British Champs 2019 - Day 2

Tom Dowden

All swimmers met at the pool early and began their routines into the races.  This after waking up between 3 and 3 hours 30 minutes before their race start time and walking round the merchant area of Glasgow in order to fully wake the body’s systems and prepare for battle at Day 2 of the British Champs. 

Morning Heats 

In the first event of the day following the designated warm up Ollie Weston was straight up into action in the 50m Breast-stroke.  Applying himself well priming for the event, he stood up ready to battle in his first race at this level.

The start was good, hitting the 15m marker in second place, good control through the first three strokes ensured he was holding the water well and he was level with 3 swimmers at the half way point.  During the final 25m, Ollie upped his stroke rate and maintained the important balance between feel and power.  Only a fraction of indecision on whether to do one more stroke or glide slightly effected the finishing stroke. But 49m had been the best he ever performed and he looked up at the scoreboard to see a personal best of 29.82 lowering his own Senior Club Record.  

The time moved Ollie up 5 places to 33rd rank in Britain and a smile showed he was pleased with the result.

A mere 10 minutes later and Jasmine McCrea stood on the block for the 50m Fly heat.  The start was a little flat, however with improved power underwater Jasmine came up fast at 15m and carried the speed well into her first breath after 10 arms, a strong second half went down to the last stroke, which finished just a couple of inches shy of the wall but enough to earn 2nd in the heat.  The result was 12th overall carrying Jasmine into the Transition final in a time of 27.61 beating her season best considerably.  (The transition final is the equivalent to a B final, with an age restriction of 23 year olds, with the idea to encourage athletes such as Jasmine who have had success at Junior Level ‘transition’ into Senior level).

Next up in action was Jacob Peters in the 200m Fly, who set out with a fast pace only taking 16 strokes to complete the first 50m.  The middle 100 looked like he wanted the relaxed long stroke of a 200m fly, but the rate kept steadily increasing, however he held on to a decent pace as the race went on, hurting down the last 50m touching in 1.58.88, another season best for the squad and qualifying him first for the evenings senior final. 

The final Poole Swimmer to race in the morning was Oli Fairman, who pushed a strong race to touch on another season best in 57.90, a second quicker than racing 4 weeks ago and his second time under 58.  The time qualified him in an outside lane for the evening final. Would there be more to come….?

Evening Finals

With all the athletes following slightly different routines between the heats and final sessions with Corinne working hard on recovery, they returned to the pool and set about preparing for their respective finals. 

Jasmine McCrea was up first in the 50m fly looking to improve her start and finish.  The start was better and hit the 15m mark 0.1 quicker than this morning, the speed carried through 25m with excitedly the whole heat racing stroke for stroke together, as they came into the wall 6 girls touched the wall with just two tenths of a second separating them, with Jasmine earning 5th and 13th overall in Britain.  It was a step up from the heat timewise and another season best.

The next final saw Jacob Peters come out for the 200m Fly, after eventually taking off all his layers the race began.  With a similar pace and stroke count on the first two lengths Jacob turned second at the half way point, with James Guy pulling away with a one second lead.  The make or break third 50m saw Jacob work hard stroke for stroke with Duncan Scott pulling a body length clear, whilst Guy extended the lead by another second.  With all athletes in the final working hard down the last length, Scotts pacing saw him maintain the speed he had set on the third 50m and forge a body length ahead of Peters and lowered the gap between him and race leader Guy.  Jacob settled for third, not the position or time he had hoped for.  A day’s rest will see him in action on Friday in the 100m,

A few races later Oli Fairman was up in the 100m Back final, with improvements to be made on break outs and following work around right-hand catch/ hip rotation in the warm up, which had been pushing him towards the lane line in the 50m and 100m heats.  Oli produced a clean break out and attacked his stroke rate earlier than the heat and swam a straight line 50m (without drifting) the result was turning in 27.9, quicker than this morning’s heat, and fifth at this point in the race.  The underwater work and break out was again cleaner than this morning and Oli gave everything on the second length to touch fourth, beating his personal best and senior club record earning a 57.34 to leave the squad on a high for Day 3.

Congratulations go to Poole Swimming Club member and lifer Emily Clarke, who having studied at Loughbourgh University for the last two and a half years improving her swimming under coach Andi Manley earned her first British Champs medal finishing 3rd in the 800m Free.  Whilst another associated Poole Swimming Club Kayla Van Der-Merwe who trains full time at Winchester Swimming Club with coach Zoe Baker, went two second under the qualifying time for the World Junior selection in the 200m Breast becoming junior champion in 2.28.51.

Day 3 sees Jasmine return for the 50m Free and Oli Fairman for the 400 IM.  Tune in to the Live Stream 

Good luck the swimmers who start competing at the Portsmouth Northsea Meet today in the 800m and 1500m.

More photos: