SWIMMING: Princethorpe swimmers qualify for nationals

Princethorpe swimmers Mollie Dibb, Charlie Bracken, Caitlin Newport and Jess Mackenzie
Princethorpe swimmers Mollie Dibb, Charlie Bracken, Caitlin Newport and Jess Mackenzie

Seven students earn place in Olympic pool in January

Seven Princethorpe College swimmers have continued in the school’s strong tradition of qualifying for the Independent Schools’ Association’s National Swimming Championships to be held early next year.

Joining a team of 30 swimmers from the College, who travelled to Walsall Gala Baths to compete against 15 other regional schools, the pressure was on for national qualifying spots.

Princethorpe has a number of hard working club swimmers to its credit, with most spending a minimum of eight hours a week in the water.

In swimming it’s often the distance of a thumbnail that separates the top places. UVI athlete Jack Dennis was out touched by a breath in the first race, the 100IM. Fortunately for Jack his power saw him qualify for the Nationals as one of the fastest freestylers where he will join the Midlands relay team, for the second time, in January.

Caitlin Newport and Mollie Dibb saw off the competition in their age group breaststroke events with both girls winning their heats. Caitlin, a City of Coventry swimmer, enjoys a 4.30am start for some of her weekday training sessions.

Dibb, a veteran of the ISA Championships (she has qualified for Nationals since being in Junior 4 at Crackley Hall School) was pleased with her breast stroke and 100IM, where she gained a pb in 1.11secs.

Newcomer Jess Mackenzie ( Year 7) proved a welcome addition to the team. She basked in a double first, winning both the individual backstroke and freestyle.

Exciting times ahead as she anticipates the finals at the Olympic pool in January.

Princethorpe pretty much had a clean sweep in the freestyle with power house Lucia McCosker-New (Year 8) replicating exactly what she did last year. Charlie Bracken, more akin with the triathlon world, also came good (Year 8) and dominated his speedy heat too earning a first-time ticket to London.

And at the top end of the age group Noah Slinn (UVI) streamed through the water in 26.50 secs to win his race.

In all, a tally of seven swimmers will head down to Stratford, East London, on January 21 to the London Aquatics Centre to face the very best Independent Schools swimmers in which promises to be an exciting day of competition.