57.06.  The time earned him his second Dorset Senior Record (along with 200IM) and had qualified him second for the evenings final.  Inspired by Adam Peaty a project 56 was now on the cards.

Thea prepared well for the 800m with a conscientious warm up and went about her business in the race.  The time was not where she had hoped, but an overall finish of 13th in the Open Category.  Although disappointed with the performance, Thea will now draw on her athletic qualities of being one of the hardest workers, brilliant pacer and possessing a leg kick that can match the fastest boys in the squad and will put her all in for the 4 x 200m Relay team that races tomorrow.  

Evening Finals

Oli and Robbie rejoined their coach at the pool and went about their warm up routines.  Working together Robbie conscientiously worked on maintaining stroke speed and rate and Oli worked on improving underwater work, being pushed through a better mobility routine for the hips with Ballet expert Catherine.

Both athletes with fire in their eyes only had one position in mind when they went around for their race.

Robbie blasted out a decent start and by 25m was in second position, but then with a strong stroke rate left the field and forged a lead on the second quarter of the race turning in a 27.6, half a second ahead of the field.  The turn was good the underwater and break out solid and Robbie pushed down the 3rd 25m, with 15m to go the power was starting to slip off, but with determination he somehow kept it going to touch in 57.86 and win by 0.4 of a second.  The time was a whole second below the current 14-year-old British Record.

Not being able to see the result of his team mate Oli was up two races later.  From the start the underwater had improved indeed earning a 15m start personal best, this allowed Oli to be in the race by the first 25m and picking up his stroke rate he turned in 4th place at this point ¾ of a second behind the race leader.  Then came the charge from 65m-80m Ollie had edged into the lead, then decided to scare his coach by swimming into the lane, this wasn’t go to stop him though and he touched the wall in wait…… HIS TIME HADN’T COME UP whilst the other nine swimmers had, and then 10 (days) seconds later it flashed up as 56.60 and confirmed him as the race winner.  Project 56 didn’t last long and he lowered the Dorset Senior Record mark he set earlier in the day.

It was a good night for Poole and a reward for all the coaches and support staff in particular Jan H, Sam A , Emma, Jon and Corinne that have worked closley with these athletes on thier pathway to success.

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