Alex P, Gabby, Hester, Tanya.
One thing COVID has certainly made me realise is just how finite life is. Never take the things you love for granted. I know that for some of our Senior swimmers, Uni is just around the corner and I don't know how many more competitions I will have the privilege of coaching them at. I laid out in the team talk that the Focus of this competition for the Squad was just to have fun and enjoy the experience, savour the time with team mates and friends, getting to race when many still have not.
Alex has shown incredible growth over the past few months, not just physically but overall as a person. He impresses me day to day with his attitude and resillience, stepping forward as a true leader of the Squad.
He started his campaign with the 100m Free:
100m Free - 7th in 58.03 - LC PB, First time under a minute Long Course!
100m Fly - 1st (!) in 1:05.07 - The Champ!!! Alex takes the 17yrs title in the 100m Fly - well deserved after a great swim. Alex, Just like Duncan Scott recently in Tokyo though, ever a perfectionist, saw some pacing errors that could have yielded improvements. That ambition will drive him on to more.
50m Free - 5th in 26.08 - Great top 5 result, taking another LC PB and rounding off the comp in style. Just shy of getting into the 25's but it leaves another target for Alex to chase down!
Gabby has pushed so hard in training of late (nothing new, her work ethic is always excellent) but when it would be easy to find excuses, she continues to step up and improve, hitting a PB to qualify for this competition!
100m Bk - 9th in 1:15.03 - a big LC PB! Super smooth early on from Gabby, executing a great turn and gaining on her rivals with strong underwater skills. Last 15m were tough but we know that's to be expected with the pool time we've had. I couldn't have asked for anymore!
50m Free - 13th in 30.61 - A solid swim to finish for Gabby, some technical points to refine to get the most out of her stroke but very positive race skills!
Hester has always been a swimmer capable of gutting out great results on strength of will alone, possessed of a composure on the big stage that many elite swimmers would envy.
She would need all of those gifts here to perform well, as by her own admittance, preparation for this meet has not been ideal.
100m Free - 6th in 1:06.32 - A smooth start for Hester, technically looking good but self admittedly held back too much on the first 50m, leaving too much to do at the end. Great self awareness and tactical insight.
50m Free - 5th in 30.03 - The more I look at this result the more I'm impressed with it, only 0.4 off of 3rd place. Powerful strokes and a strong kick, the swim just needed faster stroke rate to push into the mid 29's - something Hester is more than capable of. Very positive swim with clear targets for improvement to take away.
Tanya is the poster girl of Wareham Performance Swimming and has vast treasure troves of experience on this stage. Her favoured event the 50m Breast was unfortunately not being swum here but I'm very proud of Tanya for the grit and determination shown to work herself hard in the lead up and earn qualification times in other events.
100m Brst - 6th in 1:21.47 - A technically excellent swim with a powerful finish - Tanya was well aware that she just needed to be more aggressive on the first 50m to put herself in a prime position to strike. Great potential for big step ups in the future in this event.
50m Free - 9th in 29.54 - A Classy swim from Tanya, who is a very under rated Freestyle swimmer. Not at her scintillating best but showing sparks of brilliance with a great reaction to the start and smooth stroke work. Possibly a small loss of focus in the middle of the race, a reminder to always swim your own race! Very positive swim to finish.
The mission objective was accomplished for the Seniors - we had fun racing again and enjoyed the experience! Some fantastic results picked up to put the icing on the cake!