RWS Swimmers deliver the goods

RWS Swimmers deliver the goods

On the 1st – 2nd December 2012 after shaking the cobwebs off at the Chase Open Meet the previous month it was now time to get down to the serious business of fast short course racing at the East and West Midlands Regional Short Course Championships in Corby.

Traditionally this meet is the climax of the short course season for the Royal Swimmers and the first opportunity to see how the autumn training has gone compared to the other top clubs in the region. After a somewhat longer journey than planned on Friday night it was a case of straight to bed ready for the morning's first events.

The mornings' racing was fast and furious with both the men's and women's Freestyle events setting some blistering times. In particular Loughborough's Olympian, Robert Povoni set a time of 3:47 to win the 400 Freestyle. This is an indication of how high the standard of the meet was when last year our own Freestyle specialist Adam Rowe won the same event in 3:57.

Not to be out done and inspired by the coaching staff and each other, our own Olympians in waiting started to rack up the results. Tully Kearney continued her good form from the previous week when she broke the European Record on the S10 400m Freestyle to step up and break the 400 IM World Record in a time of 5:32.

The freestyle success theme continued throughout the day when Alice Dearing swam a staggering 800m in 8.49 to break a 10 year old junior record. The dominance of the female distance event continued when the results came out the RWS girls names made up 4 of the top 10 places and they all made huge drops in time to do this. The only other club to match this statistic was 4 time Olympic medal winning club, Nova, showing that we are starting to get some real strength in depth in the female side of the club.

There was further delight to be had on the first day of competition as Courtney Price stepped up to bag her first ever National Qualifying Time (NQT) in the 200m Backstroke event in less than a year at the club and missing out by the smallest of margins last season. After touching the wall and not been able to see the score board her first indication that she had done the time was when she tuned to the coaches and swimmers were going mad on the far side of the pool.

But by far the biggest results of the day came in the relays; with the 400m Freestyle Women's A Team swimming in lane 8 and given no real shot of a medal...."oh, how people were wrong".

With a lead off leg of 58.27 Sophie Long, followed by Alice Dearing, Poppy Hill and finally Courteney Price and with each swimmer swimming sub 60.0 seconds or better the RWS Women's A team were coming up on the rails fast to challenge for the medals, and when anchor leg swimmer touched, the girls had forced RWS into a well-deserved 2nd place behind Nova. Queue the Hash Tag celebration.

Not to be out done the boys stepped up with Captain John Ling winning Silver on the 200m Butterfly against a field of established senior athletes. The other boys also stepped up with solid performances in the 1500 finishing 6th and 7th. Kieran Smith however produced one of the most positive male swims of the meet by dropping his 100m Butterfly PB to 56:4, and like John he was up against seasoned senior athletes and just missed a the bronze with great performance.

The rest of the meet followed the same pattern as Saturday, with yet more great swims from the Royal School swimmers. National 200m Backstroke medallist Holly Shepherd stepped up to take her 200 IM National Qualifying Time. Courtney Price also decided that she quite likes this national level of swimming and bagged herself a 2nd NQT at the meet on the 100m Backstroke.

As the day wore on the amazing swims and medals kept coming, Captain John added to his Sliver from the day before with one of the gutsiest 400m IMs of the meet. The distance girls stepped up again on the 400m Freestyle to once again dominate the top 10 places with Nova, and Alice Dearing further showed why she has the potential to make the European Junior Team this year by taking the Gold in the junior event and Bronze in the overall senior event.

But the question was, could the hash tag celebration be brought out again in the relays in the evening? In the girls event it was the 4 x 100 IM, and the boys, the 400m Freestyle relay. The girls lined up at the start alongside the best the region had to offer with steely determination to recreate the feeling of success from the day before. Holly went first with a solid PB on the backstroke, followed by Grace on the Breaststroke then Sophie on Butterfly moving the team into a great position to strike for a medal with our own female Freestyle guru Alice. After a safe takeover it took her all of a minute to secure the clubs only 2nd ever relay medal in history at these senior championships. The boys team, not to be out done got in and smashed it with a great swim between them all, but could not quite make the medals as the rest of the field was just too strong.

