After 16 months with 0 competitions and just over 2 years since being at Millfield, I was feeling a little emotional to be walking out onto poolside with the Squad. A few deep breaths and after soaking in the sight of the awesome 50m pool, we were ready for some fierce competition!
The Festival has essentially acted like Long Course Regionals for 2021 with the qualification standard being very challenging. Only approximately the top 20 in the South West were swimming in each event. It goes without saying that I was immensely proud of all of our swimmers just to make it in considering the arduous task they had ahead of them - to qualify with at best 3 hours 45 mins training a week (when many larger teams have enjoyed 12+ hours).
Day 1 - Juniors - Austin, Harley, Lexie.
Austin was racing the 100m Breaststroke - He took a well fought 13th place in 1:25.78 - a LC PB! Some technical points to work on but overall well paced!
Harley had several events throughout the day.
Starting with the 100m Free - not typically a favoured stroke for him but one he has shown rapid improvements on recently.
100m Free - 23rd in 1:04.28 - definitely a LC PB! Great early speed, fading in the last 25m.
100m Bk - 7th in 1:10.19 - his best result of the competition and a massive LC PB!
100m Fly - 8th in 1:10.49 - yet another LC PB! Beautiful stroke technique to lead the first 50m, the lack of pool time just showed in the final meters of the 100.
50m Free - 11th in 28.53 - LC PB and great way to finish a successful meet for Harley!
Lexie was also busy in every session of the day:
100m Bk - 2nd! in 1:17.59 - A brilliant swim to take second place in what was her first proper Long Course competition at this level. A mature, attacking swim, well done Lexie!
100m Fly - 11th in 1:29.33 - LC PB and a big learning event for Lexie. Many swimmers will be able to testify to just how hard 100m Fly can be Long Course, that second length just goes on and on!
50m Free - 23rd in 34.07 - Tough turn around just 10 mins after the 100m Fly but still a great effort.
Awesome efforts from our Juniors, earning them valuable Long Course experience!!!