Nationals Preview 2019

Tom Dowden

A record number of Poole Swimmers head to the end-of-season National meets including the British Summer Championships, Swim England Nationals and National Open Water Championships, whilst senior athlete Jacob P heads out to the US National Championships in California.

Back Row: Ollie W, Ollie C, Alex B, Jacob P, Ben C, Ryan S.  Thrid Row: Miles W, Alan S, Oli F, Thea O'K, Robbie H, Alex C.  Second Row: Izzy H, Aimie Q, Abbie B, Ella M, Alex PA.  Front Row: Catherine E, Teagan-Mae G, Holly H

For the British Summer Championships and Swim England Nationals, qualifiers had to log race times in a qualifying period from mid-March until the end of May.  The best times are logged and from June 1st rankings are used to decide which level you have qualified for in your respective age group.

The British Summer Championships sees the top 24 ranked athletes in each event (18 for 800m and 1500m), in age categories from across Wales, Scotland and England compete for glory in Glasgow, from Tuesday 24th to Sunday 28th July.

The Swim England Nationals is for the athletes ranked outside the top 24 up to 44th in England and will be held in Sheffield from Wednesday 31st July to August 4th.

To qualify for the National Open Water Championships, you either have to swim a 1500m or 800m pool qualifying time, or finish in top 3 at the Regional Championships. 

A small controversy surrounds the venue for the National Open Water Championships on August 6th as the usual Rother Valley Country Park in Sheffield had a break out of Blue-Green algae.  If not cleared, alternative venues have been sought and an announcement will be made this week.

The four competitions span over the last week of July and first week of August.

A favorable note on this year’s qualifiers for the Poole Swimming Club programme sees athletes reaching this level from three squads.

A further noticeable improvement is in the number of athletes qualifying. The most athletes a Dorset Club has qualified for the Summer National Championships is 18, with Bournemouth Dolphins, Ferndown Otters and Poole Swimming Club all hitting this mark.  This year Poole will see 26 different athletes competing in events across the 2 weeks.

Please see an overview below of who to watch out for.

US Nationals

Jacob P will compete in the 100m Fly and 200m Fly at the US Nationals, where he will look to gain finals swims and earn best times in both events. He will be looked after by the experienced hands of Patrick Miley.

  • 200m Fly is on 31st July
  • 100m Fly is on 2nd August

British Summer Championships

15 swimmers will be racing their hearts out across the week at the championships. 

Alex B who has been on great form in training and will look to convert this into racing, lies in the bottom half of a double age bracket. He goes in ranked 9th in the 50m Back, 14th in the 50m Fly and 22nd in the 100m Back. Alex also features in the 4 x 200m Free and 4 x 100m Medley Relay teams.

Alex C in his first qualification at British Summer Champs, coached by Jan Hutchings, goes in ranked 17th in the 50m Fly and 20th in the 100m Fly.  A realistic push to improve rankings on each event could lead to a final.

Oli F goes in to the championships as the defending British Champion in 50m Back. In this year’s double age group bracket (where he sits in the lowest) his ranking going into the same event is 5th. Further rankings are 2nd in the 200m Back, 3rd in the 100m Back and 5th for the 200IM. Oli also features in the 4 x 200m Free and 4 x 100m Medley Relay teams.

Robbie H goes into the British Summer Championships with the busiest programme, making the grade in 9 events.  He is ranked 1st in the 100m Back and 2nd in the 50m and 200m Back and third in 50m Fly.  He will furthermore be competing in the 50m,100m Free, 100m Fly, 200IM, 400IM with a challenge of best swims in all 9 events.

Ella M will compete in the 50m Free, 50m Fly and 100m Fly. Ranked 15th in both 50m events and 18th in the 100m, pushing for finals is on the cards.

Catherine E will compete in the 100m Fly ranked 17th and 200m Fly ranked 23rd, in her British Summer Champs debut, again a push for finals is a realistic expectation.

Abbie Q makes her debut at this level ranked 24th in the 200m Breast and will look to gain a best time and target a top 16 finish.

Thea O’K returns for her fourth British Champs qualifying in the 400m (ranked 15th), 800m (ranked 9th) and 1500m (ranked 8th) Free as an individual swimmer and looks to return to form in each event to improve rankings.  Thea also features in all three relays 4 x 200m Free, 4 x 100m Free and 4 x 100m Medley.

Teagan-Mae G will compete in the 4 x 200m Free relay and 4 x 100m Medley relay.

Izzy H will compete in the 4 x 200m Free, 4 x 100m Free and 4 x 100m Medley relay.

Jasmine H returns to this level to compete in the 4 x 200m Free and 4x 100m Medley relay\

Fiona H in her 14th Championships returns to compete in the 4 x 100m Free and 4 x 100m Medley relay.

Ollie C competes in the 4 x 200m Free and 4 x 100m Medley relay

Ben C competes in the 4 x 200m Free relay

Ollie W competes in the 4 x 100m Medley relay

Swim England Nationals

11 swimmers will race at the Swim England Nationals in Sheffield

Alex P-A has qualified for the 1500m and 800m and is seeded in the top 10 for both. A good return to form over the last 3 months will see Alex improve her rankings and push for the medal positions.

Miles W has qualified in the 1500m. He is going in ranked 9th and with more experience under his belt, will be looking to improve his ranking and realistically has an outside chance of making the podium.

Ryan S has qualified for the 800m, showing good fitness and experience, he will be looking to improve his 11th position ranking.

Teagan-Mae G qualified for the 1500m, after winning the event last year, Teagan now battles in the open age group and will be looking for a medal position going in ranked 8th

Aimie Q will look to continue her ongoing improvements throughout the season and has qualified for the 400m IM in 14th and 1500m Free in 5th. With a good swim a medal position is a realistic opportunity.

Holly H makes her Nationals debut after some dogged perseverance, qualifying in the 200m Breast-stroke, ranked 10th, so can look to push for her first final and move up the rankings.

Isabelle H returns to compete in the 200m Breast and looking in strong form in training will look to make the final, although going in ranked 15th.

Catherine E has qualified in pole position for the 50m Free, 4th for 50m Back, 4th for 50m Fly and 9th for 100m Free, a realistic chance of bringing home medals awaits.

Ella M has qualified in the 100m Free in 4th position and can realistically push for the top spot.

David S has qualified for his first nationals, coached by Becky Dowling.  David will compete in the 50m Breast-stroke, he is going in ranked 8th and with the ever-improving rate he has demonstrated pushing for a top 5 finish will be realistic.\

Robbie H qualified in the 200m (4th), 400m (5th) 800m (5th) and 1500m Free (8th) and will be targetting medals on all events.

Alan S qualified for the 50m (20th) and 100m Free (14th) and 200m Breast (4th).  He will be looking to gain his first medals at this level.

Swim England Open Water Championships

10 swimmers will be racing at this event.

Xavi W returns for his second qualification at this level and will look to again place in the top 8 in the 2k

Ryan O, Aimie Q and Alex PA will all compete in the 3k.  The tussle between Alex and Aimie was spectacular at the Regionals and the friendly rivalry will be a good one to watch at the National Championships

Miles W, Ryan S, Teagan-Mae G, Thea O'K, Kath B and Emily C will all compete in the 5k Event having qualified strong through the regional competitions.  Emily will be representing Loughborough University and Kath University of Birmingham

Head Coach Barry Alldrick commented:

“The final cycle of the season for these swimmers has gone extremely positively with a big focus on race pace training. There have been some training performances that have given a real excitement and buzz going into these championships and the swimmers are ready to be let out the gates”.

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