No Snow at the Snow'pen

No Snow at the Snow'pen

On the 14th to 16th December saw the RWS Swimmers held to the Manchester Snow'pen Meet at the Manchester Aquatic Centre and after a hugely successful conclusion to the short course season in Corby only two weeks ago it was time to begin the journey of long course race preparation that leads to the National Championships in July.

Experience has shown that the first long course meet of the year is hard going, but for those who are prepared to swim tough and race hard, there are special rewards to be had at this time of year.

This was especially the case for the distance freestyler's on Friday night, the girl's, fresh off the back of a dominant display in Corby set out to capitalise on their good form and with the added incentive of a T-Shirt for the first swimmer to achieve 2 National Qualifying Times long course the race was on.

Niamh Hofland was first up and set the tone with a negative split swim that even the guru Alice would have been pleased with. She finished with a massive PB and was just out of the medals. (Not bad for the only 10 year old girl in the event). The other girls were soon in, one after the other, Megan Carline was the first to bag herself a National Qualifying Time (NQT) and put one hand on the prize with an excellent display, Poppy Hill and Alice Dearing followed after in the last two heats and also smashed the 800m Freestyle with NQT times each. But the swim of the session had to go to new boy Tom Derbyshire who swam one of the gutsiest 1500m Freestyle you will ever see to blast his way to his first ever NQT.

The red hot swimming continued on Saturday with the 'tunnel of love' and the hash tag celebration out on numerous occasions for heat wins and national qualifying times, but it was the 400m IM that was the main event that all eyes were on. Megan, Alice, and Poppy were all still in the mix for the T-shirt, with Megan in pole position and one shot to claim the prize, as she was the first of the three girls to swim. With a commanding determined swim her one chance was all she needed and blew the NQT out of the water, along with the other girl's chances of winning the T-shirt. Boom!

Kieran Smith, John Ling, Mitch Page and James Robinson put in some very solid performances over the weekend to get their long course seasons off to a great start with Kieran the pick of the boys swimming his first NQT of the season in the 100m Butterfly and 200m Backstroke, and the fast swims did not finish there. Courtney Price and Holly Shepherd bagged there 200m Backstroke NQT long course; Grace Conlon just missed her 800m Freestyle and 400m IM times, which at this stage of the season is a truly great effort.

The best swim of the last day was in the last girl's 200m Butterfly event. When everyone else was thinking of going home one person was determined to take something special away from the meet. After just missing the 100m Butterfly NQT and having some disappointing swims over the weekend Lillyella Craw-Seaman stepped up to one of the toughest events determined that she was not going to miss out and watch the national championships again like last year.

After a really good first three lengths it was still on, all she needed to do was finish the last length in the same split as the previous one and it was there. Some people watched the last 25 others watched the clock, but in the last 10 meters everyone's eyes were on the score board. 2:28.53 she'd done it! Her first NQT of the season #Hash tags all round.