Full Competition Results

Swimmers NameAgedDistanceStrokeTimePB (Secs)DateMedalPosition
Sophie Long 17 50 Freestyle 00:28.03 0.30 01/12/12    
Lilyella Craw-Seaman 13 100 Freestyle 01:01.46 1.84 02/12/12    
Sophie Long 17 100 Freestyle 01:01.69   02/12/12    
Lilyella Craw-Seaman 13 200 Freestyle 02:11.14 3.77 01/12/12    
Holly Shepherd 13 200 Freestyle 02:12.88 1.58 01/12/12    
Megan Carline 14 200 Freestyle 02:11.43 7.24 01/12/12    
Megan Willetts 14 200 Freestyle 02:14.51 0.19 01/12/12    
Alice Dearing 15 200 Freestyle 02:08.40 0.41 01/12/12   6th
Sophie Long 17 200 Freestyle 02:06.49 1.46 01/12/12    
Mitch Page 14 400 Freestyle 04:25.00   01/12/12    
Megan Carline 14 400 Freestyle 04:30.35 6.84 02/12/12    
Alice Dearing 15 400 Freestyle 04:19.45 5.18 02/12/12 Bronze 3rd
Alice Dearing 15 400 Freestyle 04:26.64   02/12/12    
Sophie Long 17 400 Freestyle 04:27.40 2.45 02/12/12    
Holly Shepherd 13 800 Freestyle 09:27.26 5.17 02/12/12    
Megan Carline 14 800 Freestyle 09:05.60 17.44 02/12/12   5th
Alice Dearing 15 800 Freestyle 08:49.99 34.58 02/12/12 Silver 2nd
Casey Barrett 13 1500 Freestyle 17:33.90   01/12/12   7th
Mitch Page 14 1500 Freestyle 17:22.02   01/12/12   6th
Holly Shepherd 13 100 Backstroke 01:05.35 1.00 02/12/12   6th
Courteney Price 14 100 Backstroke 01:05.42 2.46 02/12/12   7th
Holly Shepherd 13 200 Backstroke 02:19.86   01/12/12   7th
Lilyella Craw-Seaman 13 200 Backstroke 02:26.54 1.13 01/12/12    
Courteney Price 14 200 Backstroke 02:20.57 5.68 01/12/12   8th
Mitch Page 14 200 Backstroke 02:22.51   02/12/12    
Megan Willetts 14 200 Backstroke 02:24.24 2.92 01/12/12    
Megan Carline 14 200 Backstroke 02:26.04 8.26 01/12/12    
Megan Carline 14 200 Breaststroke 02:50.53 18.33 02/12/12    
Lilyella Craw-Seaman 13 100 Butterfly 01:09.94   01/12/12    
Courteney Price 14 100 Butterfly 01:07.34 3.10 01/12/12    
Sophie Long 17 100 Butterfly 01:03.08 1.29 01/12/12   5th
Sophie Long 17 100 Butterfly 01:04.37 1.55 01/12/12    
Lilyella Craw-Seaman 13 200 Butterfly 02:31.36 0.72 02/12/12    
Megan Carline 14 200 Butterfly 02:29.96   02/12/12    
Alice Dearing 15 200 Butterfly 02:28.02   02/12/12    
Sophie Long 17 200 Butterfly 02:22.27 3.55 02/12/12    
Sophie Long 17 200 Butterfly 02:22.34   02/12/12   6th
Holly Shepherd 13 200 Individual Medley 02:24.14 3.60 02/12/12   5th
Lilyella Craw-Seaman 13 200 Individual Medley 02:29.89 0.61 02/12/12    
Megan Carline 14 200 Individual Medley 02:28.37 1.50 02/12/12    
Mitch Page 14 400 Individual Medley 04:59.49   02/12/12    
Megan Carline 14 400 Individual Medley 05:04.44 2.63 01/12/12    
Alice Dearing 15 400 Individual Medley 05:02.96 9.82 01/12/12    

After all the excitement of the weekend and before the dust had settles, these Short Course Championships have been the most successful in the clubs history. Our swimmers all stepped up with great swims over the weekend, and with 7 finalist, 15 top 8 finishes at senior level, 11 top 8 finishes at junior level, long standing regional record and world records smashed, as well as the first two senior medals won on the relays, it is pretty hard to see how the weekend could have been more successful.

Coach Nathan was literally over the moon with the results from meet, and his praise goes out to all the swimmers for a truly great effort.

He said:

That it was now time to back the success of this meet up over the coming weeks in training ready for the first long course meet of the year in Manchester.

Great job and well done to all those who swam.

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