The teams had been working hard to be ready for the most important gala since the I.S.A. regional round in November. The girls and boys were fired up, raring to go against Grey House School, our old adversary in the small schools freestyle and mixed stroke categories. The A and B team were in the second heat, the C and D teams in the first heat. The freestyle event was first. Our take overs had to be sharp, our breathing pattern spot on and accelerating to the finish a must. Everyone did their jobs and all of the swimmers exceeded my expectation in the freestyle events. The D team came 9th, the C team 4th, the B team 3rd, the A team just pipped Grey House to take the gold medal.
In the medley event, the order was back, breast, free, free – a big advantage not having to do butterfly in this race! The breaststroke leg of the medley was the key 25m. If you have a strong breaststroker you have a great chance. Carys did a fantastic job, held her form against the Grey House swimmer closing in on her. Similar to the freestyle races, our swimmers excelled themselves, swimming to record numerous personal bests. The D team came 7th, the C team 4th, the B team 5th and A team romped home to do the “double”.
There were some interesting statistics resulting from this Hampshire round. All the swimmers did personal bests from the time trials I did 6 weeks ago; an incredible achievement. These times are manual and cannot count as they are not electronically recorded, but it is still a measure of vast improvement. Our A team would have beaten the large schools freestyle and medley races. The A team qualified for the divisional round at Guildford Spectrum on Saturday 25th April at 5 pm. If we are in the top 2 in either event in this divisional round we will qualify for the Nationals which are in Sheffield on Saturday 20th June.
This was well disciplined, hard fought, exhilarating effort by all 17 swimmers. For children so young they demonstrated a great attitude, they were cool under considerable pressure and their times far exceeded my expectations. I am extremely proud of every one of them.
Well done to all of the swimmers