Full Competition Results

Swimmers NameAgedDistanceStrokeTimePBDateSessionMedalPosition
Sophie Long 17 50 Freestyle 00:29.60   15/12/12 Final    
Niamh Hofland 10 100 Freestyle 01:11.64 2.46 15/12/12 Final    
Lilyella Craw-Seaman 13 100 Freestyle 01:02.64 1.02 15/12/12 Final Bronze 3rd
Holly Shepherd 13 100 Freestyle 01:04.64   15/12/12 Final    
Courteney Price 14 100 Freestyle 01:02.79 0.87 15/12/12 Final    
Alice Dearing 15 100 Freestyle 01:01.85 1.65 15/12/12 Final    
Sophie Long 17 100 Freestyle 01:01.14   15/12/12 Final    
Niamh Hofland 10 200 Freestyle 02:31.17 6.14 15/12/12 Final   5th
Lilyella Craw-Seaman 13 200 Freestyle 02:15.26 0.29 15/12/12 Final   4th
Holly Shepherd 13 200 Freestyle 02:17.14   15/12/12 Final   8th
Mitch Page 14 200 Freestyle 02:11.95   16/12/12 Final    
Megan Carline 14 200 Freestyle 02:15.99   15/12/12 Final    
Alice Dearing 15 200 Freestyle 02:11.08   15/12/12 Final   8th
Sophie Long 17 200 Freestyle 02:11.53   15/12/12 Final    
Niamh Hofland 10 400 Freestyle 05:14.10 7.54 16/12/12 Final   5th
Lilyella Craw-Seaman 13 400 Freestyle 04:44.43   16/12/12 Final   7th
Mitch Page 14 400 Freestyle 04:29.48 5.09 15/12/12 Final   5th
Megan Carline 14 400 Freestyle 04:37.72 1.44 16/12/12 Final    
Alice Dearing 15 400 Freestyle 04:33.31   16/12/12 Final   7th
Sophie Long 17 400 Freestyle 04:41.69   16/12/12 Final    
Niamh Hofland 10 800 Freestyle 10:47.88 11.67 14/12/12 Final   4th
Holly Shepherd 13 800 Freestyle 09:39.56   14/12/12 Final   4th
Lilyella Craw-Seaman 13 800 Freestyle 09:45.55 2.38 14/12/12 Final    
Megan Carline 14 800 Freestyle 09:27.23   14/12/12 Final   6th
Courteney Price 14 800 Freestyle 09:47.28 8.31 14/12/12 Final    
Alice Dearing 15 800 Freestyle 09:06.09 1.77 14/12/12 Final Gold 1st
Mitch Page 14 1500 Freestyle 17:47.78   14/12/12 Final   4th
Holly Shepherd 13 100 Backstroke 01:08.62   15/12/12 Final Gold 1st
Courteney Price 14 100 Backstroke 01:08.95 1.14 15/12/12 Final   5th
Mitch Page 14 100 Backstroke 01:10.12   16/12/12 Final    
Holly Shepherd 13 200 Backstroke 02:25.01   15/12/12 Final Gold 1st
Mitch Page 14 200 Backstroke 02:25.71   16/12/12 Final   6th
Courteney Price 14 200 Backstroke 02:25.76 3.77 15/12/12 Final   7th
Niamh Hofland 10 100 Butterfly 01:23.49 3.89 15/12/12 Final   8th
Lilyella Craw-Seaman 13 100 Butterfly 01:08.25 1.25 15/12/12 Final Bronze 3rd
Alice Dearing 15 100 Butterfly 01:08.39 0.45 15/12/12 Final    
Sophie Long 17 100 Butterfly 01:07.27   15/12/12 Final    
Niamh Hofland 10 200 Butterfly 03:01.92 10.97 16/12/12 Final   4th
Lilyella Craw-Seaman 13 200 Butterfly 02:28.53 3.39 16/12/12 Final Gold 1st
Megan Carline 14 200 Butterfly 02:34.55   16/12/12 Final    
Alice Dearing 15 200 Butterfly 02:27.98 0.22 16/12/12 Final   6th
Niamh Hofland 10 200 Individual Medley 02:54.13 9.02 16/12/12 Final    
Holly Shepherd 13 200 Individual Medley 02:30.49   16/12/12 Final Gold 1st
Lilyella Craw-Seaman 13 200 Individual Medley 02:31.57 1.56 16/12/12 Final Silver 2nd
Mitch Page 14 200 Individual Medley 02:27.23 3.33 15/12/12 Final    
Megan Carline 14 200 Individual Medley 02:32.52   16/12/12 Final    
Courteney Price 14 200 Individual Medley 02:32.74 3.96 16/12/12 Final    
Sophie Long 17 200 Individual Medley 02:30.59   16/12/12 Final    
Niamh Hofland 10 400 Individual Medley 06:03.71 10.07 15/12/12 Final    
Lilyella Craw-Seaman 13 400 Individual Medley 05:26.59   15/12/12 Final   6th
Megan Carline 14 400 Individual Medley 05:14.97   15/12/12 Final   7th
Courteney Price 14 400 Individual Medley 05:28.01   15/12/12 Final    
Alice Dearing 15 400 Individual Medley 05:20.74   15/12/12 Final    
Sophie Long 17 400 Individual Medley 05:21.79   15/12/12 Final    

Looking back at the meet the coaches were all pleased with the results, the royals won 15 medals, two thirds of them gold as well as having 13 swimmers already qualified for Nationals, which at this time of year is a great start to the season.

Nathan said:

That this was the best start to a season that the School swim team has had in the 3 and half years it has been going. This is a testament to all the incredible hard work that the swimmers and coaching staff are putting in behind closed doors. We have to make sure that we absolutely do not take our foot off the gas over Christmas as we need to make sure that we are ahead of everyone else in the New Year, particularly as the British Champs dates are now out.

Let's hope that all the swimmers keep working hard for over Christmas as the second weekend in January see's the Royals make the first trip of the year to Sheffield for the City of Derby meet.

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